Hello everyone! I hope that this article finds you well, as you navigate to create a simpler life. We all have so much “stuff” and it’s amazing the amount of resources owning/collecting this “stuff” takes from our lives. I wanted to share my viewpoints on the benefits I have been receiving while getting rid of my belongings, one day at a time. This article hopefully can add value to your life, by seeing the value of having less can do for you emotionally, financially and (for lack of better word) resourcefully.
Getting rid of “Stuff”
For the better pat of the last 6 months, I have been doing 3 things within my house and with my possessions, more specifically. Those 3 actions can be broken down, as follows:
1.) Sold the possession
2.) Donated the possession
3.) Threw out the possession
This all seems very easy, right? You simply look at each item you own within your house and start categorizing into the three areas listed above. Well, I have come to find out, that it is not as easy as it looks, which it primarily stems from emotional attachment to belongings. That is going to be the biggest barrier that everyone is going to have to hurdle over, when it comes to letting go of possessions or “stuff”.
However, I will say this. Once you start letting go of those “attachments” to “stuff”, it’s a domino effect and it becomes easier to part ways with items that you thought you wouldn’t be able to. Now, I am not saying to part ways with everything that gives you happiness or that adds value, but am suggesting you take a hard look at something to see if you would even know if that possession wasn’t there anymore. Would your life be different? Would your day not be the same?
When you go through these exercises, what you’ll find out is how much “stuff” you have accumulated throughout your lifetime, it’s astonishing and repulsive at the same time. The reason why we have closets that are deep, storage containers or have attics full of “stuff” is because at some point in time we thought we needed it, had to have that “one thing” or simply are actually done with the item and it’s just now being kept somewhere to not be seen. Isn’t that funny? We put things away, that we paid for and spent time with, just so that it can collect dust in a room that we don’t even enter or visit? Repeat that sentence or question to yourself one more time before continuing. Okay, now let’s continue.
“Stuff” That I have parted ways
Now that we have the brief background and intro completed, what exact “stuff” am I referring to? I was lucky to have my girlfriend also assist a few days to help make one of the 3 actions above over the “stuff” that I owned but I have also made the decisions solo, as well. Through the end of September, I have done the following:
1.) Sold 4 pairs of pants/jeans, 4-5 dress shirts, a basketball jersey, numerous DVD’s & books, a car manual to a car I no longer owned, broken/as-is bluetooth headphones, a smoothie maker, a t-shirt here and there, etc.. All items I have sold, have been on eBay, as well. I believe the count should be around 20+ items so far and I know I’m not even finished yet. I still have a few active listings right now, in fact.
2.) I have donated almost 50-60 items so far this year. Stuff that I parted ways with via donation, are items that I no longer have value from and/or may be easier to donate than to sell. This primarily is focused on T-Shirts, pants, hoodies, dress shirts that don’t fit, lunch carriers that have been collected over the years, etc.. I just dropped off a sizable bag of stuff earlier last week and felt so damn good doing it too.
3.) I wish I could sell or donate everything that I’m trying to part ways with. Unfortunately, all items, categorized as “stuff”, cannot fit into those other two categories. I have thrown away VHS movies that weren’t watching (I think one was a George Foreman tutorial video), shredded/stained clothes that would not belong on anyone’s back, boxes, un-functional things; shredding quite a bit of paper & documents, even throwing some away that do not have critical information. That about sums up what I’ve thrown away recently.
The breakdown above has easily allowed me to depart ways with “stuff”, more than 100+ times this year already. One may wonder, why am I doing this or what are the exact benefits of getting rid of “stuff”?
5 benefits of parting ways with “stuff”
There are numerous benefits and I am sure you have your own reasons to depart with our possessions. However, I am going to break down my top reasons I am waving goodbye to a magnitude of items that were once in my life. Here goes nothing:
1.) Less space needed. I now am finding “new” space around my house. I had a french press machine on my counter I never used, that is now empty for more food preparation and chopping. My drawers now are easier to find what I am looking for. I don’t find myself struggling to find the right dress shirt or workout t-shirt. No longer are the clothes that I prefer to wear buried by clothing I never wear. Almost the feeling when you share a bedroom with your sibling, you start to feel freer here.
2.) Less time to make decisions. This is more specific to clothing, but essentially with less options, you now don’t need as much time sorting through and figuring out what you are going to wear. You now are limited and can make a decision fairly quickly. Time can now be better spent on making your favorite coffee, enjoying your breakfast or listening to a song in the morning. Another novel idea is having a jump-start on your morning commute, if you have one, that is.
3.) Side hustle income potential. When you are selling your “stuff” on eBay or another avenue of commerce, you can earn money. In the month of September alone, I kid you not, I have cleared over $40 from items I have sold. This doesn’t sound like much, but it is better than $0 and if it’s to add value to someone else’s life because the “stuff” no longer adds value to yours, then even better.
4.) Tax Deduction. For those donations, one can keep track of the value for tax filing season. Though the deduction is not dollar for dollar and only works if you itemize, this can offset your tax liability. Always something to consider, especially as the end of the year approaches. Last year, I donated over $300 in clothing & other possessions to those that can be better off having them.
5.) Freedom & time. Outside of donating or selling your “stuff” to someone who can truly benefit from them, you also gain more freedom and time. You can gain more freedom by not having to worry about your “stuff” going missing or someone taking them. Further, you have more freedom with your current resources. You can use your financial resources for experiences and time with loved ones. Yes, time, the other critical component here. You now gain back time from parting ways with our once (self-titled) possessions. Time is saved by longer caring, fixing, cleaning, dusting, storing and sorting the “stuff”. You name it and you no longer need to do it. Freedom and time go together like peanut-butter and jelly to me. They both resemble a perfect match and if you want freedom, it more than likely is because you want time. In summary, less “stuff” actually equals more time.
Getting rid of “Stuff” conclusion
How does everyone feel about the topic written here? Have you been able to take a look around you or kept track of the things you did today? Are you seeing a lot of “invaluable” items in your home or time spent on taking care of “stuff” that is not adding value to your life? I hope that there’s a positive takeaway from my article today and has helped make you and others a better individual. If you have feedback to what I have written, please respond in a comment below. If you have other forms of suggestions or things for me to consider, please share that as well. As always, time is precious and so is freedom. On the pursuit to financial independence, I have found other ways to also take steps in that direction and this is one of them.
Thank you again everyone for stopping by, have more in your life by having less. Please share your thoughts below and talk soon everyone.