Excess possessions rob us of time, money, energy, and focus. As the old proverb goes, “Those who buy what they do not need steal from themselves.”
Additionally, excess possessions add stress, worry, and burden. As Randy Alcorn writes, “Every increased possession adds increased anxiety onto our lives.”
Our lives have become busy, hurried, rushed, and stressed because we own too much stuff! Consider this: Never in human history have individuals owned as much stuff as they do today.
There is freedom in owning less—if only we could catch our breath long enough to take hold of it.
Some of us have become so busy pursuing, accumulating, and caring for our things, we can’t even find the time to remove those that are no longer needed. How long has your basement been filled with boxes? How long have the shelves in your garage needed sorting? Or the clothes in your closet needed to be gone through?
On one hand, I can see it. Minimizing possessions takes work (especially if you have a lot to begin with). It takes effort and energy and an investment of time. And if both parents are working jobs to make ends meet, finding extra time to own less can be tough.
It can be hard enough to minimize just one room of a house—much less an entire home.
On the other hand, it is essential we find the time to reclaim our lives.
Consider these three truths:
1. Any time invested minimizing your possessions is never wasted.
Not only is it not wasted time, it is time multiplied back to you. There’s an old quote from Abraham Lincoln that goes like this, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
When we invest minutes removing unnecessary possessions from our homes, we receive an hour on the backend of less cleaning and tidying and organizing and maintaining.
And the sooner we get started, the better. The sooner we free up our lives to live the one we want, the longer we get to live it!
2. Don’t waste the rest of your life decluttering.
Sure, you can commit 5 or 10 minutes/day to your minimalism journey. But as Zoë Kim says, “Do you really want to spend the rest of your life decluttering?”
The better investment is to set aside intentional time, as soon as possible, to remove as many possessions as you can, as early as you can, so you can begin enjoying the benefits of owning less as quickly as possible.
3. Your life is too valuable to waste caring for things you don’t need.
Joy, happiness, and fulfillment are found in the invisible things of life: love, hope, peace, and relationships. They are not on sale at your local department store. Stop looking for them there. People who live their lives in pursuit of possessions are never content.
Our lives are too important. Don’t sacrifice your important role in this world by settling for possessions that can be purchased with a card of plastic.
If you’re feeling rushed and stressed and overly-busy, creating the time to minimize your possessions is your first step in the right direction.