24 Reasons Why Having Less Stuff Can Make You Happier

Even if it seems hard to buy less and get rid of things there are lots of reasons why having less stuff can make you happier and help improve your life.

woman sitting in her living room surrounded by clutter

Let me take a guess. You have too much stuff.

I know because I did too and it has been a goal of mine over the past year to have less. I’m slowly getting there and continue to work towards a life with lesser stuff.

It’s not easy.

Sometimes you might buy things you don’t really need but want them. But then you end up not using them because you don’t have the time or lose interest… or just plain forget about it because out of sight is out of mind.

With the new year beginning, it is the perfect time to start simplifying and decluttering your home and life. It will make you feel better and make your family happier. 

How Much Stuff Do You Need to Be Happy?

The answer to that is not a lot.

Of course, you need the basics – food, utensils, furniture, and clothing. It starts to become clutter when you start filling up spaces with materials just because you have the space for it, or you make impulse buys.

Truth is that you do not need a lot to be really happy because happiness comes from memories, experiences, health, and peace of mind.

So let’s talk about how to have less stuff and live happily!

1. Having Less Stuff Means Less Laundry to Wash

My favorite reason on this list comes in first. When you have less stuff there is less to clean. Fewer clothes mean less laundry and more room in your drawers.

I love to go through our clothes, especially my 9-year-olds and get rid of too small or worn clothes. Since I started doing this, it has helped cut down on how much I have to wash.

I also cut back on buying new clothes. She loves clothes but she doesn’t need THAT much. 

2. When You Have Less Stuff You Have More Room

We have a pretty small home and when we start having too much stuff it starts to feel cramped. That’s when I know it’s time to go through and do some purging. I like the feeling of more space and less clutter.

3. You Will Actually Know Where Your Stuff Is

How much time is wasted looking for things you can’t find? If you’re like my family the answer is way too much.

Having less stuff means you will have space for everything and you will actually know where things are.

Imagine being able to easily find your child’s soccer shoes for the big game. Life will be so much less stressful for everyone when you have less stuff.

4. Having Less Stuff Means Spending Less Money

Here is another one of my favorite reasons on the list. When you start making the commitment to have less it becomes easier to not buy things that you know you don’t need and that is a definite way to save money. Every little bit adds up over time.

I’ve been trying to save more money and not buying things we really don’t need helps out a lot. 
I’m not perfect at this but I can see that over the last year or so I’ve gotten better at buying less for myself.

You will have to get the rest of your family on board with having less stuff, but once you do everyone will be happier.

5. It Will Just Make You Feel Better

I used love buying things so I understand how good it feels to shop. Then buyer’s remorse would hit me and I would feel like I wasted money which I didn’t like.

I ended up with more clutter which I didn’t like either.

Having less just feels better. When you buy something you really need or want, you won’t regret buying it or feel like you are adding more clutter to your home.

6. Less Stuff = Feeling More Peaceful

having less stuff helps this woman relax with her cup of coffee on the couch

This has been so true for me and it’s because being surrounded by clutter is stressful. Even when you want to relax you just can’t.

As you start to eliminate the stuff you don’t need, you will start to feel more peaceful and not let it bother you so much.

7. The Things You Have Mean More

Having lots of stuff isn’t hard. Retailers target us everywhere. It’s no wonder we have things we don’t need.

It’s so much better to look around your home and see things you love or at least like. Not things you have because they were impulse buys.

My shelves and drawers are no longer bursting with stuff and I like it that way.

8. It Will Set a Good Example

Kids are the easiest marketing targets. They always want the newest toy, gadget or video game in town.

However, they always learn and reflect on what they see from the grownups around them.

If we teach them and model owning only the most important things and keeping them organized, they will grow up to be organized individuals with appreciation and love for the things they have.

9. You Can Tidy Up Quicker

Having less stuff makes tidying up easier for this woman in her living room

Having less stuff means you will be able to clean up your home more quicker and easier. No more all-day cleaning marathons.

Less clutter everywhere means less to pick up and a spot for everything. So Yay! Your cleaning time will be slashed and you will be able to get it done so much faster.

10. Your Days Start to Run Smoother

Things will just start to flow better. Your days will feel more productive than ever before. You will be able to get through more of your to-do list because you will have more time. Why?

  • You will know where your car keys are and your phone.
  • You won’t be searching for 30 minutes in your closet for what to wear because everything you have in there will be things you want to wear.
  • You won’t have to search for that matching shoe and will be able to get the kids to school on time.

11. Having Less Stuff Can Make You Healthier

Having less stuff makes cleaning easier and you’ll do it more which means your home will have less dirt and dust that can make you sick.

Having Less stuff also means less stress which will make you more relaxed. Less stress means better health.

12. You Won’t Buy as Many Duplicates

Because you will actually know what you have, you won’t buy duplicates of what you already have.

Who needs two pizza cutters, too many sets of towels, extra hangers, or too much food that won’t get eaten? Or let’s talk about those 12 nail clippers because you kept misplacing them?

