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Healthy living isn’t just about how you look and feel physically, it is also about how you feel mentally. We live in a consumer driven society. We are constantly being told we need more stuff, bigger houses, and that “things” will make us happy. Often times this is not true. Having more stuff can lead to disorganization, having homes larger than we need can also cause financial issues. Can downsizing improve your happiness? Most definitely! By getting rid of things we don’t need or that cause additional stress we are left with only what matters most. A minimalist lifestyle is also great for the environment. It helps us leave a smaller carbon footprint and keeps us more aware of what kind of waste we are creating. Downsizing can be difficult, but the rewards are worth it.
Living a minimalist lifestyle is much easier than starting a minimalist lifestyle. Downsizing can be overwhelming. Starting with the objects in your house is a great place to start as it is typically the most cluttered area. First get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year. You’ll be surprised at how many items this will clear out of your home. Then get rid of things that you are only keeping out of obligation or guilt (such as gifts you never really liked). If you want to keep something because you have good memories attached to it, give yourself a limit of how many items you will keep for that reason.
Once you have gathered all the items that you are going to get rid of, now you need to figure out what to do with them. Throwing them in the trash is a waste (unless the items are in fact, trash). Call around to local homeless shelters and see if they can use any of your items. Many times shelters are in need of things like clothing, bedding and healthcare products. There are a lot of homeless shelters that also have transition programs that help their clients find permanent housing. That toaster that you never use or that extra chair that you got to fill in some space in a corner would be very much appreciated by someone who is moving into a home with few belongings to their name!
What are your thoughts about minimizing your "stuff"? Would love to hear them out!