My boy friend thinks I’m slightly crazy. I have a habit of reading some awe inspiring books and then implementing rapid change into my life to “improve” it. As you can imagine this results in some weird, but sometimes helpful things like;
- Starting to journal
- Creating a dream board
- Booking a random overseas trip
- Buying a new dog
This time I stumbled upon this book called “The power of less” by Leo Babauta, which was one of the most inspiring things I’ve read so far. It was a book about choosing to own less physical possessions.
I often challenged myself by imagining moving away from Sydney to somewhere remote (preferably warm and next to the beach) with only two suitcases in hand. Could I do it?
Lets just say the idea is enticing but scares the hell out of me. I think I have developed my mother’s hoarding qualities! Something in this last book tipped me over the edge though.
Living With Less is a book about a guy who was in debt up to his eyeballs. So much so, he was at risk of losing the family home. You know what they say, when times get tough people get resourceful, and resourceful is exactly what he became.
He began to sell of things around his house for example old DVD’s, clothing he didn’t use or collectable items. All the profits from his sales went straight to the bank to start paying off his accumulated debt. At the same time he also cut back to only essential spending for example food and rent.
I started to look around the house and my room at all the things I owned and the stuff that was cluttering up walls and book cases. I remembered about all the the money I have previously spent. It actually began to make me feel guilty. I had so many clothes and shoes I don’t even wear. This is a topic I have discussed on this blog a number of times, but it never occurred to me what to do about it. I always donated my old clothes to charity. But donations doesn’t make my money come back and it makes me want to still hold on to things I love, but don’t want to just give away.
Start simple living by selling stuff on the internet
I decided to take up the advice in the book. I wanted to start simple living. Financial stress has always been a huge part of my life and I don’t want it to be anymore. I want to break free of my debt and finally have savings. So I decided to do exactly what the book told me to do, start selling my stuff.
I never thought people would buy my old junk off the internet, but it’s amazing what people do buy! My big-ticket items like old gym equipment and furniture were the best and fastest sales. The house and my room are now looking open, fresh and clean. Each sale has been cathartic and I like what I am feeling with this departure of stuff in my life.
If someone else is using the things I don’t want or use, it makes me happy. Making some money back is a bonus too. This concept of simplifying life is really relieving. In the end, in life it’s only you who has to be happy, its about doing things that are important to you. Figuring out what makes you happy and getting rid of the materialistic rubbish we think will make us happy but never does.
Simple living by giving up shopping
I always thought shopping was enjoyable, but I have come to realise when I do shop it makes me feel anxious. It’s because I think of the money that I am spending, that I no longer have.
With this realisation I decided I don’t need so much stuff. Over flowing wardrobes do not allow you to use a variety of your clothing because you can’t always see what you’ve got. You end up wearing the same things over and over again because it’s easy to pick the first thing you see.
Last week I did the biggest cull of my wardrobe in my life. I’ve culled before, but this time I actually included things that I bought overseas. Overseas items are often those pieces of clothing you liked looking at, but never wore. Imagine bringing clothes back from Spain, New York and Brazil, as prized possessions. When back at home they sit there in the wardrobe staring at you. Lucky I was never into souvenirs!
My next task is to take all these personal items to the market to sell. I’ve grouped them into $5 and $10 piles. But every now and then, I’ve been sneaking back items back into my wardrobe because “one day ill wear that again. So frustrating! For now at least I’ve done the first step, the massive down grade. I still have a lot of materialistic junk though so I have a long way to go.
My next step is to convince my boy friend to want to live off the grid with me in Costa Rica, maybe he can learn some Spanish too?