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How to feel truly content with the things you have (goodbye to excess baggage)

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Do you have too much stuff? Saying goodbye to overflowing possessions is not just better for the world, it will also make your life more flexible and free.

Are you the proud owner of one of these kitchen drawers filled with a huge collection of batteries, pens, lighters and rubbish? Or perhaps an attic filled with boxes that you’re going to examine one day? A cabinet full of sweaters that you bought enthusiastically one day, but you haven’t worn in months? You probably do, because most people collect things like a squirrel connects nuts – always looking for more.

The urge to collect

Most people are collectors. We buy things because we need them (or we think we need them), because they make us feel happy for a while or to ‘fit in’. In the course of life, we collect so many things that we forget what we dragged into our scurry. All these things, packed in sheds, attics, basements and spare rooms, they are just there. 

Being content with ‘simply enough’

Not everyone thinks that belongings are a burden. But there’s a growing group of people who realize all these things don’t make them happier. We live in a time of excess, with more stuff than we actually need. More and more people ask themselves: why do I find it so important? Living with less belongings doesn’t mean we have to deny ourselves anything. Or that we have to throw away all the things that make our living room nice and cosy, in order to live in an empty room. People who want to have less, simply know that the competition about having more just never comes to an end. Instead of finding happiness outside themselves, in stuff, they focus on what’s inside – on what they need to live a fulfilled life.

More with less

If we reduce our consumption, it reduces pollution. In a time when the world is begging to be treated better, that’s more than enough reason to consume less. Besides, being less focused on possession, brings personal freedom. Belongings cost time and energy – you have to clean them, maintain them, repair them. If we live with less, there’s more energy to focus on important things. A tidy home is a tidy mind.

Start flying

If you get rid of all the excess baggage in your life, you’ll find that there’s more room for rest, freedom and happiness. If you want to fly, it’s best to give up everything that’s keeping you down – not just things, but also a relationship that costs a lot of energy, or loveless friendships. However, many people don’t realize how strongly they’re connected to material things until they start thinking about it.

Ask yourself with every purchase: why do I want to have this? Oftentimes, there are deeper motivations behind the purchase than you’d think. The urge to have more is a competition in your mind that never stops. As soon as you think you’ve one, you want more. It’s extremely liberating to realize that material things will never really fill your heart. Free from (excess) possessions, you are untied, flexible and focused on your core. You don’t miss out on anything, because you already have it all.

Text: Joanne Wienen - Photo: Nathan Lemon