Putting myself over possessions

One thing that has put me on the path to minimalism is something quite simple: putting myself first.

Now this may sound obvious but I found that possessions and also the pursuit of them meant that they got in the way of the most important thing which is my own wellbeing and doing things I actually want to do.

It can be small things like clothes or gadgets right up to big things like cars or property. I bought in fully into the idea that having more meant I was putting myself first. You’ve worked hard, go out and treat yourself, I’d say.

But doing that has a cost on a number of levels. It can be financial or time-based, the cost of buying or maintaining possessions has to either be paid for or comes out of your own time to look after it.

Then there is the stress and headaches associated with them so the possessions then take up more of your time as you fret over them. Suddenly I found I was spending all my time either working out how to buy something or working out how to look after the things I had.

Maintaining possessions almost became a full-time job for me last year as we were in the middle of renovating a house and also had two old cars which needed constant attention. This was in addition to all the little things in life which add up.

Something had to give – I decided that I had enough of being a slave to my possessions and started to reduce the number of things in my life that got in the way of doing things I actually enjoy; simple things like seeing friends and family had slipped off my radar as my possessions were king.

First thing was the cars. Previously seen as a sign of freedom to do anything they soon become a shackle. They were forever breaking down and draining our hard-earned cash.

Weirdly it was a great weight off my shoulders when we ditched them when a year ago I would have thought being car-less would have been a step backwards. The fact is we live in London, which has brilliant public transport, and we ride our bikes everywhere anyway. Now we have even more excuse to get on our bikes and go out and explore – the exact reason we wanted a car (that became cars) in the first place!

I’m working my way through everything I have now. Slowly but surely I am making sure that I put myself first over possessions.


PS For anyone who’s interested, we used to own the camper van in the middle of the picture!

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