Read any self-help book and it will tell you all about how you should get rid of most of your things if you want to be happier. While we think that possessions like new-fangled televisions and huge collections of DVDs will make us happy, in truth all they end up doing is grounding us. They make our homes look cluttered and untidy, they cost us money and they make it incredibly difficult if we ever want to move home. The more you have, the more you have to use and the less freedom you will have. It’s almost as though your possessions end up possessing you.
Technology is to blame for this in many ways, and it’s very common to find that a love for widescreen plasma TVs or other technological indulgences end up driving people into debt or taking up too much of their attention.
But then again, technology can also be used in the precise opposite way: to liberate you from your physical possessions and even to give you the freedom you need to work away from home and to travel the world. Read on to see how that’s possible.
The first way that you can use technology to accumulate less ‘stuff’ is to start using digital products a little more. This is something that won’t come naturally at first and that might feel very unnatural, but you’ll find that you can be just as happy without having lots of boxes to gather dust next to your TV.
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Spotify can replace your entire music collection for a few dollars a month, whereas you can easily buy most films you own online for a few dollars if you want them at a later date. Books can be found on Kindle, and computer games can be downloaded via Steam. Get rid of all this stuff by selling it or giving it to charity and you will find your home looks far emptier and tidier and that you feel instantly much happier as a result.
And if you can’t quite part with your CDs and DVDs? Then you can always rip them and save them on an external harddrive for later use. These days you could even save them to the Cloud and have them available wherever you are with no need to transport them. When you next hire a moving company it will take half the time, and there’s nothing to stop you enjoying all your media now while sitting on a beach somewhere and sipping a cocktail…
Another thing that can be very useful for limiting your ‘stuff’ these days is to invest in smaller technology than the technology you have currently. This would then mean for instance that you could replace your big hulking PC with a device such as the Surface Pro 2. This has all the power of most larger computers, but is compact enough to fit inside a tablet form fact. It has an impressive 8 hour battery life, a slick touchscreen and a removable keyboard. That means you can throw the power of a PC into a small shoulder bag and take it on the road with you. Some people are even replacing their PCs with iPads – they have limitations but there are ways around most of these and it makes for a much lighter payload.
Worse than large collections of DVDs or CDs are huge piles of paper. At least the DVDs are entertaining. Still though, most of us have no option but to have hundreds of bank statements and bills kept in files in case we ever need them…
Or do we? Actually these days most companies does just offer paperless options – they actively encourage it. You’ll find that storing your data on the computer is actually both much easier to keep organisedand much lighter in terms of the amount of stuff you’ll have to live with. Trust me: it feels great to get rid of all that paper!