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The first assignment in Joshua Becker’s Uncluttered class is to find your reason “why.”
Why do you want to own less? Why do you want to simplify your life?
Then you boil your main reason(s) into one sentence. Just one. For me this was an exercise in simplifying itself because there are all sorts of reasons I want to own less and simplify my life.
I like to own less because it cuts down on stress and overload in my brain.
Being in a room of my home when there are things lying everywhere overloads my brain.
All of the items are calling out for me to “do something!” Whether it’s the pack of markers calling me to practice lettering, my washi tape calling to open my bullet journal and make some colorful tracker that I’ll never actually use, or my kettlebells silently judging me for flopping on the couch after work instead of exercising, (even if I worked out on lunch) the clutter seems to chatter incessantly in my ears.
This can be used to advantage – for example, kettlebells in plain sight on days I DONT work out on lunch can motivate me to get some exercise in. But the more things that are lying around, calling to me, the less likely I am to do anything other than distract myself by staring at a screen all evening.
When my attention is pulled in too many directions at once, even if I pick one thing to do, I’m often too distracted to give it my full attention and do it well. Owning less means less “noise” and more focus to choose and enjoy what I’m doing.
Owning less creates more time.
There are only so many hours in the day, and if you work nine hours a day, with nearly an hour of commuting, time is in short supply.
When I spend less time rifling through an over-full closet in the morning to find something to wear and accessorize with, I have more time and energy to take time for myself, and maybe even get a little sketching in.
If I’m having to clean and maintain less stuff on evenings and weekends, I have more time to spend with the people I love, or doing the things I love. I desire to own less so I have more time for the people and activities that make me happy.
Deciding to own less means I have more money to spend on what I do buy.
Two good watercolor brushes and a small pallet of quality paints are infinitely more useful and enjoyable than a whole room of cheap supplies. This principle applies to clothing and accessories. I can buy a whole slew of cheap throwaway fashion, or invest in fewer pieces that are higher quality (last longer), versatile (more useful), and fit well (look better!) As a bonus there’s actually room in my closet for it all!
The same principle can be applied to kitchenware, home decor, even food. I desire to own less so I can get the most value out of my money.
Deciding to own less, for me, also means owning less in a non-physical sense.
This includes my priorities, how many activities I’m involved in, and the things I spend time worrying about.
I can get stressed and anxious easily. This drains me of energy to do anything constructive, creative, or enjoyable.
Stress sucks the life out of the time we have – the time we spend on meaningful activities and the time we spend with others.
Having the time to do things we theoretically enjoy but being too stressed out to enjoy them isn’t really living.
I want to own less and simplify my life to create both physical and “head” space to do and enjoy.
So to put in into my one sentence…