“Anyone with two tunics should share with him who has none.” – John the Baptist
Four years ago, we made a bold, life-changing decision. We decided to intentionally live with fewer possessions. It had become very clear to us that our clutter was stealing time, energy, and focus from our pursuits that mattered most. And removing unneeded possessions would free up precious resources and opportunity.
We started right away working through each room, closet, and drawer in our home to remove the unnecessary clutter from our home and lives.
Along the way, we began noticing a troubling trend: duplicates. In fact, we owned duplicates of nearly everything. We began to quickly realize we had bought into thinking that went like this, “If owning one of something is nice, owning more will be even better.”
But we were wrong. And lately, I have begun to intentionally embrace a new philosophy. I have begun to appreciate the simple joys of owning one.
Consider the benefits of owning just one of an item:
- We own only our favorite of every object.
- We take better care of our belongings.
- We routinely use each of our owned possessions.
- We can quickly identify what needs to be repaired or replaced.
- We can easily identify the importance and purpose of each item.
- We create opportunity to own higher quality items.
- We find more capacity to help others with our excess.
- We experience increased intentionality in our purchases and possessions.
There is indeed a peaceful joy to be discovered in simply owning one. And this principle can be applied to almost any item we own: One coat. One spatula. One mug. One pen. One set of bedding. One television. One…
Surely, the practical implications of this principle will vary from household to household. Its opportunity will play out differently in your home than mine.
But the simple joy of owning one has too quickly been forgotten. It is time we remember its simple beauty… and live less cluttered lives because of it.
Image: Wolfgang Staudt