“Owning less is better than organising more” is a phrase that rings through my ears often. Mainly when I’m decluttering or shopping and sometimes when I’m cleaning the house. It’s a phrase that is true and influences our lives on several levels. I much prefer to own less and spend the time doing something that I enjoy or has more value to me than spend time organising my stuff and cleaning it or around it. But there’s another side to this that rarely gets a look in — our sleep.
When we think about sleep, we focus on the act of sleeping itself. How quickly we fall asleep, that we’re lying down and feel comfy. We very rarely think about how our environment and how we live day to day have an influence on our sleep.
When we own less stuff, a lot of other things fall into place, better sleep being one of them. When we focus on owning less great things happen naturally. Mainly because owning less is better than organising more. I’ll explain what I mean by that in a moment, first some facts.
Did you know that two-thirds of people in the UK wear less than 50% of their wardrobe? That’s a lot of unnecessary spending on unneeded clothing.
Add to this a 2010 report in The Guardian which stated that the average British person has more than 95 cubic meters of his or her home stuffed with items that are rarely or never used. That’s just over the size of a shipping container! Compare that to 30 years ago and it’s twice as much clutter than our parents or grandparents had.
What does it mean to own less?
Owning less has many positives that influence many areas of our lives which in turn lead to better sleep.
By owning less, your finances are in better shape as you spend less on what you don’t need. This, in turn can, depending on the state of your finances, lead to better sleep as you are less worried and stressed about money.
By owning less, you have more time as you spend less time cleaning and tidying and moving things as every item has the space to have its own place. This in turn means you have time to do more of the important things that may eat into your evenings and nights, so you’re able to get to bed at a reasonable time. This is especially true if you have kids. Research found that the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 toys per day.
By owning less, you have more energy to put into what you really care about or a more important task, meaning you’ll feel more content and sleep better. This is because you won’t spend as much energy on organising your possessions or thinking about them if you spend most of your time looking at what you have as you go about your day.
By owning less, your happiness increases. A 2017 survey from Lovespace discovered that 80% of people living in the UK believe the state of their home influences their mood. A less cluttered home made us much happier people. Happier days mean happier nights.
You can see by owning less our lives can be much more fulfilling, leaving us with the time, energy, money and mindset to do the things that are important to us. This all has a positive influence on how we sleep.
Time to get decluttering! Selling what you don’t need is one way to make what can be a daunting task much more manageable.
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Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash