Choosing less is a decision that is usually made when you've tried everything else. When you feel overwhelmed with the clutter, the busy schedule, or the constant decisions that having too much stuff can bring. This might not be an obvious choice because living on less seems like it would make you less happy, not more.
However, having less stuff can radically change your life and give you a new and brighter point of view. So here's how living with less can improve your life.
Why living on less can improve your life
Having less stuff has a lot of benefits. For instance, you don't have as much to think about or keep track of, which frees up time and can make priorities clear. There are many reasons why living with less is a good decision. Here are some of the best benefits.
Think about it: If you have 5 items to keep track of, it's pretty simple. But if you have 100 items, it's a lot harder to manage. Owning a lot of stuff can take up your time and may leave you stressed out. Most things need some sort of maintenance or care, including clothing, a house, laptops and phones, and vehicles.
If you live with less, you'll find that you don't have to worry about all the things you own anymore. It may alleviate the concern associated with what you own.
Living on less means more savings
When there is thought behind each item you purchase, and you buy fewer things, you save money! Having extra cash in your pocket can be super helpful, not to mention your money can go to work for you and yield a good amount of interest.
On the other hand, stuff like cars, shoes, or clothing does not usually wind up being worth more at a later time. You buy it at its top value, and from there, it depreciates in value. Saving your money will have the opposite effect because it will build over time.
If you make a choice not to collect clutter, you will naturally have a cleaner home environment. This can really impact your overall mood, and it can create a more relaxing atmosphere when you're in your house.
Imagine this: You walk through the door after a long day, and your house is clean. Where a pile of shoes used to be, there's now only one or two pairs. The stacks of magazines, books, tables, lamps, and decorative items are minimal. You can actually see the floor. Sounds nice, right?
So living on less means your home will be cleaner, more comfortable, and probably a lot easier to maintain. You won't have to pick up and put away a million items all day long.
More mental energy
More space and less stuff around you can also be good for your mental health. If you live with less, your mental energy can increase because you're not overwhelmed with clutter! A house with too much stuff or a disorganized space can make it challenging to concentrate, and owning less can help you focus.
How to embrace living on less
Minimalism. Some love it, some hate it, but the fact is, it can help you live with less. If you want to simplify your life by clearing out the clutter and all the extra things you don't use, you can try these minimalist ideas.
Even if you don't fully embrace a minimalist lifestyle, you can attempt some aspects to create something that works for you.
Figure out why living on less matters to you
Everyone's reason for living with less is going to be different. Maybe you have a shopping habit to cure or are tired of your house being messy. Perhaps you want to save money. Decide on your reason for minimalism, and from there, you can make a plan that works.
Decide what type of minimalism works for you
Do you gravitate towards extreme minimalism with a limited amount of items? That's fine if that's what you want. For example, you can decide that you must get rid of one item for every new item you bring in. This prevents you from collecting too much stuff.
Or you could make more conscious purchasing decisions rather than mindless spending. Any of these ideas, or a combination of them and others, could be the right choice for your lifestyle.
Make a plan to start living on less
After you know why you're living on less and you've decided what type of minimalism you want to try out, you're ready to make a plan. This can include going through your possessions and deciding what to keep or toss. The best thing to do is to clear a day or two in your calendar, maybe an upcoming weekend, and decide on how you want to live your life going forward.
What do you buy? What items do you bring into your house? Imagine what environment you want to have, and consider what lifestyle is right for you. After you know the answers to these questions, get ready to clear out some stuff.
Get rid of things
Living on less means, you'll probably be parting with some of your stuff. So, you also need to decide where things you no longer need will go. Recycling, giving to charities, or giving items to friends are all options. Toss, give away, keep, etc.
This can take some time, but if you have an action plan, it will be faster. Use our decluttering guide and checklist to get started! It may help you part with some items that are just taking up space and not improving your life.
11 Ways to start living on less
These ideas can help you start living with less. They're easy solutions, and you can start using them right away.
1. Move furniture around to avoid buying new things
A room can look completely different when you move the chairs, tables, and couches to a new place. You might even switch out art or photos from other rooms to change up the scenery. This costs no money, and it helps you appreciate what you have. This way, you can create a new look without collecting more stuff.
2. Create a capsule wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe makes mixing and matching easy, and that means you'll have lots of outfit combinations but without needing hundreds of clothing items. You can curate a wardrobe that will last for years and won't cost you a ton of money because you will have classic pieces that are in style all year round!
3. Treat yourself to small inexpensive things
Yes, this might be considered cheating at the whole "living on less" thing, but occasionally, it can be a good thing. If you do buy, don't spend a lot and make sure it's something useful that will be a part of your regular life. There are many ways you can treat yourself even on a budget!
4. Drive one car
Do you need two vehicles? With some creativity, you can probably save yourself a whole car payment and insurance by downsizing to one automobile. Carpool to work, walk or bike anywhere you can, and find ways to use a vehicle less often. It takes up less space, is better for the environment, and can save you thousands in car expenses.
5. Don't look at what others have
There will always be people with newer or fancier homes and items than you. As you start living with less, you may be tempted to buy what your neighbors or friends have to feel like you're at the same level of success.
However, success has to do with your mindset, not what you own. So don't compare your life to someone else's. It only leads to frustration, and you'll be much happier when you are grateful for what you have.
6. Read more books for entertainment
If there's something you want to read, check out your local library or swap books with friends. You'll save money, and you won't collect a tower of books that you have to deal with later. You can also try checking out inexpensive ebooks! Here's our list of books on minimalism!
7. Use all the things you already have
There's a lot to be said about appreciating what you have. Whatever items you choose to keep, take good care of them, and be grateful for them. When you do this, you keep them in good condition for longer, and it helps you to remain happy and thankful.
8. Find cheap activities, or free ones, to do with friends and family
You can live with less by recognizing that quality time is more important than spending money. There are tons of fun things to do with your family that are budget-friendly! Choose to have a heartfelt conversation with someone close to you, meet up with relatives for a meal at your home, or play football at the park with friends.
Doing these things will keep your relationships strong and remind you that connecting with others is worth a lot more than stuff could ever be.
9. Create savings goals
As you're living on less, you're bound to save some money since you aren't allowing all your extra cash to be spent on stuff. Give that money something to do by creating savings goals for yourself. If you don't have one, create an emergency fund.
You may also choose to save for a trip to somewhere adventurous or maybe max out your retirement account. So, choose something important to you and start saving.
10. Keep a gratitude journal or name things you appreciate about your life each day
Gratitude is an essential part of living on less because being thankful for the people in your life and having gratitude for your possessions, can help you live a happier life.
Start writing down what you're thankful for in a journal, or think of things each day that you appreciate and are glad you have. Gratitude journaling can also lessen the symptoms of depression!
11. Upcycle your clothes
Rather than buying clothes every month or two, you can upcycle your clothes to make them last longer. For instance, you can dye them or repurpose them into other items, such as turning old shirts into fashionable headbands!
Learning how to upcycle your old clothes will help you start living with less and have more cash in your bank account.
Start living on less to improve your life
Living on less can help you improve your life, be less stressed, have a cleaner environment, and even more mental energy. The benefits are enormous, and you may find that you don't even miss the items you used to have after a while. To live with less stuff, just get started.
Begin with getting rid of just one item or one box of things, and go from there until you're happy with what you own. Living on less is a great decision that can make you more content, healthier, and even more wealthy over time.