Live with Less. Pursue Your Passions. Finally.

“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” —Nelson Mandela

We own too much stuff. And it is stealing our joy.

Consider how our possessions deplete our most finite and valuable resources:

Money: Everything we buy moves our financial balance closer to zero, sometimes even below. The Average American with credit card debt lives with $15,956 debt spread out over 3.5 credit cards. But it is not only families with debt that struggle. Recent statistics report nearly 8 out of every 10 Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Time: Our possessions rob us of precious minutes every day. They are required to be cleaned, organized, maintained, fixed, recycled, removed, and replaced. And that doesn’t even begin to account for all the time we spent working in the first place just to earn the money to buy the possessions that we take home to be cleaned and organized and maintained and…

Energy: Our excessive possessions demand our attention and mental energy. Clutter in our life contends for our eyes, our attention, and our focus. Our minds are subtly consumed with the pursuit of possessions. And the temptation to compare our possessions with those around us permeates our thoughts more than we’d like to admit.

But there is a far better way to live life. The removal of excessive possessions and the intentional decision to live with less offers countless benefits. In exchange for removing the clutter, we are rewarded with newfound finances, time, energy, freedom, and mental capacity. Our lives are lived with less stress, less anxiety, and less burden.

Life is immediately improved. Our finite resources become more available to us. In short, we are freed to pursue our greatest passions. And for some of us, it’s been a long time since we had access to the necessary finite resources required to chase our heart’s greatest delights—however we decide to define them.

For too long, we’ve bought into the lie that more is better. We’ve bought bigger houses and faster cars and trendier clothes and cooler toys, but we’ve traded far more than time and money to acquire them. We’ve traded the very passions and life we most desperately desire to pursue.

But they can be rediscovered. After all…

  • Living with less offers more time to spend on meaningful activities.
  • Living with less offers more freedom to travel and move about.
  • Living with less offers more clarity in our spiritual pursuits.
  • Living with less offers more mental capacity to solve our most heartfelt problems in life.
  • Living with less offers more finances to support causes we believe in.
  • Living with less even offers far greater flexibility in pursuing the careers we most desire.

Owning fewer possessions provides the perfect roadmap for living the life you’ve always dreamed of living. One that is lived pursuing the greatest passions in your heart. Maybe for the first time. Finally.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    I have been reading your blog for a few days now and it has become a safe-haven and given me a peace of mind in the midst of all of my junk. I have been needing to clean up for months, but now I realize that I need to GET RID OF – rather than re-organize the junk that is draining me.

    Your words make it a reality that I can become a minimalist in this very cluttered world.


  2. Jenny in NC says

    Speaking of causes I believe in, my family donates A LOT of money to our church. As in a full 10% tithe. We do this joyfully and willingly. We are happy to support and organization that helps our family, the poor and the community so much. The money is not a sacrifice at all, mostly because we have always lived within our means. If we didn’t tithe, we could have a much bigger house and a boat or RV, or more vacations, but I don’t think those things would be “better” than supporting something we truly care about.

    • says

      Jenny, I just wrote a post on my own blog about donating to the poor and needy through fast offerings. And I believe when you give away more money you actually open up space to receive more money.

      I grew up with an architect for a dad and he repeated over and over again that “less is more”- particularly in design. I am loving this blog as a reminder that less is more in many more areas.

    • Felicia says

      Thanks for sharing. I know you didn’t have to, but it helps to be reminded that tithing, sacrificially or not, not only has it’s rewards (spiritually and physically) but that it is what we Christians are called to do. We can trust God to open the storehouses of heaven when we are obedient to his command to tithe.

  3. says

    For me, the hardest part was the anxiety that came with passing up the opportunity to acquire something. I think that is how it makes it hard to give up the pursuit of minimalism. But once I got past that, I had a lot more mental freedom. Because after you buy something, you also have to put thought into rationalizing the purchase. So there is that mental freedom you speak of for sure in that aspect. But it is still a struggle for me.

