This being the second week in January, many people are making resolutions to improve their lives. I know several who are interested learning how to live comfortably with less. This lifestyle is hard not only to start but to maintain. Buying things makes us feel good due to the dopamine hit. And to live on less sounds boring or depriving oneself. But it’s not because I’m living comfortably with less and loving it!
How To Live Comfortably With Less: Go On An Experience
Some time in 2019, I discovered buying things no longer gave me the happiness I previously got. Eventually I realized that was due to me traveling more and learning new hobbies.
Traveling opened my eyes to new places, foods, and people. In addition, starting new hobbies like fishing and brewing kombucha brought even more joy!
With the former, I traveled to various ponds and lakes to fish and enjoy nature. Even if I didn’t catch anything that day, I appreciated my surroundings. With the latter, I learned more about the fermentation process and the science behind the beverage. While I was accustomed to cooking and baking, brewing kombucha was my first time fermenting anything!
As you make the transition to live with less, when you want to buy something, go on an experience instead. And these don’t have to be expensive. Go outside and take a walk in the park. Take a day trip to another city nearby. Finally, take yourself completely out of your comfort zone by cooking a new dish.
Putting yourself in a different environment awakens something in you that buying a new gadget or shoes couldn’t.
How To Live Comfortably With Less: Go On A Buying Fast
In 2019 I read either on the Frugal or Personal Finance subreddit about going on a buying fast or a No-Buy week/month. This meant not buying anything, or only buying essentials like gasoline or medicine. I did this a few times in 2019 and found I didn’t feel deprived.
Now I don’t suggest you don’t buy anything for an entire month. That’s too drastic. Instead, ease yourself into a buying fast. First, go one day without buying anything (again, buying essentials are fine). Then add on another day, and another day. Finally, go for one week without buying anything.
You will find that not only are you saving money but your urge to buy something will decrease. Finally, you’ll learn how to use the stuff you already have in your home. Speaking of the things in your home.
Take Inventory Of Everything In Your Home
This step is by far the most time-consuming, especially if you have a large apartment or house. How to live comfortably with less is learning what you already have in your home that you can use. And you do this by going through your basement or closets or garage.
To keep yourself from getting overwhelm choose one room or area to inventory that day. I suggest choosing a small area first, like a closet, to get used to the process. Take everything out of the area and lay it out on the floor. You will find yourself stopping at several points because you’ll find items you thought you didn’t have.
Once you empty out the room or area, determine if you can use the items. If you can’t use it, then determine if you can donate the item, trash it or recycle it. If you choose to sell your items, consider selling them on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or have a garage sale.
Finally, be honest with yourself as you sort your things as many people are attached to their stuff and don’t want to part with it. I found when I donated things I wasn’t using, like clothing, I felt freer.
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