We live in a material society where our main goal seems to be to acquire more stuff. We buy bigger cars, bigger houses, and of course, lots and lots of stuff to fill these houses. The idea is that we can buy happiness by buying more “stuff”. We’ve been living this way in the western world for quite some time. But are we really happier with all those material possessions?
More and more people are starting to feel that all this extra stuff weighs us down and adds to the stress we’re feeling. All these things have to be taken care of and with bigger houses and cars come bigger maintenance issues and repair costs.
In the search for happiness there is a new trend of owning less, and living simpler, more minimalistic lives. We see it in the trend towards minimalism, tiny houses, and in the success of books like “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space there must be something to this idea of owning less and focusing less on buying and owning things.
Does this mean that to be happy we need to give away all our stuff and move into a tiny house or apartment? Of course not. But what it may indicate is that spending a little time decluttering and getting rid of some things can give us a feeling of breathing room and freedom.
It also means that instead of accumulating more stuff, we should try focusing on experiences. Instead of buying a fancy car, new furniture, or a new set of golf clubs, take that money and spend it on a fun family trip. Use it to spend quality time with your loved ones and make beautiful memories. Not only will you increase your happiness during the time you’re on vacation, you’ll also feel joy as you remember this trip and the time spent with your spouse and kids.
Today, make a plan to eliminate the clutter or dysfunction in one area of your home, office or classroom. Hey, sometimes even just cleaning out my purse can help me feel more clear and focused. Set the timer and get as much done as you cane within the allotted amount of time. Now, how does that feel? Great, right?!? Make a plan to clear at least one small area each day and watch how your mood is boosted when you're not drowning in stuff.