In a recent Op Ed article in The New York Times, Graham Hill tells the story of how he accumulated so much stuff after he sold his start-up company that he came to feel that he did not own the things he bought but they ended up owning him. Although he’s unusual in getting a windfall from the sale of a tech start-up, he’s like many of us whose life is cluttered with excess belongings.
“Does all this endless consumption result in measurably increased happiness?” he asks in the Op Ed piece. Studies have shown that things do not, in fact, add to our happiness.
“Intuitively, we know that the best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all,” Hill continues, “and that relationships, experiences and meaningful work are the staples of a happy life.”
He ends his piece with “My space is small. My life is big.”
Laura Bloom is also a believer in living with less. In a post on her blog Finding Walden, Bloom writes that she is a big fan of throwing away stuff because she wants her house to be a space where things can happen. “I want to walk into a room and feel a sense of possibility, and spaciousness,” she says. “I don’t want to be reminded in countless ways of the past.”
Bloom was inspired by To Have or To Be, whose author Erich Fromm says there are two essential ways of being – having or being. Although our society encourages “having” Bloom follows Fromm’s idea that by not having, you create more space for real being.
“Throwing stuff away, even precious, valuable stuff, can be lightening and liberating” she states. In a comment to the post, a reader called this “a mental spring cleaning.”
We’ve just talked about about two people who made the choice to live with less.
According to a post by Patricia Redsicker, blogs outrank social networks in influencing consumer purchasing decisions.
Perhaps blogs can influence readers NOT to make purchases, too. What do you think? Did reading this post help you to not buy something or to get rid of something you already have? If so, what was the item and why? We would love to hear your story.
≈Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home design, crafts, and food, and author of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home
Filed under: Buy Nothing Day, decluttering, downsizing, downsizing the home, emptying the house, getting rid of stuff, gratitude, green living, happiness, living with less, spring cleaning | Tagged: decluttering, downsizing, emptying the house, getting rid of stuff, getting rid of things, gratitude, green living, living with less, share your stories |