We are a culture of stuff. Consumerism is a pastime.
One of the most difficult questions to answer—and live—is: What is enough?
Hans and I recently—and very intentionally—downsized to a 733 square foot apartment from a 1400 square foot house. While even our former home was perceived small by today’s standards, the thought of our new dwelling has left some aghast.
- Don’t you feel like you’re making a big sacrifice giving up so much space?
- Where do you put all your stuff? Do you have extra storage somewhere?
Sacrifice? Extra storage for stuff?
I don’t think so.
What I’ve experienced is quite the opposite of sacrifice. Instead, downsizing has helped us right-size our possessions and clarify what’s most important.
Not surprisingly, stuff didn’t make the top of the list.
The one-a-day challenge.
Cutting living space in half isn’t for everyone.
But here’s something that is: I challenge everyone to throw out one thing a day for a month. (And by “throw out” I mean donate, sell, recycle, give away, trash).
One thing each day for one month. Gone.
What really adds value?
It’s simple. Anyone can do it.
And the impact is profound as you think consciously, deliberately, intentionally about what adds value to your life.
As you look around at your “stuff”, ask yourself:
- Do I love it?
- Is it beautiful? Does it enhance my well-being?
- Is it functional? Do I use it?
- Does it reflect who I am today and where I’m headed—rather than keep me rooted in the past?
- Do I only have this out of guilt or obligation?
- Am I OK with the price I pay for owning it—the overhead to maintain, the time to clean, the cost to insure, etc.?
Think intentionally about what adds value to your life.
Get clear about what detracts and distracts.
I still have stuff. Just lots less of it.
Now everything I own is beautiful, meaningful, useful. Which means stuff can become what it should have been all along—the backdrop of a life fully lived instead of cluttering and congesting center stage.
Will you take the throw-out-one-thing-a-day-for-a-month challenge? I’d love to hear what opens up for you in the space you create!
Interested in an update? It’s been a year. 10 thoughts about voluntary downsizing.