I have set myself a new challenge this year – Live More, Own Less.
Simply, by the end of this year I want, at least, 1/3 fewer physical possessions than I have right now.
I want more freedom and mobility. I want to be able to pick up and move at a moments notice. I want to focus more on accomplishments and less on possessions.
Sometimes, (particularly if I’m looking through tabloids in the grocery checkout line) I think I may be one of the only people in the world who thinks walk-in closets, McMansions, and multi-car garages are grossly excessive. Bigger does not mean better.
In the name of environmental activism and rational thought, I have declared a war on stuff. I am kicking materialism squarely in the nutz. I would rather be out in the world, experiencing it than trying to own it.
To meet my stripped down life goal I am giving away, or recycling one box of former belongings every week. So far I’ve given away an estimated ¼ of my possessions – well ahead of target! Goodwill has received most of the items because they also recycle textiles if they can’t use them.
And here’s the really cool side effect– it feels great!
The more I’ve given away. The better I’ve felt. More liberated. It’s become almost addictive. My tiny apartment looks better too.
I’m also consuming less because a) I loath shopping b) I’m thinking about every single item I bring into my apartment. I only buy what I absolutely need and concentrate on quality. If it won’t last forever, then I don’t want it.
If you’d like to try the same experience I recommend starting with formal attire. Purge your life of formality. All of mine is gone! I don’t care how sentimental it seemed – I have pictures.
I found a group called Working Wardrobes, which provides clothing for people seeking jobs, but also helps girls in need find dresses for formal occasions like prom and homecoming. Working Wardrobes got all my dresses. Including the one and only pageant dress I ever owned. Some of the dresses were great, some I would rather forget (pageant dress), but now all will find new homes.
What have I done with my extra freedom?
I have some incredible plans before the end of the year, but for right now I’ve: written a full length play, gone to museums to see the Endeavor Spacecraft and an exhibit of original photography from Queen Victoria’s reign, found Monarch butterflies and snakes in my neighborhood, seen the desert bloom after the rain, played with new baby niece while teaching other niece archery, etc.. All fun.
Next Live More Own Less Project:
I have to find a new home for my old mountain bike, perhaps with a kids non-profit, but it needs to be refurbished.