5 Benefits of Getting Rid of your “Stuff”

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.

-Lanny

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19 thoughts on “5 Benefits of Getting Rid of your “Stuff”

  1. Great post and so true!

    Too many stuff (physical ones but not only) in your life are draining your time because you feel responsible for it. Get rid of it and free yourself.

    We life in a time where we can have the luxury of having nothing. With a swipe of your credit card you can buy almost everything just in case you need it. That should give you enough ease of mind to make that step. Free yourself from those material overload in your life!

    Myself I sold all my old PC games (big box ones), DVDs, CDs and so on recently. Made more then 4k EUR and bought MO and some more JNJ, NKE, DIS and SBUX. Those will cover my Spotify and Netflix subscription from now on 🙂 …

    CU Ingo.

    • Ingo –

      Exactly, draining your time in working to buy it, owning it and caring for it. I never thought about the “ease” of grabbing something in a situation when you need it, valid point.
      Where did you end up going to sell your DVDs? Any preferred places? And solid – love that you bought dividend stocks that took care of what adds value to your life : )

      -Lanny

      • Hi Lanny!

        I’m from Germany and we’ve services here like reBuy.de and Momox.de where you can sell stuff in batches almost effortless. But most of it I sold on good old Ebay or Ebay Kleinanzeigen (which is like your Craigslist I think). Ebay is more time consuming of course but you get rewarded money wise much better as for the first two options.

        CU Ingo.

  2. I think the key to streamlining our lives is to get rid of the stuff as well as our obsession with more stuff. For example, if I clear out my guest bedroom closet, I don’t need to go out and buy more crap to fill it back up again. I’m trying to find a balance between the stuff I have and knowing what’s useful.

    • Picky Pincher –

      I agree, you end up freeing up your time and “thoughts”/mental capacity thinking about your stuff. Excited to keep dissolving of my belongings that don’t add any value to me!

      -Lanny

  3. Lanny,
    I keep on guard to not get too much stuff ever. Our recent move allowed us to get rid of some stuff. It felt good, and we probably could get rid of a few more things, but at this point it is not worth the effort. We were living in a 1 bedroom and now have a townhouse. There are entire rooms empty, and we have continued our space efficiency. However, there is a baby coming that could throw a gigantic human sized monkey wrench into that progress. But, I will do my best to keep him on my side.
    – Gremlin

    • Gremlin –

      That is phenomenal. I am sure moving allows you to take a hard look at something to either keep it, sell it, donate it or throw it away. With the baby coming – you’ll need space to have the baby grow, but should be well worth it!!

      -Lanny

  4. We’re working on decluttering and it does feel good to get rid of a bunch of things you don’t really need, especially when you make a little money in the process. We’re looking at the garage as our next (and biggest) opportunity to get rid of stuff.

    • Kitty –

      Thank you for the comment! It is always nice to make some “coin” selling your items, and investing those into dividend stocks to produce a little additional income. Looking forward to doing more of it!

      -Lanny

  5. Totally agree and commend you for your actions guys. I went through a purge a couple years ago. Actually made several thousand dollars selling audio equipment, compact discs, road bicycles, etc. that had accumulated during our earlier days of consumerism. We also donated and threw out stuff just like you. Your 3 action categories are right on. The side benefit was I reclaimed the use of my basement as a result of the process.
    Have a great weekend, Tom

  6. Thanks for sharing Lanny. This is a process we should all be doing more often. Having moved recently, I discovered a few boxes of things I never use. This would be a perfect place to start with options 1-3. I also have a bunch of blurays/dvds I don’t watch that should net me some nice funds to use towards my next stock purchase.

    • Adam –

      Exactly, those boxes… that are never re-opened, I had about three myself that I have now gone through/is now finished. Every dollar matters, and if that means selling something to use the proceeds to buy stock – hell yah.

      -Lanny

  7. One of the nice things about living in modern times is how easy it is to not build up a big pile of stuff. I can have a massive library of books on my kindle and never have to buy DVDs anymore either since I stream everything. On top of that, I can download all the video games i want via the internet and do all manner of things like that which really saves space. I did leave a ton of stuff at my parent’s house when I moved out a while back and I should probably go back there and see how much of it I can sell. I had a good deal of stuff that would probably go for something on ebay like old video games, or books or sports memorabilia.

    • Time –

      Technology has changed the landscape of how we can store things. We can now even electronically store pictures, old projects/reports we hold on to from college/HS/school, old notes we can scan in, etc.. And you have already mentioned the music/movies(shows)/books. Great way to use technology to your advantage, I would say.

      And yes – get back there and sell that stuff!!

      -Lanny

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