Friday, January 27, 2012

Living in the Land of Enough

There is so much to be gained from down-sizing your life.

I remember watching an Oprah episode featuring an interview with Tom Shadyac, who wrote scripts and directed movies (Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, Ace Ventura, etc.). In 2007, he sold his 17,000 sq ft multi-million dollar mansion in L.A. and moved into a nice trailer home. According to Tom, it was one of the best decisions of his life, and he described it as an enormous weight being lifted.

Tom finally freed himself from all of his stuff.

While most of us aren't exactly weighed down by L.A. mansions, luxury cars, and enormous yachts, we definitely all live in the land of excess.

I'll be the first to admit that I love nice things; however, it's difficult to enjoy the nice things when we are surrounded with so many things in general. To better appreciate your things, and to avoid the temptation of buying more things, I strongly suggest getting rid of your crap.

Last week, I rummaged through all of the kitchen cabinets and drawers, tossing out the junk. In one small cabinet, we had over fifty drinking glasses and plastic cups.

For the most part, it's only me and Brian using these dishes. Two people do not need fifty glasses.

It's also much more pleasant unloading the dishwasher and finding that there is actually room for the dishes.

In the past, unloading the dishwasher also meant rearranging everything in the cabinet.
It was a game of moving, shifting, and stacking to see how much could possibly fit.
It was The Art of Cramming.


After emptying the cabinets, Brian and I sorted through what we wanted to keep, what we wanted to throw out, and what we wanted to donate. Of course, when Brian wasn't looking, I would throw a few extra things into the trash pile.

I took two boxes of dishes to Goodwill. Not only did I feel like a good Samaritan, I felt more appreciative of the stuff we had decided to keep. After all, the stuff we chose to keep was the stuff we always preferred using in the first place.

When I went shopping at Home Goods later that day with my mom and sister, I found that I wasn't as tempted by the unique kitchen gadgets, the cute coffee mugs, or the cool appliances. I enjoyed my time perusing the aisles and left the store without spending a dime!

If you want to start embracing simplicity and frugality, you must acknowledge the unnecessary crap that surrounds you.

Toss it.
Donate it.
Burn it.
Get rid of it.

And then maybe you'll stop buying more.

Helpful Blog Links:
Becoming Minimalist
Be More with Less

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