Buying more stuff does not make you happy

I have experienced it before. Buying more stuff does not make you happy in the long run. I just makes you miserable after the ‘high’ wears off. Numerous studies have already shown that. Having material wealth does not equate to increasing happiness.

I have written down on my notebook to declutter my life and recently I have started doing this bit by bit. Progress has been great. I have thrown away things I used to keep for no good reason. I am throwing away things that are old, or useless and giving away things like clothes, and books to someone who might need it. The rest, I recycle if I can, by throwing it into the recycling bins around my house.

It feels good to declutter my room. Just when you think you have the bare minimum number of things that you need in your life, and lo and behold, there are actually more stuff that you don’t actually need it! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a neat freak. My room is relatively clutter free. But there are just stuff hidden in nooks and crannies that are just not visible.

So right now, I have so much more space to keep that things that are important to me, and the things that I treasure most, I can now keep it safely, protected from the elements, making those things last much longer.

Looking at all the things I threw away, it was quite excessive, and looking back, I have a better sense of just the kinds of things that are important to my life on a daily basis, and things that are not essential and I can live without, or live with less. A prime example is going digital. I no longer buy cd albums or blu-rays movies. I download them, or subscribe to Spotify. I gave away my kindle, and use my tablet or iPhone 6 to read my ebooks. I contacted my telcos and credit card companies to send me electronic bills instead of a physical copy. I limit the number of shoes I can own based on the available space in my shoe rack that I just installed in my room. If I no longer have space for more shoes, I will not buy any more pairs, unless I have one that is completely unusable that warrants a new purchase.

I buy physical books less often, and gave away my old books to the Salvation Army. I hope someone would find my books useful. I have a simple pair of watch from Timex that I got from Amazon. To change my style, I simply have a few straps of different colors that are interchangeable based on how I dress and my mood. One watch, multiple straps. My computer is a Macbook Air, which is in use for the third year now. I have no plans to upgrade in the near future. I recently bought a new pair of JVC earphones. It’s a little pricey, but I think it’s worth it as the cables are extremely sturdy and well made, which should last me several years of use before I replace them. My old t-Jays are only being used while I am out running, as it is still working, except for the extension cable. I am starting to carry a reusable bag made out of canvas in my backpack. If I am doing a little grocery shopping before heading home after work, I will use that bag instead of plastic bags to reduce waste.

I will be buying less apparels in 2015, just getting the essentials to get through the day during work. There is no need to have 5 pairs of jeans, 5 pairs of chino pants with 100 different outfits. I just need 2 pairs of jeans, and a good pair of chino for daily wear. Basic T-shirts, plain, simple and unoffending.

Toiletries. I will buy them in bulk if possible. Getting big bottles of shampoo, shower foam, refillable if possible, rather than a series of small ones. I will squeeze every drop of shampoo, toothpaste, shower foam, and face wash before throwing the bottle away, so as to not waste any leftovers.

I am sure I find more ways to reduce waste, and live a more minimalist lifestyle that I am used to. I think it is important that as an individual, I am taking steps to make my own little contribution to curb excess, and reduce waste in my every day lives and do my part to save the environment. In fact, I don’t see why this form of living shouldn’t be in everyone’s upcoming New Year’s Resolution.

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