Reducing Your Stuff Will Make You Happier

Mom Life March 20, 2014

{This post is a guest submission by Jo Ebisujima (bio below).  Just in time for a bit of Spring cleaning.  STUFF BEGONE!}Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 10.17.50 AM

STUFF. We all have it and most of us have too much of it. Not only is there our personal stuff, but there is the partners’ and kids’ stuff too.  Even pets have a collection of stuff!

Why do we have so much stuff?

Well there are many reasons.  Living in a society where material goods equal wealth and status, it is easy to see how most of us get sucked into all this.

This is all good and well, if you have enough money to buy a new house every time you fill up the last one.  But for the rest of us, we need to take control of our stuff; otherwise it starts to overwhelm and consume us…

1. Clutter = Chaos

If we have less clutter, we have less chaos in our lives. Just looking at a cluttered room can make you feel queasy, so by reducing the amount of stuff, you rein in the chaos and begin to feel more relaxed.

Grab a box and set yourself 10 minutes, pick up anything that is old, broken, no longer used or needed, put it in the box and get rid of it. The art of this is to do it quick: split second thinking works best and your first instinct is rarely wrong.

2. Can’t See The Wood For The Trees

As humans we take pleasure in looking at beautiful objects, but if the shelf is packed full of Ming vases or kitten statues (whatever it is that you are drawn to), you can no longer appreciate the beauty properly.

If you have a collection, try rotating a few key pieces instead of having everything out on display, and get rid of any that you don’t truly love.

Remembering to pause and appreciate something everyday helps us feel more grateful for other things in life too.

3. Less Time Hunting, More Time Playing

When we have less stuff, it is easier to find the misplaced keys or the electricity bill!

We spend, on average, 10 minutes a day looking for lost or misplaced items.

Of course, when you are in a rush and it is the keys you have lost, stress levels rise, tempers get shorter and fights start.

Wouldn’t it be nicer to spend those 10 minutes enjoying a cup of tea or playing with your child?

Think about the items you spend most time looking for, make them a home, use post-it notes as reminders to use the new home until the new habit has stuck. Then put your feet up and enjoy that cuppa!

4. Less Stuff = Less Cleaning

Unless you are a neat freak, this has got to make you happier.

I hate cleaning so less is definitely best in my books.

Reducing ornaments and knick-knacks out on the shelves reduces dusting time, having less stuff to tidy up before you can actually start cleaning also makes a huge difference.

Spending less time cleaning means you can spend more time doing the fun stuff, who doesn’t want that?

5. Less Stuff Is Easier For Your Kids

I was introduced to the work of Maria Montessori when my son was a baby and a lot of her teachings made good old common sense to me.

Having fewer toys to choose from, the child spends longer with each toy, cleaning up is quicker and easier, and the child has a great appreciation and respect for the toys he does have.

The same applies with books.  Children won’t put books back on a shelf when it is difficult, but a with a bookshelf that has plenty of space. the job becomes much easier.

Less toys means less of mom nagging and more time for cuddles.

Reducing your stuff doesn’t have to be difficult, start by getting rid of any duplicate items, anything old, anything broken or anything that you haven’t used for over a year.

jo transparent backgroundJo Ebisujima is the best selling author of Montessori Inspired Activities For Pre-schoolers.  She is the founder of My Organized Chaos where she helps busy mamas organize their home, kids and mind so they have time for the fun stuff.

Website :

Jo is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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