I recently had some vinyl stickers made up with this original quote on it; Eliminate the Unnecessary & Replace it With Living. Some people get it immediately, some look puzzled and say “I don’t know what that means,” and yet others think I’m referring purely to material stuff. However, the word unnecessary refers to more than just stuff and to understand what I’m trying to say in the quote a bit better, we have to dig a little deeper.
Perhaps the most immediate thing we think of when it comes to eliminating unnecessary things from our lives is an excess of stuff, and sure enough, most people have way more stuff in their lives than they really need, whether for survival or pleasure. Too much stuff can easily become a burden. When we have too much of anything (yes, even money) it can weigh a person down. A clutter bug will find themselves constantly having to move something to get at something else, or having to step over things to move around. They waste a lot of time looking for things because that one thing they need is lost in the rest of the clutter.
Clutter can become a serious problem not only because of the physical challenges of dealing with too much stuff all day long, but it can also become a health hazard because clutter attracts dust, and dust mites can cause breathing problems for some people among other health hazards.
If those aren’t reasons enough for you to go clutter-free, add in the psychological problems it causes. People who are surrounded by clutter (even high-quality, expensive clutter) tend to have problems with stress and often have lower self-esteem and may feel embarrassed and so become more reclusive. Their thinking can become cluttered too, and visually the clutter can be overwhelming. All of this can lead to other health problems like overeating, lack of interest in exercise, and pain, among a few.
The bigger the home, the more it costs to heat, to cool, to paint, to maintain, to clean, to furnish. The bigger the home, the higher the taxes, the payments, the cost of upkeep, and the more hours a person or couple have to work to pay for it and the easier it is to become over-stretched financially? What if, instead of buying a great big home, with a new two garage and a swimming pool, the same couple went for a smaller home, and maybe even one on wheels. Just because they have the income to pay for something larger, doesn’t mean they have to spend it all. How much money could they save in a year and invest or spend of traveling or helping someone else financially? How many more hours could they spend with their family and friends, how many more hours volunteering, hiking, writing, cooking, and doing what they love? By keeping their home to a reasonable size they would free up more money and time for living their best life.
Too many emails, too many Facebook posts to follow? The list of media distractions these days is mind-boggling. Personally, I think people are becoming overwhelmed by it all and are suffering from media overload. Cutting down on your media intake and eliminating the unnecessary ones will free up a lot more time for living your life to the fullest.
Negative People & Saying No
Eliminate those folks in your life that bring you down or are negative, and those who are always taking and never giving back. By eliminating I don’t mean you should go out and kill them, I mean just boot them out of your life and open up more time for the friends that make you smile and are true friends. Also, learn to say no, just because a friend asks you to do something, doesn’t mean you have to do it.
What do we really need for survival
My mother often used to say “The only things you need in life are clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and food in your stomach.” Of course, that’s pretty basic survival, if we want to be a well-balanced individual, I’d have to add health, friends, a safe place, an income source (preferably one that brings satisfaction), freedom and self-expression and I’m sure you can think of others. I live without much more than these basics, and I’m truly happy. Sure, I have some hobbies and pleasures in life, it’s important that we have balance and don’t deny ourselves everything, but the truth is we don’t need much to be happy. I value travel and adventure more than a big home, which most of us don’t need (a small home is quite adequate for most), and I value being a minimalist and learning how to figure out ways to fix things and make do with what I have on hand, rather than having to own a huge array of gadgets and tools to do the simplest of jobs, just as examples. I don’t expect people to go as minimalist as myself, no more than the people who live out of a backpack expect me to give up my van, but the truth is that most folks have way more than they need, and all that excess baggage has a way of weighing a person down and taking away important snippets of time.
Are you tired? Go to bed earlier and get rid of tiredness. Overweight? East less and lose the pounds. Lonely? Spend time with people who are interested in the things you’re interested in and spend less time with those you have nothing in common with. Over-extended? Learn to say no. Of course, I’m generalizing here, but I think you get what I’m trying to say.
By eliminating the unnecessary things in your life you’ll have more room, more money, more freedom, more joy, more time, and … (add your own words here).
By eliminating the unnecessary things in your life; you’ll free up more time for living a life well lived!
Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature
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