    I have also found there is a lot more emotional room in my marriage because all along my husband wanted less in the house and I didn’t realize how much my ability to find “deals” and get good stuff for a bargain was working against his desire. Now that we are on the same wavelength, it is nice to have even more in common with each other as far as goals and life-views goes.

    But it is hard to change your mindset and pass things by! It makes it easier by focusing on the benefits. Keep on pointing them out!

    • Deniz says

      AlexM, you couldnt have summed my exact thoughts up better. Im in the exact same boat as you, especially in regards to the husband issue. It really makes you think ‘wow all these years he has been thinking the thoughts that i am only now being to understand!’. Minimalism is very new to me, but my husband was already there, and im only just realising it. It is comforting to know we are now on the same page.

    • Christopher Storer says

      “the anxiety that came with passing up the opportunity to acquire something” That exactly describes the way I feel. Every time a great deal comes by, I have to talk myself out of it. But it is getting easier!

      • says

        So true…The anxiety that is created when we feel that we have to buy something on sale and just walking away from the “opportunity” to aquire more stuff – can be intense. I admit, I can’t wait for the Sunday paper to come to see what is on sale this week in the flyers – CRAZY!!!

        • Michelle says

          My husband and I always sit and look through the ads with our second cup of coffee, and then say, “Why did we spend the time to look through those? We’re not going to buy anything anyway.” They are best when you need something (new shoes or jeans because the old ones fell apart), then you can look for a few weeks to find a sale.

          • joyce says

            This is why hubby and I cancelled out newspaper subscription. No need to sit around reading a recipe for discontent. We read the current events on-line and save the paper and energy that was used to produce and deliver the newspaper. If there is something specific we need, we can go on-line and see what sales are happening for that specific item, instead of looking through pages and pages of ads.

        • Angela says

          The way I outgrew the concept of needing to stock up on the “deal” that was only going to be “temporary” is to remind myself, every time, that I was literally being bilked. Stores put loss leaders on the front of their flyers–items they *expect* to lose money on, as the “deal” to draw us all in. We have Walmart, who intentionally lays out every store differently so we have to wander and then almost aimlessly drop items in our carts. It’s marketing, it’s to make *them* richer, not *us* happier. I’ve decided, and am teaching my kids, that we’re better off with those dollars firmly in our pockets. Now to get on with dealing with the collection we have (I’m the hand-me-down and freecycle queen so it’s not that I’ve spent the money, more that when someone offers, I have only recently began to say no, thank you, someone else will need that more than I/we do).

  4. says

    Really good post and a timely one for me. I am in the process of cleaning out so much stuff that has accumulated over the time. I know that a LOT of it is stuff I don’t really need to have becaused I lived minimally for two years without while it was in storage. Now that is the irony of it all, I paid a fee to store my stuff for nearly two years and it was stuff I didn’t use for that two years and now it still largely unused stuff taking up space in the garage and just in general in the way.

  5. Theo says

    I’ve recently started purging my clothes and belongings. When you put them all in a pile it’s hard to imagine where it all came from and how it fit in your room! A huge garbage bag of clothes to donate, and an “Ikea bag” with maybes, taken out of the closet I decided to move my clothes to a chest of drawers instead – and they fit! (Except some thick sweaters for the winter) Now I can use my wardrobe to store bags and sleeping bags/extra duvets which used to lay around where ever they fit.

    Two big paper bags of “stuff” to be donated as well! It’s just hard trying to determine what to save and sell, and what to donate.

    Though nothing has left the house yet, just having it in bags, ready to go, makes the room feel calmer and more livable. No more avoiding the desk because of all the stuff occupying it!

      • Deniz says

        What about the stuff with tags still attatched? And what if youre in debt? It kinda makes sense to sell some of it. I think that if you think it will sell for above a certain amount, say $20, then give it a go, if you have the time that is. I have donated a lot of clothing in the past year but my to sell box has gotten bigger so i may need to reevaluate and donate some more. We have a bit of debt, and i stay at home with my three young kids, so we have one income, so naturally i want to be able to get some money back from the items i have paid money for so that we can be out of debt quicker. Its just a matter of finding time to do so.

