Today let’s talk about stuff. Literally. Us, people, we surround ourselves with things that a lot of times don’t have any meaning or use… Consumerism, materialism, retail therapy taken a step too far… gifts that we hope to “re-gift”, books that we’ll never read again, clothes that don’t fit… it all suffocates us!
If you think about happy life memories, not many will include you purchasing things. Most likely, you remember cozy moments with your family, naughty pranks, fun vacations, or getting a pet. You [probably] don’t say, “Oh wow I bought this jumbo pack of 50 pairs of socks ten years ago, what a happy memory!” So going back to the point! Things WON’T make you happy in a long run, but experiences WILL.
Thus, let’s get rid of that sh*t! Sell what sells, donate what will be appreciated and let’s spend your money on something GREAT! Let’s do things!
If you live in northern hemisphere, you are probably psyched about summer time. It is THE perfect time to do outdoor activities and jumpstart your “experiences over things” pledge. If you do pledge, of course… just saying…
Here is a list of things you may want to consider for accomplishing both – cleaning your home and immersing yourself in some quality time:
MAKE YOUR BOOKS TRAVEL
Yes, sometimes it is hard to get rid of your books, especially if you collect those about fashion and photography. But here we are talking about books that you read once and probably will never read them again (yes, those with no pictures…). A while ago, a guy whom I met for the first time, and to whom I mentioned I was going abroad, has given me a book “for the road” saying I should take it. When I frankly told him I might never return it (rude), he said that he wasn’t expecting it in the first place. He was the one who taught me that books should travel. In such case you absorb information and pass it on to another person who may benefit from it. This works great! It’s like traveling library with no late fees.
THINK WHAT YOU ARE BUYING. TWICE.
This may seem like a no brainer, but seriously, we are buying things we don’t need. To avoid this, the best approach is to make a good old shopping list. And then STICK TO IT, damn it! You don’t need that fluffy blanket because it’s on sale. You already have five of those and it’s summer time…
CARRY CASH, NOT CREDIT CARDS
This helps so much when you try to budget. When we physically hand the money, we notice our spending. Whereas, when we swipe credit cards to the left and right, we may simply disregard the numbers. It is not to say that you should carry huge amount of money with you… Like many elders would warn you, “kiddo, it ain’t safe”. Try it at least for a week, and you will start feeling protective of your money. You WILL want to spend it on something worthwhile.
Another no brainer for having some good times! It is worth being more conservative on spending your money on things and saving it for traveling. It could be to another continent, or to a nearby zoo. It could be done with other people, or by yourself! We all have different preferences and budgets, so do what you like, just please go already.
DINNERS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
This creates some great bonding. Choice is yours: neighborhood restaurant, grandma’s house, theme party … to make it special, we recommend dining outdoors, with some great home cooked dishes on the table and music blasting from the speakers. Do it on Monday, so you can start a week with a party! Who said you must plan things for the weekend?
RANDOM ACTS OF SURPRISE
This may be not appreciated in some cultures, but if it is acceptable to you, it’s worth giving a shot. POP at someone’s doorstep to say hello unannounced, con them into making you some tea or mixing a cocktail, make their day by providing your friendship and leave when it seems appropriate. You will sense it. Another way to inject some surprise into routine is to letting yourself off the hook sometimes. For instance, you kind of agreed to come to this boring promo party, but the last minute, instead of heading to your car, you grab your dog and go to the park.
TAKING UP A HOBBY
Yes, hobbies may be expensive. But after getting rid of things and being more careful with purchasing new ones, you have some savings. You never know – your new hobby may lead to a new career. Besides, you will probably find more friends and grow some balls by immersing yourself into unknown!
These are some ideas that will [hopefully] help you [and us] to go from ‘drowning in things’ to enjoying life! Have thoughts? – share with us!