Life made simple

Less is actually less - but that's good.


Have you noticed a big new business in our cities ? It’s self-storage. Those huge warehouses divided into storage units the size of a garage where you can keep your stuff. It seems that we now have so much stuff, we need to rent space outside of our homes to lock it up and store it.

Wasn’t the new millennium supposed to see a new spirituality emerging, a trend towards Zen-like simplicity of living? Yet the world is still a very stuffl-led place. That’s weird.

Does anyone remember the ‘80s, when more was more? Hair was big, shoulders were padded, jewellery was huge, colour was garish, design was trashy and show-offy.

Enough was never enough. Even if you’re too young to remember the era of excess, it seems that the consumerist mindset still lingers. Thirty years later, there are even bigger malls, an even bigger choice of brands and a wider variety of sleek, new gadgets that will all be uncool in 6 months.

Choose Simplicity.

But if you really want to live more simply, you can. It might not be easy. It will involve resisting the temptation to buy the next new gadget or pretty thing. But you can opt for a cleaner, calmer, existence – and save a whole lot of money, too – by trimming the excess in every part of your life.

Try a Buy Nothing week.

Try a “Buy Nothing” week. This week, buy nothing apart from the absolute essentials. Yes, you need shampoo, milk and peas. But another new rug? Another counter-top appliance? Maybe not. If you make it through a whole week, see if you can stretch that week to a “Buy Nothing” fortnight.

Trim Down.

While you’re doing this, give your home more Zen simplicity by discarding everything you don’t need or like anymore. The outworn things, the damaged-beyond-repair things, and the gimmicky, pointless things. (And don’t throw away if you can give away or recycle.) Then start living more simply, every day.

Not every family outing needs to be expensive. It needn’t cost anything at all, if there’s a museum or a park or a forest near you. Not every dinner party needs to be a triumph; it’s really okay to take something out of the freezer. Not every trip to the mall needs to mean a new handbag or lamp. Sometimes, it’s just nice to look at pretty things, to admire beauty, then walk away. To know that you’re not a stuff-addict, and not too attached to things – that’s freedom.


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