Simplify — Joshua Becker

Focusing on a simpler life helps building a better life. A life with less stress and worries. A life with more meaning and joy. Impress your friends with your lifestyle. It’s a book on minimalism, getting rid of anything that distracts you from what you value most.

My rating: 3/5. I liked it. My notes length: 3 min.
Date read: April 10, 2016. More information on Amazon.

My Notes

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it. — Joshua Becker

Declutter

Look at your stuff. Is there anything out of place or disorganized? Anything you don’t need or love? Anything overflowing from a small place? That’s clutter.

Discover the hidden costs of clutter. Space, even in your home, costs money. You have to clean and organize your clutter. All your electrical appliances add up to your electric bill. You lose stuff. You are less productive by having to dedicate time an energy to constantly clean and organize your clutter.

To reduce your stress and amount of energy spent around your home, reduce your clutter. Clutter finds creative ways to drain your energy, attention and resources.

To declutter, look at all your items, room by room. Decide if you want to keep them, move them to a new place or discard it.

Find a place for everything. When something belongs to a place where there’s no more space, or if it doesn’t belong anywhere, get rid of it. You don’t need it.

Turn your clutter into money. Make garage sales, or sell them on ebay or craiglist.

Help someone in need by donating to goodwill.

Recycle when possible.

Maintenance

Once you’ve decluttered your home, learn to maintain it. Some things will need your attention monthly, while others will need it daily.

Be aware of places where you’re accumulating things. Those are generators of clutter, that you have to take care of periodically. Think on trying to solve the root problem, maybe there’s a place missing for a certain kind of items.

Develop the habit of giving things away. They are just things, not good nor bad, just things. If you’ve attached an emotional value to something, take a picture before giving it to someone that’ll make better use of it.

Develop the habit of putting things where they belong.

Less

Having a simpler life costs less. It consumes less time, money, and energy, leaving those resources for things that matter.

It’s simpler to own less stuff than to organize more.

We live in a world of abundance. You no longer need to keep items just in case. A general rule of thumb is to keep anything essential, and remove everything else.

Learn to enjoy things without owning them. Rent or borrow (and give back) things. Visit a park or library.

Learn to appreciate nature. It’s free and full of wonders.

More

Regain your time by setting your priorities correctly. Instead of doing everything, choose what you’d love to own and do. Focus on it.

Prefer experiences rather than accumulating stuff. You’ll treasure your experiences while stuff will generate you stress and worries. Experiences are yours forever.

Consumerism

Realize that clutter comes from consumerism. From mindlessly buying things that we think will help us feel better in one way or another. Try to be happy with what you have by looking for abundance in your life.

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” — Charles Spurgeon

Next time you want to buy something, pretend for a while that it’s your son asking you permission to buy it. Would you let them or would you say “son, I know you want it, but you’ll enjoy it for a while and then you’ll forget about it”?

Avoid buying things to impress anyone. Impress your friends with your lifestyle rather than with your things.

Controlling consumerism is one of the best ways to keep clutter under control.

Promoting

Prefer owning nicer things rather than many things. Own only things that you know are useful or believe that are beautiful.

Refuse to be a slave to anything, regardless of how good or beautiful you find it. Enjoy things, but never get addicted to them.

Apply this rationale to all areas of your life. Promote the things, relationships, and activities you most love. Remove anything that distracts you from them.

Enjoy all the free time you now have at your disposal. Use it wisely.