        • says

          There is certainly no one-set of perfect steps as someone begins to clear out their clutter. When we started out, we began selling the items (ebay, garage sales, etc.). But soon, it became too much and we ended up donating most of it. But we did make some money selling in the first… Factors such as value of the items, opportunity for income (avenues for making sales), and your current financial situation should all be considered.

          • Teresa Forrester says

            My clearing out the clutter has had a bit of back log too. I can understand just donating it all and being done with it. For those of us who need to sell at least some of the items, it may take a little longer to get past the final hurdle of disposal. The knowledge of knowing that these items are no longer holding me, no longer wanted, no longer needed is freeing. The decision on whether to keep them or not has been made. It took a lifetime to aquire all this mess, it’ll take some time to sort through it all.

          • Fiona Cee says

            I’ve given up the idea of trying to make money out of my stuff. It’s hard hard enough just to get rid of it let alone organising yard sales etc. I’ll feel less stress if it’s just GONE, not hanging around to be sold.

        • says

          That’s where consignment shops really play a key role- they will be able to make a judgement call on what will sell and what won’t, and either pay you cash, or put your clothes on consignment so you get a little money at a time (and a higher return). You can bring in large batches of clothing and its quick and easy! This season alone, I’ve pulled in a couple hundred dollars just cleaning out the baby stuff I thought I’d want to use again!

  6. says

    While we are on a crusade to empty our lives of unused possessions (and to stop adding to them), I still don’t feel that I connect with the idea that those possessions “rob [me] of precious minutes every day”. I’ve actually been spending way more time focusing on them as I am trying to get rid of them than I ever have while they’ve quietly collected dust in our crawl space. But spending all that time on these objects now is worth it to me because it helped us visualize how much stuff we’ve accumulated over the years and will hopefully guide our future behavior in a less commercially focused way and to focus more on experiences, not stuff.

    • Happy Annie says

      If you have children then your decluttering has saved them hours of going through all those things when you pass away. Many people don’t think about that, but I have known friends and family who have spent weeks to months sorting though and clearing out a parents houseful of things upon their death. Think of it as paying it forward! :)

  7. says

    How appropriate……..we just went to clean out our pantry/closet to put in a new (much smaller and more energy efficient) freezer, and through a series of events ended up having to empty the whole closet to make this happen. It was one closet that was formerly a “powder bath”…….and all the stuff covered one whole couch, 2 dining room tables, and my kitchen peninsula. My sister-in-law was amazed….she said “that closet was always so well organized, you could find anything you needed and there was extra shelf space”…and yet it was a MASSIVE amount of stuff! The van to the Goodwill is being loaded as we speak……..

  8. Brooke says

    I’m fairly new to your blog and it has become a big encouragment to me over the past few months. All that you share is very real and eye-opening!
    This post is wonderful! Simple, truthful, and straight to the point! Thank you for your continued encouragment to me, and others, as I strive towards a life of becoming a minimialist.

    • Deniz says

      I agree. The words that resonate with me the most, almost on a daily basis, is Joshua’s story about the day he was cleaning out the garage and the juxtaposition on all his possessions on the driveway and his son playing in the yard made him realise he had to get rid of the excess, fast. I am in the exact same position and so remembering his story gives me a new burst of motivation all the time. Thanks Joshua.

  9. says

    I am fascinated by the idea of living with less. If only I could follow it! It is hard to detach yourself from stuff, especially if you’ve been attached and devoted to it for years. It does not happen in one day. It doesn’t happen in one week or a month. I think it is an on-going process. If there are stages in this process, I am in a mental preparation stage.

  10. says

    Finding the essential self…..if you only had a Mind, Body and Spirit how well would you take care of what you had?… All things are really nothing… illusions that we think have meaning.

    The more you have and do the less in touch you are with your essential self. Without you mind, body and spirit, nothing is of any value. That is what all learning and all possessions were for originally…to support our Mind, Body and Spirits.

    Taoists know when you know the essential truth about all things you will know the Way.

