The More Stuff I get Rid of, the Happier I get
Two years ago, I made a decision.
The decision was to go through my wardrobe and give away any clothes I wasn’t wearing (both old and new). My partner did the same. After revamping my closet almost 3–4 times, I am finally down to about 6–10 shirts, 3–4 jeans, 2–3 traditional Indian clothes, and a few home wear. My closet is now breathable.
There is much space and positive energy.
Some of the clothes that were cleared off the closet were sent to friends, some donated locally, and some sent back to India through our parents to distribute there to friends, family, and anyone in need.
Since clearing our wardrobe gave us so much positive energy, I decided to do the same with our home.
All furniture, utensils, random mugs, containers, cushions, holiday memorabilia, notebooks, books, pencils, pens, vases that weren’t in use or that didn’t resonate with us were sent out for donation.
The more stuff we gave away, the more we felt like we could breathe.
Once we cleared our home, it felt fantastic. There was more space to dance around. More room to be creative and just more space to walk!
Since we had less stuff, we could also comfortably move from a two-bedroom apartment to a single-bedroom one. We didn’t need space because we didn’t have piles of stuff that occupied space.
Since we were just two people, it was more than sufficient for us.
Less number of rooms → Less stress in cleaning/organizing → Happier us!
It took time and a whole lot of emotional strength to let go of some of the things. But through this process, I realized that one doesn’t have to be attached to the “stuff” a person gave in order to be attached to the “person.”
Of course, I still keep some items with a lot of love and care, but most of it had to go!
Freeing our space didn’t happen overnight.
Even today, we have to be really present about the things we own and the “stuff” that others hand over to us.
Honestly, if it were in my hands, I would have given away much more of my stuff. Unfortunately, my partner still enjoys his TV and sound system.
But we did reach a compromise.
To keep our home spacious and full of energy, my partner and I set a few ground rules:
- Conduct a review of our things every 2–3 months to see what else we can give away.
- Say no to gifts as much as possible. If there is no way out of it, either keep it (if we like it) or give it away to someone who will use it. No shame. No guilt. And it doesn’t change the love we have for the person who gave us the gift.
- Buy only things that we absolutely need. If we need to buy something, the first option is to get second-hand products (through friends, family, or thrift stores).
- If we need things temporarily (e.g., fancy plates for guests), we buy them from a thrift store for a few days/weeks, use them, and donate it back (we consider it more like a rental).
- If we plan to buy something new/old, we assess what else can be removed from our home to make space for the item (to maintain homeostasis). For example: With two kittens who will be occupying our home this month, we have given away a box full of our stuff to make space for kitty things such as cat trees, litter boxes, etc.
- Exchange clothes with friends rather than buy new ones.
My partner and I are in no way minimalists. But even eliminating some of the things from our apartment has given us so much relief and made time and space for more important things.
Partnership. Love. Happiness.
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