4 Ways to Own Less and Live More

4 Ways to Own Less and Live More

by Sandra Zwick

I used to own piles of fashion jewelry. I had a collection of cute earrings, funky necklaces, and edgy rings. I bought it because it was cheap, it was pretty and it was an easy pick-me-up when I’d had a bad day or wanted to treat myself. Then one day I came to the realization that I couldn’t stand fashion jewelry.

It turned my skin green, it fell apart easily, I could never be bothered to pair things with outfits and I realized I was spending more time untangling and organizing the stupid things than actually wearing them. In fact, I avoided wearing it altogether. So I decided to ditch it. The moment I did I felt…relief. It was like a tiny piece of my mental space had been cleared and could now be dedicated to something far more useful and constructive. It was a simple action but this is how my unintentional, yet addictive, journey toward minimalism began.

Most people hear the term “minimalism” and picture either a Wall Street businessman living in a cold, glass and chrome apartment or some sort of unkempt hippie that has been wearing the same clothes for the last three days. Let me just assure you, I am neither of those. Minimalism is not about having no possessions. It’s about owning what you need and not giving in to a lifestyle driven by over-consumption. Living simply brings with it enormous benefits and today.

I want to share with you four benefits that prove owning less allows you to live more.

1. You’re more organized

Have you ever been cooking dinner and want to grab a spatula only to discover that two are in the dishwasher, one is missing and the only one left is the one with the melted handle that you don’t really like (but still keep) so you give up and use one of your six wooden spoons instead? Did you ever stop to wonder how this stuff accumulates? No sane person actually thinks that a normal household requires 10 different instruments to stir food with, do they? Do things breed in the drawers when you’re not looking? More importantly, why the hell do we keep it?

I used to have a drawer of kitchen utensils that was so full I couldn’t even open it properly. I had a linen cupboard overflowing with towels and bed sheets. Ironically, I also stalked blogs and Pinterest boards on organization, obsessively trying to figure out how to keep things neat and tidy. Then, much like my aforementioned jewelry collection, I realized that if I didn’t own it, I wouldn’t have to organize it!

*Cue angel chorus*
Today I have a jar on the counter that houses all five (yep, that’s all of them) of my utensils and it takes mere seconds to grab what I need. Even if you’re a naturally disorganized person, owning fewer means you’re (more) organized… by default! Which brings me to my second point. When your life is organized…

2. You have more time

Every woman knows the feeling of having an overflowing wardrobe and nothing to wear. If on average, you spend just 10 minutes every morning trying to decide what to wear, that works out at over 2.5 days a year dedicated to choosing your clothes. Sound ridiculous? Wait until you add in the time spent rummaging through your make up case, sifting through a pile of papers, rifling through your handbag or washing, hanging, ironing, folding and putting away the never-ending piles of clothes…

Days (and for some, weeks) of your life are wasted each year because of your “stuff” When you have less stuff not only do you spend less time cleaning, sorting, organizing and maintaining that stuff (not to mention searching for things!) you spend less time purchasing it in the first place! Which of course means that you will have…

3. You have MORE Money!

A no-brainer; this one’s an obvious plus! And what do you get when you’re more organized and have more time and money? What everyone wants…

4. You have more freedom

Imagine receiving an amazing job offer, with the only catch being that you have to pack up and move interstate or overseas next month. For many, the mere thought of having to pack their life into boxes is overwhelming enough to induce a panic attack. They then sabotage the opportunity by coming up with 101 reasons why they can’t make the move when, really, they’re just tied down by their “stuff”.

When you make a conscious decision about decreasing the number of things you own, you’re also making a conscious decision to uncomplicate your life; so instead of filling it with objects, you fill it with beautiful people, amazing experiences and cherished memories. I’d trade my spatulas for that any day.

Sandra Zwick

about the author

Sandra Zwick

Sandra is a writer and holistic health counselor on a mission to help 20-something year old women figure out how live simply, passionately, freely, consciously and abundantly.


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