Do you own your stuff, or does your stuff own you? I believe that when you have a lot of belongings, there is a certain amount of time and energy that must go toward caring for those belongings. Cleaning, organizing, and maintenance are all tasks that go with the territory, not to mention the amount of money it cost to buy the stuff in the first place. Could that time, energy, and money be devoted to other areas in your life? Would you trade your stuff for an amazing life experience?
I get a feeling of relief when I get rid of stuff. I actually enjoy purging my home of things I no longer use, and going through this process forces me to take a look at the things I’ve purchased in the past and evaluate those purchases. I’m often amazed at some of the dumb things I buy. If I haven’t used something in a year, I usually get rid of it. If possible I’ll try to sell the things I no longer use at a yard sale. What I can’t sell I will donate or recycle. When I’m going through this process I think about the money I could have saved had I never bought these items in the first place. How would I use that money if I had it today? I can tell you that I would NOT go out and buy more stuff. I think spending your money on experiences is far more rewarding and long-lasting. Lately I have been trying to have less, but do more. I avoid purchases of items that I don’t absolutely need, and instead I save my money for vacations, activities, or classes that I am interested in. I bet you can’t remember most of the purchases you made this year, but I bet you can remember your last vacation. What is more valuable to you, the stuff in your home, or the experiences that you have lived? Which of those has a greater effect on you as a person? For me its the experiences, every time. When someone asks me about myself, I like to talk about where I’ve been and what I have done, not what I own.
Instead of dropping your hard earned cash on stuff you want, make a list of things you want to do, places you want to visit, or hobbies you want to pursue. If you have stuff you don’t use, try to sell it, donate it or put it to another use. Make it your priority to collect experiences and skills instead of belongings. Your stuff might not last very long, but the things you experience will stay with you forever.