Does a new tv, a new pair of shoes or that really expesive car really makes us happier. Reseach says NO! The less we own, the happier we are. According to psychologists there are 3 reasons why people buy stuff:
- Practival reasons, you buy a pair of shoes because you need to put something on your feed. But you don’t need a pair of those red soaled shoes for that.
- Stuff shows us who we are. Now I would not want to be found dead with a Micheal Kors bag on my arm, but some girls woudn’t be found without one.
- People that buy stuff in their shearch of happiness. They buy a new phone every year and have more LBD’s in their closets then they will ever have party’s. But the joy of these purchases isn’t to long. Apparantly the motive of buying stuff if selfimage. The worse you think about yourself, the more you are willing to buy.
The last group of people could be the people that could be in most trouble. The happiness they experience is short term and in order to feel happy again they keep buying stuff. Yet, it’s not that easy state that people that don’t own that much stuff are happier.
Taking care of the items in your life takes energy. You need to clean them, put them away or maintain them. If you don’t feel happy with yourself you can tell by the state of your house. When I feel bad about myself, I leave laundry out to dry to long or don’t do dishes. So another question you can ask yourself is: “do I have to energy to take care of this item’.
According to a Dutch ‘cleaning coach’ it’s hard to get rid of stuff because we feel restless inside when we get rid of stuff, we have the tendasy to hang on to stuff. Where does this need to keep stuff come from? The answer to this question comes from looking at hoarders. They give emotional value to stuff that seem useless to other people, like old news papper. Getting rid of these items often isn’t an option for them and you can see them get fysically unwell when they do.
Living with less stuff isn’t easy, since we biologically wired to give emotional value to stuff that other people think don’t have value. Think about that ring your grandmother gave you. Or in my case: my car. My representation of being a independent
Living with less has made me happy, but I do admit it’s not always easy. If I’m on Facebook and the Zara/Mango/Asos-page says there is a sale, I’m always looking anyways and I often put something in my basket. A lot of the times I decide not to buy it (90-95%), because I do realize I might just buy that shirt I sort of like because it’s only 15 euro’s instead of 30. But it helps getting rid of the stupid stuff that I really aren’t that attached to, like those cardboard VR-glasses I got from work or the manuals of I items I no longer own