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Living

The power, value of downsizing life

The power, value of downsizing life

by Christian Michael

May 26, 2019


Once upon a time, I used to keep everything. That "keeping" (we wouldn't come close to call it hoarding) even proved useful during Macon's flood of 94, when my excess 2-liter soda bottles I intended for terrariums were quickly used to store clean water from the nearby firehouse. Our apartment complex had no water at the time. However, despite the temporary usefulness I once thought worth saving, the value of living light had long outweighed the benefits of keeping things on the chance they "might" be of use.

Today, I'm a digital nomad. In addition to a small 5'x10' storage locker for my most valuable possessions, I carry only a full-sized duffle bag, backpack and a few small accoutrements with me in my two-door jeep. That's it. One load of clothing is all I have to handle every week, and it doesn't even fill the washer.

Over the years and in various homes, I've kept all sorts of things I think I'll use later. They constantly accumulated. For even as often as they proved useful, letting them go always made me feel lighter. So often possessions feel like they own me as much as I ever owned them. Even as useful and valuable as they were, they were a form of burden.

Today, you can choose to be free of these burdens, and you don't have to be a digital nomad to achieve it. Also, you don't have to be Marie Kondo to achieve it, either, though I assure you her courseware can help. You can start freeing yourself from so many possessions without moving from your apartment or home.

Don't wait until you "move" to clear out unnecessary possessions. Start today. You can reap the benefits immediately. Living with less allows you more time for LIFE. There are fewer things to clean, switch out between holidays, or, especially, pack up when you actually do move.

I've happily lived for months at a stretch in rented rooms or hotels, subsisting on very few things. I can come and go and never worry about all those items. I also remember them better, so if I do lose something, I'm more likely to remember what was lost and more easily replace it!

Today, I'm living with the least I ever have before. I love having so little to care for and manage. The benefits I enjoy can be experienced in your own life. Fewer things packing the garage, fewer clothes in your closet, fewer towels stuffed in the hallway, fewer toys littering the carpet, fewer tools you never use ... Imagine owning only what means something to you. Not even in a Marie Kondo-kind of way, but tools you plan to actually use and make the most of, which help you produce experiences. Few people sit around talking about their tool collections (unless they're just showing off), but they WILL tell you about the things they've made with those tools.

Wouldn't you rather have experiences to share than things? While things are useful in making experiences, don't ever think they can substitute for them. While you think there is no cost in keeping what you've already bought, don't forget the EMOTIONAL cost in maintaining things you never use. I would much rather spend money to feel free than save money and feel bound.

The question is, which cost would you rather pay? You can make more money, but you can't make freedom. You can only strip away bonds which keep you from it. Choose today and start living a freer life!

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