De-clutter and Simplify. Goodbye, Stuff.

De-clutter and Simplify. Goodbye, Stuff.

Blog Post 31 - Photo 1

Over the past several decades, simplicity has become one of the hardest values to maintain in our daily lives.  Functioning without a phone, laptop, and credit cards, just to name a few among a list of other modern must-haves, seems practically impossible. At one of my recent ABI meetings, we discussed the pillar of living simply and how we could shift our ways to become more sustainable individuals. In the words of Isaac Newton, “Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.”

For many, including myself, owning an abundance of material things is overwhelming and causes extra stress. Though de-cluttering my life sounds like a difficult task to take on, I am willing to begin now, because I know that, in the long run, doing so will have a beneficial effect on both me as a person as well as on the environment and the planet we all share as humans.

Last semester, my Political Science 101 class touched on trends of social culture. We live in society that has become increasingly dominated by a consumerist and materialistic economy, which means we purchase items that are not made to last and create excessive waste. We watched an insightful 20-minute video called The Story of Stuff, which showed us the shocking consequences of our current lifestyle.

Becoming a minimalist is undoubtedly not an overnight process, but altering my purchasing habits will at least allow me to save up at a much quicker pace. When it comes to buying non-necessities, instead of buying items at first glance, I now give myself several days to consider whether or not I actually need it. My first litmus test is to differentiate between need (essential) and want (non-essential), using a fill-in-the-blank sentence: “I need this in order to ___.” I also ask myself, “Is this product worth the trouble I will have to go through to pack it up, lug it around or make arrangements to store it, when the time comes to move in and out of the residence halls at the end of the semester? Not only does this 2-stage vetting strategy prevent regret purchases, I will only be buying items I really, truly like.

I recently read that “simplifying works just like a snowball – when you first start it seems like you will never get anywhere, but as you keep going your work compounds and gets much easier.” As I strive to live more simply, I hope to see myself becoming happier and feeling more in control, perhaps even experiencing less stress and frustration when presented with life’s inevitable challenges. “Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible,” Albert Einstein once said. “I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.” Well, I figure, a philosophy of life that’s good enough for Einstein is good enough for me.



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