    Therefore; the only thing that really matters is following the Way for without the Way life is worthless

  11. says

    Great article – I have seen houses where there is so much junk and stuff around. I have friends who shop and buy because it is a source of “joy” for them. Really the joy is just fleeting and evaporates quickly. And they do not atke care of the stuff they buy. Less is more.

  12. says

    When we are overwhelmed with stuff, we compromise our ability to live our whys. We become prisoners of possessions we bought that we couldn’t afford that were intended to impress people we don’t really know. We live in a barter system. In order to have something society says I need, I must trade something of greater value. This is one of the subtle tactics of the Enemy who lulls us into a state of lethargy by keeping us distracted with stuff. We need simple lives. We need to love God and love other people. If we love other things, too, we will never live our whys.

    • says

      Terry… and… “society” does not even exist!..In reality there is no such thing except that we make it so. There are only “individuals” somehow it seems we have (not you and me but the “collective”) chosen to be the slaves of others by this imaginary construct we call “Society”…Those of us here are waking up from the dream (nightmare) of that false concept!

  13. says

    Based on one of my rants, my friend Teresa was kind enough to send me the link to your site. I’m glad that she did =)

  14. says

    The perfectionist in me wants it done right away. I can envision what I want my space to look like. Unfortunately, my space is so bad currently that it isn’t something I can do in a day. I must remember to be patient. This helps. Thank you.

  15. Rebecca says

    Thank you. My husband has been trying to tell me that he doesn’t need anything since I met him. He owned a bed, sleeping bag, couch, tv, stereo, roller blades, clothes and a car. I thought he was just simply a bachelor who was waiting to be taken care of by a woman. I filled our home with furniture and we had a whole room packed full of stuff we had to shift around when we had guests. Then we had kids and stuff overflowed throughout the house. I felt like I was drowning in clutter. I spent everyday of the last 6 years cleaning and tidying, not enjoying my kids. Your blog has changed my life.I finally “get” my hubby. In 2 days I have removed 600 items from my life. Thank you.

    • Fiona Cee says

      I found it’s mostly women who seriously hoard. I didn’t think I was one of those, but it seems that I may be, on a lesser level than some.

      ‘Stuff’ I understand. Trash and garbage, human waste and animal hoarding I don’t get. Very sad for those who hoard the latter!

  16. Becky says

    Thank you for your blog–for sharing your insights and commentary. (I just discovered you this week.) My husband and I have talked about minimizing for several years now, but only in the last few months have begun to plan how to move forward in simplifying our lives.

    We are already frugal, and one of our first steps was addressing our “consumerism” by being more mindful of what we allow into our lives. (Other people have posted about this here–even free or thrift store items add to the “stuff” if we really don’t need them.)

    I have been reading through many of your posts this week. They serve as a good reminder and help keep me on track with our goals. I am still working on downsizing the clothes closet! (I stopped buying more several months ago, but the hard part is letting go of the “still perfectly good” items.)

    Thanks again!

  17. Kathy says

    George Carlin says it with his usual aplomb: “Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.” ; )

  18. says

    Your blog is one of the best de-cluttering resources I’ve found. Thank you for what you do!

    My wife and I are constantly moving ‘clutter’ from one area to another of the house. Why? I have no idea. It’s simply become a (bad) habit, I guess.

    We are now on a mission to clear the clutter and enjoy some clean, open space.

    Thanks again. I’ll be back!

    • says

      Yes I agree with you about this blog ! Excellent content

      Think about the energy that is drained from us when we see piles of stuff, clutter everywhere, shoes spilling out of the closet, coats hung on door handles, old papers, receipts, etc.etc. – All big environmental energy drainers.

      I coach people on their environments – one being physical, and there are 8 more environmnts that are energy drainers…and I am looking at a pile right now next to my lap top and a couple on my dining room table. Bad habits, too much activity, procrastination, would rather be in the pool, or doing just about any thing esle then to work on the clutter .

      Open space and cleared off counters – Joy and energizing!!

