I’ve recently been taken over by the idea of living in a tiny house. One of my friends built her own tiny house and I’m jealous – for the fact that she had the chance to build her home with her two hands and the fact that she owns such an awesome house.
My brother has made mention of building a tiny house in the lot behind his house. I told him that I’d love to explore the idea, help him out, and then rent the place for myself. His girlfriend didn’t seem too enthused about having the two of us living with her.
I don’t see why not? It would be a house filled with smoked meats, power tools, workout equipment, and bourbon. A young lady’s dream…
When visiting my parents over the holidays, I caught the new season of Tiny House Nation. Given that tiny houses now have their own show, it seems that I’m not the only person with tiny house fever.
I told my mom that I wanted to live in a tiny house.
She replied, “Tyler, you own too many things. You bought two suits in past few days. You’d need a separate tiny house for your clothing.”
You Own Too Many Things
My mom was right – don’t tell her I said that. I own too many things.
And the funny thing is, I have been trying to reduce how much I own. Since graduating from undergrad and deciding to go to the Peace Corps, I’ve had three waves of making major cuts.
I had a very large record collection that I stopped making use of. I sold it off. I had accumulated a house’s worth of furniture and I’d yet to reach my mid 20’s. I downsized to bare essentials.
In high school, I started collecting antique cuff links. After a few years my collection surpassed 40 pairs, while I owned only three French cuff shirts and wore at most 5 different pairs of cuff links that were my favorite. I sent all the unused jewelry away via eBay.
I currently own 2 tuxedos, 5 suits, and 7 sport coats. While they were each purchased secondhand, I have no need for such a wardrobe. Who the hell do I think I am?
I’m a man with too much stuff.
Knowing What Is Important
I left for the Peace Corps with two bags. I had my camera, laptop, Kindle, iPod, clothing, and a lot of other stuff, totaling 75 lbs. Everything else I owned was boxed up and stored in my a parent’s basement.
Of all that I brought to Africa, what made the return journey? My camera, laptop, Kindle, iPod, and two journals. Everything else in tow were souvenirs, mostly for other people.
Had I missed all the stuff I left boxed up for two years in my parent’s basement? Nope. Sorting through it, I realized that I had forgotten I owned most of it.
It wasn’t important to my happiness.
Love Life, Not Stuff
I’ve always been a bit of a rolling stone. I love adventure and I’m constantly looking for the next opportunity.
With all this junk, it’s hard to live out my dream of an adventurous life. I can’t be the only guy who is enamored by idea of throwing everything into a backpack heading off into the unknown- but maybe I read too many stories of explorers as a child.
You don’t have to dream of taking off to South America to be held down by too much stuff. Even day-to-day life is cramped by excess. I’d much rather spend more time out in my community learning, loving, and living, as opposed to constantly organizing and cleaning my house.
Our stuff, as with the universe, follows the second law of thermodynamics: without an input of energy, everything eventually goes to hell (in summary). With less stuff, we have to use less energy keeping it all together.
Clearing The Clutter
My junk has hit critical mass. I own too much and I’m getting rid of what I don’t need.
I have a growing pile of stuff that I’ll be recycling or taking to the Salvation Army:
- Two old cellphones
- A massive stack of old school papers that I’ll never look at
- 5 dress shirts I never wear
- 3 pairs of jeans that haven’t left my house in six months
- An iPod that has been replaced by my phone
- A stack of free t-shirts
- 2 suit jackets
- And much, much more…
Need Some Help, A Kick In The Pants?
This quote applies to physical clutter just as much as mental clutter. Free yourself from distraction and live the life you want to live.
If you need some more convincing to kick your clutter habit, you should check out Chris Thomas’s book YOU HAVE TOO MUCH SHIT. This quick, funny, and inspiring book is available for free download.
You have a shit problem. It’s time to fix it.