“Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.” –John Ruskin (Source: A.Word.A.Day / Wordsmith.org)
I am a believer that less is often indeed more. It is all too easy for me to get loaded with weariness when I have a lot of possessions. The quote above reminds me of a question I ask myself periodically:
Do I own possessions or do they own me?
There have been times in my life when I’ve had relatively few possessions, and at other times they have seemed to take over my life with increased clutter, greater taxes, decreased space, more paperwork, additional maintenance, etc.
Sometimes the latter got so bad that I made a rule to myself that for every material thing I added I needed to give away or sell something else. I used to give away whole carloads of unused items.
I now attempt to live a more frugal life with fewer material possessions but ones that I value more. To me, “Frugal” means “Not wasteful” or “Less wasteful”. I find myself happier living this way.
For example, several years ago I sold my car. I realized that since I work at home My Beloved and I very rarely need two cars. We’ve been a one-car family ever since. While it does take a little more schedule coordination, the tradeoff has been a greater sense of satisfaction, lower costs, fewer taxes, more space, greater utilization of an expensive asset, and more. We have a car rental place within walking distance and across the street from our mechanic so even on those rare occasions when our car is in the shop we just rent a car for the day. It is still much cheaper than owning two cars.
I’ve even often found that when I’m feeling down, if I take a little time to de-clutter an aspect of my life–something as simple as cleaning off my desk or better organizing one of our garages–often makes me feel a lot better.