“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.” –Peace Pilgrim
Four years ago, we sold, donated, or discarded over 60% our possessions. We removed clothes, furniture, decorations, cookware, tools, books, toys, plus anything else we could find in our home that was not immediately useful or beautiful.
At the time, the idea of owning fewer possessions was completely foreign to us. Nobody had ever told us living with fewer possessions was an option for life… much less a better alternative to the endless pursuit of more and more.
Looking back, while I would have never admitted with my words that I was seeking joy in possessions, I had become more influenced by our consumer-driven culture than I would like to admit. As a result, I worked long hours to earn money to buy newer technology, trendier clothing, nicer toys, faster cars, and bigger houses. I didn’t really believe the purpose of life was to chase possessions, but my calendar and checkbook sure seemed to declare that truth.
Choosing to intentionally live with fewer possessions was a decision that sounded surprisingly attractive. It was a decision that found its roots in our finances, our family, and our faith. We had grown weary of living paycheck to paycheck, weary of trading time with our kids to manage our possessions, and weary of pursuing worldly gain rather than lasting purpose. Owning less offered escape from the clutter in our homes. It offered escape from the clutter in our lives. It forced intentionality. And it offered the very ideals our hearts most desperately desired.
Since choosing to live with less, we have experienced numerous unexpected benefits. We have more time, more energy, more freedom, and more money to pursue what is most important to us. Owning less means less cleaning, less burden, less anxiety, and less stress each and every day. In short, we are freed to pursue our passions.
Over the years, I have come to define minimalism as the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. I have found it to be a lifestyle that appeals to the heart and resonates with the soul. Owning less is an invitation that is appreciated, desired, and accepted when fully understood. It may be just the answer to a better life you’ve been searching for all along.