Did you know that British research learned that an average 10-year-old child, will have about 238 toys? But will only play with about 12 of them.
Or how about that America only accounts for 3.1% of the total children in the world. Yet accounts for 40% of the world’s toy consumption.
Over the last 50 years, the number of things we own has doubled. Owning things is considered a sign of progress and prosperity. The more we earn the more we own. This is how we have been programmed.
A hilarious learning is that on average we spend 9 minutes a day searching for things we have misplaced in our own homes. Keys and cell phones being right up there on the list!
We have been taught that the more you buy, the happier you will feel. Retail therapy, shop till you drop, shopaholics. These are all commonly used expressions these days but didn’t exist just a few decades ago.
The desire to own, is fueled by the society we are in. Companies advertising, celebrities endorsing, Banks giving out credit cards and of course; our neighbours buying something new.
We can’t help it, it is the society we live in. We are bombarded by messages saying that “you are nothing, if you don’t own these pair of shoes”. Or “without this cream you will remain ugly and single”. While rationally we know that these messages are rubbish. Our subconscious mind is going bananas!!! It wants to be accepted, it wants to be cool. And the only way is to buy buy buy!
Soon your house is full and your bank is empty. Your hands feel full but your heart feels empty. That is the unfortunate reality of living a materialistic life. Things we thought would bring us eternal joy, lie unused after a week.
Happiness can’t come from what you own. But how you use it. A dining table filled with friends vs. dining alone. Same table but different uses.
One of my favourite Warren Buffet quotes is “If you buy things you do not need, Soon you will have to sell the things you need”. This is so true, how often are we living beyond our means?
Are you constantly fighting to save money? By the end of the month you are running on empty? Or are you just constantly looking for the next thing you can own!
If this describes you, you need to try a bit of minimalism.
I like minimalism because it gives me mental clarity and I feel it is cool!
But you should start by first thinking about, why you want to try minimalism.
You want to save money, to get out of debt
You want more space around the home
You want more time to yourself and your family
You need more peace and simplicity in your lifestyle
You want experiences over things
These are all valid reasons for starting a minimalistic journey.
Step 1 of minimalism: Accept that we have too much around the house.
Start by choosing one room. Go through all your possessions in the room and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”, “Will it bring me happiness and joy?. If not donate it or throw it away.
Get rid of all duplicates in the room, two scissors, 25 pencils, Etc. Get rid of those cosmetics and perfumes that are almost over.
By the time you finish the room, you will be shocked by just how much you had lying around that you never used.
Step 2: Create the habit of replacing:
For the next month, don’t buy anything new, instead replace things that are over or not working. Example only by a new shirt if you are getting rid of an old shirt. Or buy a shampoo only after the one you are using is over. This one simple tip will save you a lot of money over the month.
It will also teach you to think twice or thrice before buying something.
So your simple habit is, before you buy, always ask yourself, “Do I really really need this?” “Do I have something at home that is similar?” “What will this replace at home?”
Try this out for just a month and see how your life changes. Clear the clutter and buy only what you need… not what society tells you, you need.