By Chase Kanger: Staff Writer
We live in a society in which materialistic things hold a lot of value. The car you drive, the house you live in, down to the shoes you wear. Our whole lives we are exposed to the idea that you are what you own. Therefore we get into the mindset of working to buy, working to improve, wanting, and needing more things.
We are swimming in stuff, especially in the United States. The average American family spends $1,700 on clothes per year, and every year, it’s safe to assume that only a small portion of those clothes get discarded. Therefore we keep adding on and on to the things we own.
Living a minimalist lifestyle can be intense, and be a big life change, however rather than committing to that lifestyle 100%, there are things that you can adopt from it that will make your life less stressful, save you money, and benefit the environment. Minimalizing things you own to the essentials that you specifically need, can be freeing. The media portrays people who are opulent in their possessions as important people, so, if you’re trying to be “important” based on what you own, you will never be satisfied. Capitalism is why this particular thing, such as a car, will be old news in a year. The constant competition companies are in makes it impossible to own the best of the best, all the time. This leads to comparison, and dissatisfaction in your life. However, if you put more thought into what you buy, based upon what you need it for, and whether it benefits you in the long run, the only thing you are comparing yourself to is you.
Picking your essentials makes you more grounded in why you need them, it makes you more mindful of how you take care of them, and it helps you find contentment in what you already have. Not to mention hygiene, a home with less clutter is easier to clean up after. For example, that pan has its place, and that dresser isn’t overflowing with clothes. When everything has its place around you, and according to Sherri Gordan, an author for the Very Well Mind, “Research has found that cleaning can have a number of positive effects on your mental health. For instance, it helps you gain a sense of control over your environment and engage your mind in a repetitive activity that can have a calming effect..”
Live moves so fast, and having as much freedom and control as you can over it will allow you to spend more time on the things that matter to you most. By simply just reducing the things you deem essential to your life, will save you money and time. The phrase “you cannot take it with you when you’re gone”, that’s it, no further explanation. Minimalize what you need and go and live your life.