#27 Stifling Stuff

How much stuff do you have? And how much of it do you really need?

The average American home (I know you’re anything but averageĀ šŸ˜™) has tripled in size in the last 50 years, and yet 1 in 10 Americans still uses offsite storage for their stuff…

We’ve even got a television show dedicated to helping the extreme hoarders clean out their homes. This is real, America.

We know stuff doesn’t make us happy, but for some reason we can’t help but pile it up everywhere we can fit it. To break free from this cycle takes practice and discipline, but like anything, you really just need to take the first step.

The reason I’ve included reducing your excess stuff in 30toEco is because I believe your surroundings influence your decisions and this habit can indirectly reduce your footprint. If you are actively working to keep a simple, tidy home, it will influence your shopping behavior and encourage you to consume less which is the best thing we can do to reduce our environmental impact.

Stop it at the source

Cutting off the flow of stuff into your home is first and foremost. Just like tracking what we throw out (habit #12), tracking what we buy will also make us conscious of what we’re taking on, so instead of subconsciously filling our garages we can make a concerted effort to keep it simple.

Trim the fat

Actively eliminating clutter from your home can have a surprising impact on how you feel and can help inspire you stop junk accumulation from the source too. Many are liberated by minimalism when they get rid of all the excess that burdens them and while it isn’t for everyone, it’s worth a try.

Note: It’s important to make decluttering a routine so that you don’t just do it once and then never think about it again.

I recommend making it a weekly or monthly routine – something you can set an alarm for or write on your calendar. This way you pick up a new habit of reducing your unnecessary belongings so it becomes second nature rather than a chore you push to the back of your mind.

 

Your Action Item

Cultivate the mindset that less is more and get into the habit of decluttering your home.

 

May the force be with you:


Resources:

How To: Stop Accumulating Worthless Stuff

In this more detailed guide, I walk you through the why and how of moving toward minimalism.

21 Statistics

Some surprising stats on America’s consumer culture.

Minimalism

If you’re interested in learning more about minimalism, I recommend starting here. These dudes cover it all and do a really good job of it.

 

Dave

I am a minimalist, environmentalist, and conscious consumer with a background in environmental studies, conservation, and tech. I founded prch to help others be more sustainable and realize an alternative to consumerism.