by Debbie Peck
We live in a consumer society. Who doesn’t love shopping? We fill our homes with so much stuff, but there are hidden costs when you collect too much.
As someone who has given up almost all my stuff and started over (twice!), I know what a freeing experience it can be. But I’m not going to lie – it was also very scary. The first time I did it, I remember pushing my sofa off the end of a truck and having a mini attack. But the minute it hit the ground, I experienced a euphoric feeling of being free.
You may think that it’s only the initial cost of purchasing the items that you need to worry about, but in reality, there are several hidden costs. Here are 5 reasons you should consider paring down:
No Time For Other Things
When you are continually utilizing and maintaining all your possessions, there is little time to do other activities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person spends a little over 2 hours per day on household chores. This would be amplified the more stuff you have – more laundry, more dusting, more sorting. Many people with a lot of stuff tend to stay home more instead of going out and exploring what the world or even what their own neighborhood has to offer.
You can start to go into overwhelm. This affects not only the physical space you live in but other aspects of your life as well, such as work and relationships. You can feel depressed, tired and even sick as more stuff piles into your life. Clutter causes chaos and many people find that they can’t find a sense of calm when there is too much stuff clogging their physical space. In addition to that, you may also notice that you are less creative. I once visited an office that was so crammed with stuff I wondered how they were able to get any work done.
When you have too much clutter, it can make it hard to clean your house effectively. Dust and allergens can build up in places that are hard to clean, causing many different ailments.
Acquisition and Maintenance costs
In addition to the cost of purchasing your stuff, you also have to maintain it. Consider that if you own 2 vehicles, that will be double the maintenance. If you can release items that you don’t use often, it can free up space and cost you less money. For example, I noticed that I rarely print anything anymore. Maybe once a month. So I got rid of my printer and instead visit the local copy/print shop once a month or so. The inkjet cartridges were expensive, compared to the little I was using them.
Always Keeping Up With “The Joneses”
This phenomenon of having bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger everything just so we can maintain what our neighbors are doing is costing you more than you think. When you have more stuff, you either need to buy a bigger house or find a way to store some of your possessions. It’s one of the reasons for the recent popularity of the Tiny House idea.
I’m now traveling the world and living out of a suitcase. I have discovered that the things I value most are not physical items. They are relationships with my family and friends and the amazing people I have met on my journeys, and the experiences I’ve had.
Debbie Peck. I am known as the Digital Trendsetter. As a Digital Strategist and Certified Social Media Manager I help companies stay ahead of the curve by creating campaigns that humanize your brand, engage with your ideal audience and increase profits.
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