A couple of months ago I was reading about Chris the Sheep who was found by Australia bushwalkers. His wool was so overgrown that he could barely walk. He got trapped in some bushes. The bushwalkers spent almost an hour shearing 89 pounds of wool off of him; that’s the equivalent of 30 sweaters.
What Chris’ wool was doing to him is what owning too much stuff can do to our lives.
The size of the average American home has increased in size by over 1,000 square feet since 1973, while the size of the average household has decreased in the same amount of time. In other words our houses are getting bigger while our families are getting smaller.
With the size of our houses increasing it would seem like we would have room to spare for our possessions. But that is not the case.
According to Joshua Becker over at Becoming Minimalist 1 in 11 American households rent a self-storage space and spend over $1000 a year in rent. This makes the storage business $154 billion industry – bigger than Hollywood!
Owning too much stuff can weigh us down because of the time and energy it takes to organize, clean, and maintain it. It also creates unnecessary stress in our lives and distracts us from doing the things that really matter.
Minimalism is shearing the excess out of our lives. It is removing the things that are keeping us from the most important things. Minimalism frees us up to do more of the things that we love because we’re not distracted by clutter.
Learning to let go of our excess possessions can be hard at first. Like Chris, we are so used to the excess that it feels weird, even scary, to part with it.
But the more stuff you get rid of the less you’ll have weighing you down.
For the month of November I’m working with The Hope Effect to provide homes for orphans. Help us make a difference in a child’s life. Click here to learn more.