Author: Juli Shulem
We are all spending a lot of time inside our homes. How much do you REALLY need? For those whose homes are a disorganized clutter zone, this could be stressful and result in more anxiety than isolating already brings to the table. If you are constantly tripping over stuff on the floor, and having to look at stacks of papers and magazines on top of various surfaces, or have counters filled with ‘who knows what’ then this needs to change.
During this sheltering experience, I have pondered the question of “How much do we really need?” I’m in the middle of moving – yes, during a pandemic – so back in late February knowing moving was imminent, I packed a lot of items that were, what I consider, non-essential things: artifacts, décor, extra kitchen items, spare bedding items, books, and the like. I then staged my home to show for sale.
Since I keep a pretty minimalistic environment as a rule, there is not a lot of difference between when the packed items were around and the now lessened amount in the staged version. I can now say, however, that after nearly two months of sheltering in place – there is really not much needed to be completely content.
I have always felt that people live with too much stuff – particularly in the United States, and having traveled around the world I can attest to that from what I saw. I found that when I have to consider what my “needs” are based on taking the risk of going to a store, or buying something online and all the cleaning and mindfulness surrounding bringing something into my environment, I am forced to consider “what value is that item bringing to my life?”
I have found that food, good healthy food, is priority #1. So I called up the store that I like buying high quality olive oil and vinegar from and supported their business. I also enjoy good tea (I don’t drink coffee), and purchased teas from three different independently owned shops.
Ultimately, I paid attention to those things that would make my life better or easier, such as noticing that my reading glasses were no longer doing their job and I needed new ones. I have mostly bought things that are necessary, in addition to allowing me to make life easier, more productive, and increase joy.
This way I can do my work, engage in my hobbies, connect with others, and be happy doing so. The reason I mention these purchases is because when I have suggested living a more minimalistic life in past articles, people have countered with their not wanting to stop buying things.
And I am not suggesting you never buy anything again – because that isn’t going to happen – but be realistic with what you do buy. Make sure that what you bring into your home is providing some value. Ask yourself what it will add to your life.
Notice I did not stop being a consumer – but I didn’t waste my efforts on things that were not going to bring something positive into my life for the time, money, and energy expended. This supports the economy and keeps your budget in mind as well of what do you REALLY need.
Be safe. Stay healthy.
***Written by Juli Shulem
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