How to Grant Yourself Permission to Have Less Stuff

BY Faith Watson        May 21, 2015

It's true! You can have less stuff – including items like furniture, cars and bracelets, as well as stuff to do like chores, hobbies and trips – and still be incredibly happy.

This kind of incredible happiness can come from the feeling of sheer freedom from so much to remember, to take care of, to store, etc. Or it can come from the extra money, time and energy that having less leaves you with.

If you have accumulated things of interest, like photographs and books, collectibles and records, you might not be anxious to let go of any of it. You have memories, children’s art you love; unique items of value that commemorate your family ties, your travels, or your accomplishments.

This isn’t about that.

This is about stepping away from the stuff you’ve filled your home and lifestyle with to consider if it’s still bringing you the value you chose it for, instead of taking away from what you value most right now.

You have permission to admit you have changed your mind.

You don’t have to cling on to the idea of finger knitting, or your grandmother’s romance paperbacks, or storing 3 months worth of provisions in the trunk of your car just in case. You can own your decision to discontinue salsa lessons, or just say no to more candles even when sold at your neighbor’s house party.

You can also admit what you cannot part with or do without, from the heart.

As you compare what you honestly might want less of to what you honestly want to keep, store, admire and take care of over time, you might consider the following:

  • Do you remember less about your grandmother, or love her less, by keeping one of her favorite books instead of a stack of 20? Or what about looking at a picture of her?

  • Does this item or activity provide you with the thrill it once did? (Credit to the amazing Tony Robbins for that question.)

  • Do your kids’ holiday crafts, growing mildew from way back when they were in the second grade, bring you annual joy 10 years later, or is it more that having the kids has been the joy?

  • Do you adore running, or yoga, or shopping dates, or church committees, or book club, or watching the news, or is it other people who love that, and you love the other people?

It’s okay… you’re supposed to love other people! We all tend to alter our homes and lifestyles to accommodate for our relationships and our priorities.

But remember, the people and memories you care about will always be people and memories, and you can always care. The stuff that represents them is optional.

You can choose to own and do less, without letting go of your most valuable connections. You’re allowed to be selective with what you agree to have and hold. In fact, when you are selective, you only energize and enhance whatever you opt to keep.

Imagine the significance of being a specially chosen item, task, or person in your wonderfully valued life!


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Faith Watson

Faith Watson created 52 Permission Slips to help you feel allowed—literally that you have permission—to take the best care of yourself. To help readers calm down, free up and live happy by accepting the simple beauty of their human condition, week by week. And to experience amazing improvements without needing to hack stuff. By day, she is an online marketing copywriter and coach at pen to Zen helping entrepreneurs create meaningful marketing messages and authentic copy they can truly be proud of. Faith loves sharing on Facebook so head on over.

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