Less Stuff/ More Simplicity
“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.” ~ Edwin Teale
Consumerism ( a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods ) is an ugly little habit dressed in pretty clothes. It drives us to want more stuff in our pursuit of happiness. Instead, all it ends up creating for us is noise. Noise in the form of clutter that distracts from what would really bring us happiness- time and simplicity.
It doesn’t just create clutter, it also saps time and energy. Things require work. They demand maintenance. And maintenance takes time. How many of us actually have several extra hours in a day that are just begging to be filled? I know I don’t. And if I did, I wouldn’t want to fill them up with maintaining all of my stuff. I’d write, hang out with my children, build my relationships, etc…
The logical end of consumerism isn’t more happiness, it’s less money (and maybe debt), less time and less joy.
So here are some ways to fight it:
1) Stay home. Yes, it’s often as easy as that. The more that you are out running around, the more likely you are to be tempted to buy. Staying home will save you from having to fight the temptation. Plus, you will have more time for things that edify and contribute to real joy.
2) Learn to be content. This is not the easiest thing to do but learning to be content with what you have is key to fighting consumerism. Helping those who are in need can go a long way toward making you more content.
3) Take time to evaluate why you shop. Is it for amusement? To cure loneliness or sadness? To feel important? Once you figure out why you are buying things, you will be better equipped to figure out how to stop.
4)Also, take the time to evaluate the ads that you see. Ask yourself if the product or service is really worth your time, energy and money. Making deliberate choices and evaluating ads will go a long way towards fighting our tendency toward consumerism.
I’ve been trying to aim toward a more minimalist life for a couple years now. I still have things around my house that need to go; it seems to be an ongoing journey. In order to make this easier, I’m more careful now about what I bring into the house in the first place. Really thinking about my purchases has helped a lot. The less I buy, the less I have to care for or get rid of later. Of course, there will always be an abundance of books and records in my house.