  19. Deniz says

    We had a large 6 person dining table thst extended to 8 person which was too big for our tiny 3×3 metre dining room because we needed seating (extended family visit amd stay over often). We had it pushed up in a corner snd i found that when no one was visiting (and only my husband, myself, and our toddlers were using the table), that i would constantly fill the ‘corner’ with random junk that had no ‘home’.

    I became fed up and decided that we needed to downsize. Now we have a round 1 metre diameter pedestal table with 4 chairs. We bought two toddler chairs from ikea for the kids and two stools as extra seating just in case we really want to squeeze in, but now our everyday table doesnt take up much space and i CANNOT put junk on it because we use every inch of it 3 times a day.

    Downsize to ‘just enough’ and you force yourself into better habits!

    • says

      ” Downsize to ‘just enough’ and you force yourself into better habits!”‘

      I think like you too. I like to introduce a necessity for change…Not even “Force” it is natural! You are guiding and nurturing yourselves. good on ya! That is how I do it.

      After I got my space clear I pulled out all the junk from cabinets and back areas and put it right in the middle of the living room. Then I was, as you put it “forced” to deal with it. Sure, I could have kept it all hidden away in the closet etc..But I chose to stick it right in front of my face. I was literally tripping over it, stubbed my toe! This method works! I got rid of it all real soon!

  20. Kaci says

    Loving your blog. For the past three days I have been donating uneeded items. My hobby has always been to throw away and donate but not to the level you blog about. This is what I’ve been missing in all my years of decluttering. It always felt good to declutter but something was missing. Besides my hobby of throwing away and donating I HATE shopping. So that perk has been a help. What kept me living in a home with still too much clutter was mostly gifts and hand me downs from family and friends. Or that great find that needs to be sanded and painted that will never be sanded and painted:/ I now GET it! This is just soooo freeing! Even when my home was clean I could still feel the stress of the uneeded items, even the stacks in the attack. My hubby is the kind of guy that “thinks…hehe” the out of site out of mind rule works. Not for me. I know those stacks in the attic are uneeded. Like I said or typed..hehe…this is just what I needed. THANKS! Tip-Use your trunk to immediately place items for donation so when you are out it is already to go! I also put items that have been lent to me in my trunk in a box. THANKS AGAIN!!

    • Lori Ann says

      I know exactly what you are saying! I LOVE getting rid of stuff. And yes, it IS freeing. I just got rid of stuff, now I’m ready to do it again!

  21. Marilyn says

    I am “cleaning out” following the death of my mother. Here is an observation/comparison. My dad had 1 dog breed book and 1 dog training book, both still considered to be classics; I have a whole shelf with at lest 2 dozen in all, just dog books. My dad had (besides wedding ring) 1 gold ring acquired in 1933 when having a gold ring was a really big deal. Now we buy all that is available – too many choices – instead of just one item that is the best. I will do lots more cleaning out…..

  22. Nina says

    Read your note bc July 9 is my birthday. You have great points to share! We just moved from a small home to a large one, but we got rid of a LOT of stuff first, and continue to pare down. There is a mindset that goes with. The toughest stuff? The stuff from “ancestors” that was left to you. Our large home looks airy and expansive bc there isn’t any clutter around.

    • Deniz says

      The toughest stuff to get rid of is the ancestors stuff, you say. It would be because it’s been around for sooo long and so throwing it away is difficult. The same sort of thing goes for anything really, even the most simple thing. I will give you an example. Say you’re on holiday in a foreign country and you just did your grocery shopping and you got your receipt. You would most probably throw the receipt in the bin without a second thought, after all, it is a worthless piece of paper. But if you keep it, and hang on to it as a souvenir for a few years (and probably lose it amongst other junk) and then find it after 5 or 10 years, this worthless piece of paper would prove difficult to part with because of the memories attached, and because you think ‘I’ve already kept it for this long, I can’t just chuck it out, I should keep it’. And then you keep it for longer. And then if you have kept it all your life, it will be left for others to deal with. And so even the most worthless piece of paper becomes a burden to get rid of. So what I am trying to say is the act of ‘keeping’ something, anything, causes stress because of the history, or time, attached to it.

