Sunday, 24 June 2012

less stuff, more happiness

It seems that within every aspect of our lives we are faced with such an overwhelming amount of choices and products we simply must buy in order to improve our lives; what to buy, wear, watch, listen to, eat are just the tip of the iceberg. We are bombarded from every angle at every opportunity and for me personally (and I think maybe quite a few others too), it's all become a bit too much.

Simplifying life, breaking it down to the bare bones of what's important seems more appealing every day. And that certainly has nothing to do with having at least forty pairs of shoes, a fancy car, all the latest gadgets and every toy under the sun for the children. Especially when there's not much that makes a kid happier than a cardboard box. When we near the end of our days and we reflect on the decades that have passed, I doubt it will be all our posessions that will be at the forefront of our mind, but rather happy times spent with loved ones, perhaps places travelled to and memories made.

For me the dream is a carefully edited home (and life) filled only with things that we truly love and actually use. This is not really the current reality, but hopefully we are slowly making our way there and two international relocations within as many years have helped. I like the idea that if an item is required for practical purposes, there's no reason it shouldn't also be beautiful. Then there's the fact that if you own less, it also means less time needs to be spend cleaning, organising, tidying and more precious minutes can be devoted to doing what's really important.

Personally, the major stumbling block is that I'm apt to assign sentimental value to almost everything and then can't bear to part with any of it. As a life long hoarder of things, I know our home will never ever be what could be described as minimalist but I am really trying to be more mindful of what I buy- less but better quality items, and I've made a promise to myself to purge on a regular basis (though when you live in a glorified shoebox is actually more of a necessity than anything else). Our local op shop (charity shop) is in for a treat.

Image by Ye Rin Mok

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