Sometimes we mean to get these extras, but sometimes we’ve lost what we have or we have so much that we forget what we have.

We need less so we know what we have and where it is.

13. You Can Have People Stop By Unannounced

two woman at the front door stopping by for a visit

You won’t have to worry about your home. Once you start having less stuff your home will automatically look neater and it will take moments to tidy up quickly if someone drops by.

There won’t be that moment of panic! That “oh no my house is a wreck and there is nothing I can do about it now” sinking feeling that comes when you have too much stuff everywhere.

14. You Can Still Have the Memories

You don’t have to hold on to the stuff. I understand the impulse of wanting to keep things for sentimental and emotional reasons.

You have things that remind you of people who are no longer with us, who you don’t see enough and of memories that you love.

I would never say don’t have any sentimental things because I will always keep a few treasured things. It’s just a matter of being more selective with what and how much you keep.

15. The Stuff You Have Will Be Better Quality

When you are not buying as much, when you do need something you will want to make sure it lasts. So it will be of better quality because it is meant to last and not be as disposable.

Instead of buying a new shirt for $10-$12 once a month that will last 6 months or so you can save up and buy a much nicer top that will last the year and beyond.

The same goes for furniture and decor. What you buy will be better quality because you want it to last a long time. Not be something you have to replace every few months.

16. Fewer Fights With Family or Roommates

I’ve never lived with roommates but I know people who do. I know that just like when you live with your spouse and children, issues of cleaning and clutter can cause major disagreements and fighting.

When you make the commitment to have less stuff and downsize your belongings to a more manageable amount you will have less clutter. Less clutter will mean less to argue and fight about with the people you live with.

17. It Will Get Easier to Have Less

Not right away but over time you will start to break the bad habits you’ve created in your life of overbuying and having too much stuff.

Eventually, it will be a habit to think twice before purchasing something new and to actually make shopping lists that you stick too.

It will become easier as you start to see the positive changes that take place in your life as you buy less and get rid of things you don’t need.

I can now actually stop myself from throwing things I don’t need into my cart at Target. Not always, but most of the time. 

18. You Will Have More Money to Save

woman putting money into a jar to save

Do you find yourself struggling to have enough in savings? Most families, mine included do not have enough saved up for when an emergency happens.

Buying fewer of the things you don’t need gives you the opportunity to save that money you would have spent. Imagine what that could look like after a year!

19. Having Less Stuff Can Help Ease Anxiety

I have suffered from anxiety for a few years now and since I started having issues with it I’ve been looking for ways to help lessen it.

Having less clutter and less stuff helps me to better relax and feel less anxious. I think it’s a combination of not constantly being surrounded by things I need to get done and just a peaceful feeling that having a tidy house gives me.

20. The Stuff You Get Rid of Can Help Someone Else

Like the saying goes one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The stuff you have around your home that is of no use to you or your family anymore can be of great use to someone else.

You can:

  • Sell your stuff on Craigslist or in a yard sale.
  • Donate it to your local thrift shop
  • Give it to someone you know that needs it

Selling your stuff will get you some of your money back. Giving it to someone in need will make you feel good. Either way, you will have less stuff and that’s the goal.

21. Spending Less on Stuff = Spending More on Experiences

family vacation to the beach for mom, dad, son, and daughter

This took me years to learn as a parent but it is such a valuable lesson. Most of the things you buy your child will eventually end up being discarded later anyway.

Instead, put that money towards experiences and family outings. That’s what they will remember when they grow up. The trips to the beach or amusement park, not the dolls and legos.  

22. Kids Remember the Memories Not the Stuff

Our kids grow up, and as much as we don’t want it to happen, it does. As they get older they will start to value experiences more than things.

Encourage family members to give gifts like passes to places or have them go for a visit. Those are the things they will remember and appreciate more. The toys will just sit in their rooms, eventually forgotten.

23. You Will Sleep Better

Have you ever noticed you sleep better in a hotel? Unless the bed is bad, which is a totally different issue.

I realized it’s because in a hotel there is no clutter, piles of stuff out, things that you should be taking care of. You just lay down and get to relax.

Make an effort to keep your nightstand clear of clutter. Make your bed so it isn’t a jumbled mess of sheets and blankets when it’s time to go to sleep. Put dirty laundry in the hamper, not on the floor.

Doing these things to create a clutter-free zone will help you relax and be able to fall asleep easier.

24. Having Less Stuff = Less to Move

We use to move every year or so for the first 5 years of our marriage. I was shocked that although we had decluttered and purged a lot during our last move, we somehow had so much more to move the next time.

Having less stuff makes moving a much easier process. There is less to pack and when you get into your new home you will know exactly where everything belongs.

So there you have it. 24 reasons why this is the right time for you to start having less stuff in your life. It won’t be easy and will take you a while but eventually, it will just be so worth it.

Your home will become a more peaceful place and you will be under less stress. So start small and begin getting rid of a few things a week. Also, make the effort to stop buying things you don’t really need. 

More on Decluttering

Anika Gandhi

Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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