      • says

        Me too I had all the left overs….
        you can’t throw away what isn’t yours right????
        So, I had a mental block. Mom and Dad and Grandma were all dead… I was depressed and stuck. I had a huge building stuffed with their stuff. I had a dumpster there after all the garage sales etc… A good friend came over and she would just pick up something and say, ” you don’t want this do you?” I just would say na…. and she threw it out for me… worked like a charm.

  23. says

    Regards to a few comments on being a husband/wife team:

    Yesterday my wife got stung by a bee. There was some swelling. She freaked out and said she needed to go to the emergency hospital. Instead she called emergency, and with another phone called her brother doctor.

    She was told what to do and that was to use Benadryl. I gave her a bottle of Benadryl but she threw it in the garbage because it was too old. So we head out to CVS to buy a new bottle. The CVS is closed, so I mention to go to the grocery store next door to buy it. Nope, the grocery store is too expensive she says.

    We drive further away from town to find another CVS. Our local Walmart, grocery stores, etc. aren’t good enough. So with our 8mpg SUV we finally get her new Benadryl. Figure an extra $4 in gas, time, and cost of product that she will use one tablespoon of. It gets very frustrating.

    I know what you’re thinking: Of course I got the used Benadryl from the garbage can.

  24. says

    Thank you for approaching this subject. I have been reminded many times in the last month of the need to eliminate. In pursuing my life’s passion, I am discovering the same principle. Less is more. It’s a mental shift.

  25. Vanessa says

    I love your little posts that come up on my FB page- it brightens my day and constantly reminds me about something that I believe in. Im lucky that I am Australian and I think we have it pretty good here. I always try to buy anything that I may need from a second hand shop first and constantly, ‘de-clutter’. Being quite anal and tidy, I absolutely hate clutter and useless stuff hanging around. I also believe in using my money for experiences rather than possessions. I dont have much money, (being a poorly paid freelance journalist) but I work to live and would never work in a job where they expected everything of me- life should be a very healthy work/life balance but this can only be reached if you keep your simple and therefore dont need loads of money to live. I own everything of mine- I drive a 99 camry (safe and reliable and cheap to fix), I dont have the ‘best’ of everything, but I dont have any debt and therefore I can live pretty simply. Thanks for your great blog ;-)

  26. Lori Ann says

    I have gone through my “stuff” and purged, given to salvation army, sold some things, and yet come back and read this article and think…..’WOW, I have so much more I need to purge because I look around and see “stuff”, papers, clutter and I thought I had it all done. It just re-appears or something. It’s hard to go through and get it out of the house with children and a husband to care for every day, but I am hoping I can do a little at a time and get it out of here.

  27. Jan says

    Great posting! I am working wading my way thru my crap towards minimalism slowly one step at a time :). A friend of mine does something amazing. She takes every single pair of shoes out of the closets, boxes, etc and lines them up around the room side by side… This way she can see what she has, what she loves, what she hasn’t worn and purge.

  28. Sheila says

    I have been “de-cluttering” and minimizing what I own since I started reading your blogs. I donated 13 bags of items last week. There is still some more to go, but I’m now appreciating so much the value in seeing some empty space in places in my home. I’m loving the idea of a somewhat more sparse look. Not sparse to the point of being ‘cold’, but also definitely not cluttered. Just a more simple / streamlined look. And I was able to walk through the largest shopping mall in my province today without buying anything. :)

  29. Betty says

    I live your posts and have been following you for about a year. I’m the person that loves the sales ads and just has to go get this because it’s on sale. I’m the one that buys clothes that are too small for me, hoping by next season I will be that size-only to still have them left hanging in my closet. I’m the person who buys Christmas 6 months early because I catch stuff on sale. Well things are changing!
    I read a few of your blogs and they made sense. I DO have a bunch of stuff! So last summer, I took one of your challenges about clothes. I started clearing out my two level walkin closet and made a commitment not to buy anything new for one full year. I’m about 8 months into that and have not been perfect but have only purchased a few items at resale shops because I lost weight. Now, I’m purging my house and it feels great!! I don’t know if I will ever be minimalist but I am removing some of the clutter of my life. Thank you!

