Living with Less ‘Stuff’…. It’s Growing on Me

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I’ve moved house three times in the past year… and I’m moving again in two weeks’ time. Before you sympathise, I better tell you this shifting epidemic is really a bi-product of the choice I made to travel around the world (…for three months, this time last year). Fair trade-off, I would say?  The thing is, moving-house isn’t an anxiety-ridden upheaval for me, as it can understandably be for most people. In fact, on average, it takes me just one afternoon and two full-car-trips to get ‘all my stuff’ from place A to place B… and I love that.


Over the past twelve months I’ve shed more possessions than Taylor Swift has shed boyfriends… and it’s becoming addictive (for both of us, clearly).


It all started when I was travelling around the world this time last year –  to New York, The Greek Islands, London and our own Byron Bay – I lived from a single suitcase for three months. I found a new comfort in this mobility; and really did not (for one moment) miss having choices upon choices of shoes, bags, dresses, jackets, lipsticks and hairbrushes. I didn’t miss ‘my things’… at all.  Maybe I was blinded by the shiny lights of being abroad, but at no moment did I think “I wish I had my lifetime collection of DVD’s with me” or “this moment would be way better if I had my 27 pairs of earrings here.” It made me realise that ‘all my stuff’ didn’t have any impact on how happy I was.


My addiction to shedding heightened when I returned home to Australia; over the course of the past twelve months I have dragged no less than ten garbage-bags stretched full of ‘stuff’ to The Salvation Army shop. I make ‘the drop’ early in the morning before they open (even though you’re not supposed to leave stuff out the front out) – I don’t know why I do this, maybe I have some complex about them judging me on my things, or perhaps I just enjoy being ‘that mysterious donator who used to wear Portman’s suits and Midas shoes’.  Either way, I have to say I’m literally looking forward to my next drop. I’m hooked.


There is something so cleansing about de-cluttering en-masse. Getting rid of a fair chunk of your ‘stuff’ makes you really selective about what you ‘keep’ and what you ‘choose to buy’ moving forward. Sure, buying things still gives me an insanely heightened sense of pleasure; I love seeking out something trendy & new (I’m guilty of bragging about an amazing new leather dress I wore just last week) – but as for accumulating, having and keeping lots of different things… I feel like I’m done with it.


I think ‘living with less’ makes you more materially mindful. While I can’t attribute any additional happiness to a life with less (so far); I can certainly say that I feel mentally lighter for having eased the weight of my physical possessions. It’s a true weight off my shoulders. Maybe now there’s more room for me.


p.s…. There’s a major blog movement towards ‘living with less’ (just Google It to see what I mean).


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One Response

  1. Asta

    October 21, 2013 1:09 pm

    Great to read this. Simple Living is very important to me (I have a FB fan page on this) and I ponder the concept of less often. I have worn the same dress for a week (in different ways), I have considered that we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. I throw out clothing… I go to salvos and I get more clothing. I hold them all lightly and think nothing of giving them away again/ swapping etc. I just like colour, variety and it costs me around $6 to dress myself. I never buy new. Well mostly never. We have moved often and I find that I start off well and then it has a life of its own – clutter – and before I know it I am overrun again, and often with things I haven’t even brought into the house myself (family of 5). Recently I removed a room full of stuff… I felt joyous and light. A lounge with just book cases and two armchairs! (Oh and art on the wall and photos. I am an artist.) I know in my heart that the things I have stored could be gone through again. You know those sentimental things? My kids art work, their stories, reports etc. I am thinking I could frame one good painting each and photograph the other things. Maybe. I am leaving that for a day when I feel stronger. My children are mostly grown now. The empty nest looms closer. Probably not a good time to do this. (Or perhaps it is???) Asta x


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