Living with less: 5 unexpected ways downsizing makes life better

simple living, minimalism, simplicity, personal growth, self improvement

When you start living with less, it’s merely a practice of removing physical clutter. But the more you get into it, the more philosophical it becomes.

My friend had an excessive collection of ceramic pigs scattered around her house. So, I assumed she had a penchant for the cute pink mammals.

Turns out she got a pig once as a gift and they just kept coming. She’s completely indifferent to pigs but never had the nerve to tell people to stop giving them to her.

In this way, clutter relates to an unwillingness to set boundaries with people. You put their desire to over-give ahead of your own need for less clutter.

Living with less improves your life by helping you set limits. Click To Tweet

Living with less improves your life by helping you set limits. Here are 5 major ways downsizing changes your life for the better.

1. Living with less helps you set boundaries

Unlike my friend with the pigs, you confront people gently when they keep giving you things you don’t want.

You learn the magic word ‘no‘ and use it until you get comfortable saying it. Your thinking shifts to where you’re no longer worried about offending people with your no.

You knew deep down some people wouldn’t like them. So you avoided the confrontation. That kept you small and took a toll on your soul you may not have realized.

Those people are the most important reason you need to set boundaries. You have to teach them how to treat you.

2. Living with less helps define your values

Downsizing helps you discover and define your values. When you’re deciding what to keep and throw away, you determine what matters to you.

Downsizing helps you discover and define your values. Click To Tweet

Often that stuff is tied to an image we have of ourselves as a successful person. You’ve probably traded a lot of time in the form of work hours to buy those things.

Now you find you don’t need or want half of them. You’re getting more intentional about the things you surround yourself with.

Letting go of external pressures when it comes to the size of your house or make and model of your car gives you the courage to pursue what really matters to you.

You move further from the world’s definition of success and closer to your own.

It’s impossible to know what you value when your life has been determined by other peoples’ opinions, whether real or imagined!

Living with less creates space in your mind for what matters to you. A more streamlined environment translates into better focus that helps you drill down and pursue your goals.

3. Travel becomes easier

After going minimalist in your home, packing light for travel will seem like a natural extension.

When you discover how little you need in your home, that same mentality will carry over to your travel items. You’ll find you get by with a lot less than you used to on vacation.

Packing light has multiple benefits. If you can fit your things into a carry-on bag, you’ll avoid wait times on both ends of your trip.

No lining up to check luggage or waiting at the baggage claim for your suitcase.

4. You make room for emotions

Living with less gives you time to consider your emotions, rather than push them away to get on with things.

Emotions carry lots of important information. Anger and sadness, the ones we least like to deal with, need to be acknowledged for us to stay healthy.

When we feel angry or frustrated that’s telling us something needs to change or get addressed in our lives. It can also help you see where you have personal growth work to do.

And, ironically, sadness when not acknowledged can make you feel more depressed in the long run.

We need to plug into all our feelings to generate ideas and create, which can help us determine and reach our goals.

5. Living with less improves your finances

Your personal finance improves on a downsizing journey for the simple reason buying less stuff leaves more money in your pocket.

When your finances become more abundant, you’re more willing to look at them. It’s not uncommon to refuse to face the truth about your financial situation when it’s unpleasant.

The control you gain over your belongings carries over into your finances. As you organize your environment and take stock of what’s there, the same will come true for your money.

The control you gain over your belongings carries over into your finances. Click To Tweet

Suddenly, you’re a person who uses a budget. You’re not afraid to see what comes in and goes out every month because it’s not the horror show it used to be.

Final thoughts

Living with less gives you space to sit and process your thoughts and feelings. Time to do what you want and stop caring so much what people think.

It helps you prioritize your own needs rather than putting yourself last. You start decluttering one room and end up transforming your life.

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  1. Joseph Kavanagh

    Very inspiring Laura. I need to de-clutter my life too. Very well written also. 🙂

    • admin

      Thanks, Joseph, I appreciate the feedback. De-cluttering = freedom; I love it.