  30. Doreen Eves says

    I really appreciate your posts. I have been following for a couple of months now. Before I found your page I was distressed with the way my life was …cluttered. I have been eliminating unnecessary items bit by bit, the procedure has been way over due. I now have an empty nest and suddenly wondered why I had so much stuff and what the heck had I been blindly doing all these years collecting and spending hard earned money on things. I have realized since I started my excavation, that somewhere in the journey of life I had lost myself and become part of the commercialization of who we are supposed to be instead of who we really are. I am a minimalist at heart and burying myself alive with junk, made me unhappy and produced a feeling of being confined. The more I release and let go the better I feel. One important fact I noticed was that my parents especially my Mother was a minimalist and we lived an abundant life with having and using only what we needed. We were not rich and we were not poor, we just lived well. I am now finding time to do the things I love to do again and am very aware of my shopping and collecting behaviour. I only buy necessities now and cherish and love the items I decided to keep. Thank you.

  31. says

    What you write re our obsession with owing so much stuff and how it is so debilitating in living a free and authentic life has long resonated with me. As a Professional Organiser I see how the cleaning and continual organising of too much stuff takes over my clients lives, robs them of time to follow their passions, frequently overwhelming many to the point of desperation. I love sharing your words of wisdom with my clients whilst helping them declutter their lives. And yes, I really believe the answer is owing less.

  32. Roser says

    Any suggestions on how to strive towards minimalism when living with a borderline hoarder? Every time I try to recycle or throw something out my husband literally picks it out of the bin and argues why we need to keep it.

  33. says

    Great read as usual. I think credit cards can actually help us lead a minimalist lifestyle provided we know how to use them as intended. If the focus is on the needs and the not the wants, they can help in dividing the cost of living in a manner that is very targeted oriented, which can be easily attained because we are motivated by the fact that we are enjoying the purchase in the now.

  34. says

    My wife and I, two overspenders, just moved into my familie’s home. My dad had passed, and my mom is in memory care. We downsized by about 700 sq ft when we moved plus had to deal with all my parents stuff. Thank God there was a barn (which is jam crammed). It will probably take me a year or two to get things down to a comfortable level (unless we just bring in a dumpster) but I am determined to have less… CRAP in my life.

    We’ve got a good start. We are out of debt, and we have donated a LOT to the local Goodwill and Community cupboard. Still… so far to go. It’s overwhelming.

  35. says

    I agree with the statements that this post states, and will continue to utilize the technics to becomeing less clutterd! Thank you for your persistence for the cause!

  36. says

    Thanks Joshua for addressing such an important issue in American culture. Simplicity resonates to my core. In 2009, I was laid off from earning $26 per hour and had to live on minimum wage with unemployment and took any job I could get. Often times, I was turned down for work because I was too qualified. I had already simplified my life: I didn’t own a car. I gave up the rental apartment and rented a room. I didn’t have credit cards and deferred my student loans…I’d been paying $700 a month for seven years..In hard times, deferment was a good thing. I learned to live off of $800 a month. I remind myself everyday that “all my needs are met.” I rented videos from the public library for free. I shared grocery costs with my roommate and cooked meals and cleaned the house and garden for reduced rent. I read books more…there was no t.v. in the house I lived. I took Greyhound buses vs airlines to visit my family. I found a way to live within my means. I believe in what you’re saying. But it’s so important to get to the place where you really believe having less is better for you. You’ve got to believe you are still a good person without “things.” Our ancestors did it. Perhaps we can learn a bit from how they lived.

  37. Kim says

    i find the most important thing about living with less is the discipline of the wandering eye. I am trying to focus more on the beauty of nature and less on the beauty of stuff. Sometimes it is hard to give things up but once I do I find I am left with the tremendous gift of free time, of quiet, and peace.

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