Want Freedom From Stuff?
I was probably once like you. I wanted stuff. I wanted the latest gizmo’s and gadgets. I wanted a nice TV. I wanted nice furniture. I wanted nice stuff. Then I realized that stuff doesn’t define who we are. So my wife and I chose freedom from stuff. We decided to sell it all. We’re now doing more stuff with less stuff. And when YOU find freedom from stuff, you’ll be able to do so much more when you’re not bogged down by said stuff. Things like…
Stuff holds you back. Sure, you can travel with stuff. Maybe you already do vacation for a week, a month, possibly more. In the end you’ll still come back. Why? Because of your stuff. You’ll miss your hair straightener, your chaise-lounger, or your 60” projection TV you play Grand Theft Auto on. I can fit my entire life in a medium sized suitcase. I used to have three bedrooms, a rec-room, living room, and garage to fit all my stuff. I can’t possibly imagine this house sitting nomadic lifestyle with much more than I currently have. Our freedom from stuff allows us to be mobile and travel much more.
Whether you’re moving abroad, or moving three streets over for a better school for your kids, getting rid of stuff will make the move much more…I was going to say enjoyable, but that’s not right, moving is never enjoyable. It’s chaotic, it’s hectic, and as organized as you may be, moving is never organized. You wonder what boxes things are in. If you packed everything. You check drawers over a hundred times. Movers either show up too early or too late (I know, I once worked as a mover). So do yourself a favor, move with less stuff to make it less chaotic (and much more enjoyable for your movers). Moving is the perfect excuse to purge.
#6. House Sit
When we first sold all our stuff to move to Panama we never thought we’d become house sitters. In fact, we never even knew House Sitting was something to do. We do now. But it wasn’t until we sold all our stuff that we discovered this lifestyle. We’ve been house sitting for over a year in Central America, all because we found freedom from stuff.
I grew up with a pack-rat. My mom kept almost EVERYTHING. It wasn’t until later in life that I learned that this was a trait shared amongst all her siblings too. Not to go all Freud on them, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with their parents going through the Great Depression. I get it. But at the same time, here’s what happens when you accumulate stuff…You run out of space to put stuff. You buy more storage/shelving/closets. You fill those up. You lose stuff amongst stuff so you buy another item even though you already had that item. You start thinking “I need more space”. And the mention of tossing, selling, or donating things conjures up sentences like “I might need that”. How much money have you spent making sure you have a place to store your stuff? How much money have you wasted on stuff you’ve used once – let alone stuff you’ve never used!
#5. Be Free
Please, don’t get me wrong. Buying stuff is fun. Scientists have performed studies proving it. I’d look into providing an article link, but I’m far too lazy to do that. Plus, I want you to continue reading this list rather than chase a squirrel. The big corporations know how to lure you in though, don’t they? We see commercials for the latest i-product and we want it. Or the ads for clothing that make you sexier than…really sexy people…sorry, I’m terrible with analogies and comparisons. My point is, after selling your stuff, you truly realize…it’s just stuff. You second guess purchases and ask yourself “do I really need more stuff”? This is freedom from stuff. You’re no longer easily duped into buying things you really don’t need.
#3. Open Your Mind
I love the movie Fight Club for what it signifies. And the best line of the movie for me isn’t the first rule of Fight Club, it’s The things you own end up owning you. I’m glad I saw that movie in the comforts of my own home, because if I was in the theater I probably would have stood up, pointed at the screen, and shouted YES! Since I freed myself from stuff I look at life a lot differently now. I tolerate a lot more. I have more patience. I think about my reactions to situations. I’m more open-minded.
#2. Become More Charitable
When we sold all our stuff to move abroad, we had a lot of things we knew we either weren’t going to sell, or we would need them up until our last day (cookware, beds, clothing). Add to that the many garage sales we had where we practically gave things away, well, you can see how you become more charitable. I take an alternate approach to selling stuff now too. If I paid $20 for my Slap-Chop, and some guy offers me $2 for it at a garage sale, well, maybe a food kitchen could put that Slap-Chop to better use than Two-Buck Bill from down the street!
#1. Be Creative
I’m not saying you don’t need to buy things, like a house for instance. Hey, everyone needs somewhere to live, and buying a house is typically a great investment. But when you buy a house you need to put stuff in it. So instead of buying artwork or frames from big-box stores, hang some paintings done by your children or nieces and nephews. Go to re-use centers and re-purpose something. Go to garage sales and outbid Two-Buck Bill for my vintage wood tennis racket you can use as a door handle to your shed.
With all these fun things you can do, why wouldn’t you want to find your freedom from stuff?
Now go sell all your stuff!