Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.― Wendell Berry
Living a life free of physical clutter isn’t just a nice thing to do. It’s essential to a life of freedom.
Because there is always a cost to owning it. Not just a cost to purchase it initially but also a cost to maintain it, the space it takes up, and the mental energy to organize it.
Managing one new thing may not feel overwhelming but add a few together and it begins to add up.
The biggest cost of a life too full of physical things is a slow, gradual loss of freedom. A loss of time, energy, and money happens too but the loss of freedom is the most painful to our soul.
Freedom gives us the power to determine our actions without external control, interference, or obligations. When we have a large mass of stuff to manage we lose much that control and it begins to manage us.
The freedom of a life free of physical excess begins with controlling the desire to acquire.
It means saying no to perfectly good things. Things that might make our life better in some small (albeit temporary) way but just aren’t necessary.
The first step is creating a barrier to acquire more each and every day. Here are a few simple questions you can ask before you purchase something you feel you need.
- Will this meaningfully improve my spiritual or physical health? Will it help me significantly build a relationship?
- Will I be glad I bought this in a year from now?
- After a few weeks of waiting will I still want this?
- Is there another free alternative?
Share below or on Facebook what questions you ask yourself before purchasing something.