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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Simplicity of Life with Less Stuff

With the holiday season upon us, are you jonesin’ for the newest tech gadget? Are your children making lists of all their wants and desires? This is consumerism and the retail industry is ramming the need to have the latest and greatest of everything down our throats.

Do we really need more stuff? Consumerism has a good and bad side. While it drives economic growth and boosts innovation, it comes with its fair share of problems that impact the environment, create higher debt, and lead to mental health problems.

The truth of the matter is, the more material things people acquire, the more anxious and disappointed they become. We live in an “I need it now” world and with Amazon Prime free delivery, one can click a link and their package will be delivered in 1-2 days. We don’t even have to leave the comfort of our home for new items to magically arrive at our mailbox. Fun fact: Amazon delivered 4.2 billion individual packages in 2020!

There really is nothing wrong with desiring more stuff, but before we add something to our cart, we should first take inventory of what we already own. Ask yourself, do I really need it? Is this any better than what I already have?

Now you may say, but physical things give value to my life and make me happy. Ask yourself, why are you so attached to your possessions? Is it because you spent good money on it? Does it comfort you, a secure warm feeling? Remember, it’s only stuff. If it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.

Try this: Get rid of one book, one piece of clothing, one kitchen gadget, etc. as you bring something new into your home. Let go of the physical things and simplify your life. Give yourself permission to let go of all the stuff and have joy.

Most fights between my sons are over a game. Of all their toys, they choose to want what the other one has at that moment. When this happens, I grab a garbage bag and start purging the playroom. When we choose to minimize the amount of clutter, they argue and fight less. There is more peace, which opens their minds to creativity and better family dynamics.

As we wrap up 2021, it’s time to declutter our minds to simplify our lives. With proper amounts of material things, you’ll realize that you can live with less and be able to give more of yourself mentally and monetarily. Start with a drawer, and then a closet, an extra bedroom, etc. you’ll be amazed at how much stuff you already have. Then realize how much you can upcycle, donate or even sell and you’ll be on your way to simplicity of life.

Nikki Ducas
Nikki Ducas is a freelance writer and for the past 8+ years writes the money column for Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine. She has lived in Fredericksburg for 16 years with her husband and is a homeschooling mom to their two boys. Nikki enjoys hiking, knitting and her other side hustles of pet sitting and event management.

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