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Reduce your Life to 15 Things?!

Andrew Hyde decided to sail around the world.  As a result he sold virtually everything he owned.  He engaged in a little experiment in his life:  could he reduce the number of things he owned to 15 things?  He reached that goal although eventually the number rose to 60 where it sits today.

No doubt Hyde’s experiment is extreme.  But in the United States, the average American household has over 300,000 items!  Think of it.

When he was interviewed about his experiment, Hyde noted:

“I found far more quality of life by rejecting things as a gauge of success.”

While I’m not advocating that we go out and replicate Hyde’s model, his lifestyle should perhaps cause us to question:

  • Why do we own what we own?
  • Does our stuff make us happy?  Or do people?
  • What could I get rid of and still not miss?
  • Are their clothes that I’ve not worn for years?
  • Does my stuff take a physical and emotional toll on me to keep it?

At a personal level, I find that I’m doing my own wrestling.  My closet is my biggest gauge of things I don’t need.  I rarely wear ties anymore, so I think that most of them can go.  One blue blazer shall suffice.  One nice pair of sturdy khakis is fine.

My excess, my largesse as some might say, has never made me happy.  It just makes my closet rod sag.

How are you doing in simplifying your life?

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: » Learn More

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