Why Owning Stuff Sucks

When I was in the Dominican Republic, I was trying to decide where I should go to next. I was looking at flights to Central and South America and was thinking about flying there. However, ever since I had left Las Vegas, I had this nagging in the back of my mind. What was the nagging for? I had left my stuff in Las Vegas.

Maybe that sounds stupid, but it’s the truth. Because I had parked my car full of stuff in Las Vegas, it would continue to come to my mind. At times I would wonder if my car would get broken into and my stuff would get stolen. Or I would wonder if the Vegas heat would end up melting half of my things. I was also concerned because I had left my car in my friend’s driveway and I didn’t know if he was driving it regularly or not.

So, I decided to come back to Vegas, mostly to take care of my stuff. There were some other reasons as well, but because I was concerned about my stuff, it played a major part in my decision.

Now, after having lived out of a small backpack for 2 months, it was very easy for me to think that I just wanted to come back to the states and sell all my stuff. I didn’t want the mental baggage that came from having stuff to take care of. You should try living out of a backpack sometime. It’s very liberating and you realize all of the crap that we accumulate that doesn’t contribute to our happiness.

I’m currently going through the process of listing many different items of mine for sale on craigslist, and hopefully I can sell them quickly. However, it’s just so interesting to me how burdensome our possessions can actually be.

I hate moving. I think most of us do. The reason that most of us move is because of a new job or opportunity, and those reasons typically only require us (our physical and mental bodies) to move. However, the reason that moving sucks is because of all the stuff that we have to move. Does all that stuff really make us happier? I know that not having to move stuff ever again would make me pretty freaking happy. I’m just saying.

Also, the stereotypical man is afraid of commitment. Why? Well, because commitment essentially eliminates freedom from his life. What’s interesting is that commitment to relationships is viewed as a limit to freedom, but why isn’t purchasing objects viewed in the same light? The more stuff we have, the more it limits our freedom. I like to take a look at my life and think about the decisions I’ve made in my life because of stuff. Whenever I realize how much my stuff has influenced my decisions, it only increases my desire to own less.

I’m not completely opposed to owning stuff. However, I have found that the less I own, the more freedom I have to truly live the life that I want to live. In fact, owning less is much more difficult than owning more. I’ve found that it’s very easy to buy something, but getting rid of things we buy is much more difficult.

Yes, I’m a minimalist, but only because I love freedom and I’ve seen how limiting possessions gives me more freedom. I don’t think that everyone needs to sleep on the bare floor and only own 3 shirts, but I do think that many of us in our society would do well to embrace more of a minimalistic approach to buying possessions.

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3 Comments

  • Candace says:

    Interesting perspective! I do hate the packing part of moving…that is FOR SURE. Sure can’t wrap my head around how I could live super minimalist with kids in tow! I love baby gear too much! :)

  • Aaron Anderson says:

    Haha, yeah, I just worked for a baby gear ecommerce company so I know how much those Moms can love their baby gear :) At it’s core, I think minimalism is about only keeping stuff that you actually consistently use. It’s crazy how much stuff we keep around that we NEVER use, or that we keep “just in case” we might need it at some point

  • […] know, if you’ve read any of my posts about minimalism or why owning stuff sucks, you might be surprised that I’ve bought a tangible product. I’m not really opposed to buying […]

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