There is actually more joy in owning less
There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.” —Jackie French Koller
I heard an ad on the radio the other day for one of those loans where you sell a share of your home and you receive a lump sum cash amount to spend. When you sell, they get an agreed percentage of the future sale proceeds of your home, whenever that might be. The ad was aimed at Fiftyups who are considering downsizing and included the line “would you still be able to enjoy a lifetime of collected treasures”.
A lifetime of treasures….or a house full of crap? I guess it depends on how you look at it. The older I’m getting the more I’m realising that I’m a minimalist. Trouble is, I live with a hoarder. My dear old mum is 82 and we share a house that we both have equity in. It is just as much hers as it is mine, so it’s important that she surrounds herself with her “things”.
But it’s driving me crazy. Lately I’ve taken to making things mysteriously disappear when she’s not looking. For example, the statue pictured above has been sitting on top of the fridge my entire adult life. I’ve seen it, read it, get it, now hate it. When mum went on holidays in 2014, I thought I’d test my theory as to whether she would even notice it was gone…….nope…..it’s now taking up landfill somewhere in Sydney….thank goodness. Mum also loves writing quotes and notes and sticky taping them all over the kitchen cupboards. It’s a sore point for me….
From the moment we’re born, we’re told to pursue more. Ads from every television, radio, newspaper, magazine, billboard, and website scream to us on a daily basis that more is better.
As a result, we work hard hours so that we can spend countless dollars purchasing the biggest homes, fanciest cars, trendiest fashions, most popular toys, and coolest technologies.
But we all know it’s not true. We all know, deep-down, that happiness can not be bought at a department store—more is not necessarily better. We’ve just been told the lie so many times we begin to believe it.
I’ve noticed though there is a swing towards simplifying things. How many times have you seen Top 3, 3 or 10 lists? I often feature them here in the newsletter to entice you to read more..if it’s only 3 things, you’ve got time for that right?
Oprah once said “We wear 10% of our clothes 90% of the time”. How true is that?
Canadian Air Force pilot Matt Souveny started the 10 Item Wardrobe Challenge. He pared his wardrobe down to 10 items (not including socks, underwear and outerwear). The 10 items include one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, two T-shirts, one button-down, one sweatshirt, one pair of joggers, one pair of boots, a blazer and a belt. That’s it.
Matt is chronicling his experiment on his blog This Stylish Life. Here’s some of what he wrote about his first month:
What I have found is that choosing what I wear each day is dictated only by what is clean and the weather outside. I don’t think about colours, social encounters, or situations. I have stopped chasing sales online or thinking about how to fill this or that imaginary gap in my wardrobe. It has given me more free time away from the internet and I’ve actually started reading books again, which I haven’t had the time to do for years. I guess I was too busy shopping.
A few years ago I spent a couple of weeks at a holiday park on the NSW Central Coast. We stayed in a beach house that included a kitchen with basic kitchen utensils:
- Tongs x 2
- Slotted spoon
- Carving Knives x 2 (Serrated and non serrated)
- Potato masher
- Vegetable Peeler
- Can Opener
- Measuring cups
- Table spoon
- Pasta claw thingy
- 6 x bread and butter knives
- 6 x steak knives
- 5 x forks
- 6 x desert spoon
- 6 x teaspoon
- Pepper and Salt
- Pair of Salad spoons
- I skillet pan
- 3 x saucepan (small medium and large)
We stayed there for two weeks and honestly I didn’t need anything else. When I look at the second draw in my kitchen at home (or anyone else’s kitchen for that matter), it’s full of other stuff that never gets used like the garlic press (we buy crushed in a jar) and the pizza cutter (a knife works just as well).
Just imagine if you could or had to, get rid of all of you belongings. Would you buy as much stuff the second time around?
Here’s a Top 3 to try at home (it’s only 3 remember..)
Living With Less
Decorations. Take a moment to walk through your home with a discerning eye. Leave only the decorations that are the most meaningful and the most beautiful. Your home will begin to share your story in a beautiful way.
Cooking Utensils. We need far less cooking utensils than we currently own. See my list above and get rid of everything else.
Furniture. Removing excess furniture from your rooms will immediately open up significant space and airflow in your home. The rarely-used pieces of furniture in your home are quickly recognizable and taking up more space than you realize.
Do you live with less? Share your stories below...I'd love to hear them..Kayley