Topics We’re Talking About: Decluttering Your Life

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The other day I cleaned out my cupboard and found approximately 17 kinds of dried pasta. I wish I were exaggerating but there were enough varieties that I could have constructed a cat-sized apartment out of the packages. Did I need them all? No. Did I think I did when I was in the checkout line? Probably. It was a small – but powerful – reminder that when it comes to my hobbies (in this instance, food), I’m a bit of a collector. And I know I’m not alone on this.

The truth is – society makes it pretty easy to accumulate things. High access to a variety of “stuff,“ makes buying more and owning more the norm. In many ways, it makes sense – after you’ve gone beyond the basic needs, it’s kind of fun to have something that makes life easier, more aesthetically pleasing, or adds variety. But ultimately, the value of these extra things doesn’t lie so much in the item itself as much as in what feelings that thing inspires. But in fact, many of these feelings can be replicated without these items. Happiness, contentment, restfulness – those are often the result of mindful living, not necessarily of buying 20 types of pasta or filling a living room with possessions.

So this week, we’ve compiled a selection of articles that look at how we evaluate the stuff in our life – and how we can still live happily with less!

Staying Minimalist in a 3 Bedroom House – My Alternate Life Adopting the minimalist approach in your home is one way to curb your expenses.  Read on for tips to implement the “lifestyle with less.”

Will All That Stuff Make You Happy? – Life And My Finances There’s a line to be drawn when it comes to the amount of stuff that we need – but it’s rarely a line that we like to put down. A great post addressing the mistaken correlation between things and smiles.

Where Does The Money Go? – Money Crush Swiping a card or handing over a 20 is pretty easy, but how often do you take the time to really acknowledge the impact of the purchase on your financial plan? Money Crush gives a great post on recognizing your expenses and creating an easy to reference budget to help you track your cash.

What If We Only Bought The Stuff We Loved? – Budgets Are Sexy What’s the last thing you bought? More importantly – did you really love it? It’s a simple question that can inspire some serious thought. Read on for great perspective to help you reset your purchasing process.

How Much Time And Energy Do You Spend On Stuff? – GoGirl Finance Expenses in life go beyond financial expenditures. GoGirl Finance shows you how to calculate your “Life-Energy Number” and shares how this number can readjust your spending!

De-Clutter Now – 8 Things You Can Live Without – Huffington Post Not sure where to start cutting back? 8 areas to focus on as you get you started!

Thanks to all the sites mentioning ReadyForZero…

Realtor.com
Lifehacker
Military.com
The Change Blog
House of Brokers Realty

… and check out our guest post!

The Journey Of a New Military Mom – Military.com

One last exciting announcement before we sign off…

We recently released our very first ebooks!! We’re so excited to be sharing these brand new (free) resources with you. Up first: the particularly timely “Dealing With Finances as a Couple” and the always relevant “Money and Career.” Just the kind of weekend reading to motivate you towards your financial goals!

Happy Friday!

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  • bookishheather

    Six years ago, I had so many books (and other flotsam) that I didn’t think I would ever be able to move out of my house. But then I was accepted into graduate school in Vancouver BC. That started a stuff-shedding frenzy. When I later moved to Missoula, MT (part of my grad program) for six months with just one small moving box, a duffel bag full of clothes, my car, my dog, and my bike, I learned just how little I needed to really thrive. Examining my relationship to “stuff” has been an unforgettable life lesson, and also a positive benefit to my student loan repayment effort. : )

    • Claire Murdough

      Nice!!! I love your phrase “stuff-shedding frenzy.” That’s definitely what moving feels like but it’s such a great opportunity pare down. One of my biggest pain points was deciding whether to lug my library with me when I made the decision to move to SF. It was surprisingly painful but now I’m happy to be mobile. Having too much just feels so heavy :)