Was there ever a time in your life when you lived with only the stuff you could pack in a car with or stuff into a backpack?  Maybe you took an overseas trip or went camping for a week.  Maybe it was just your freshman year in college when your twin bed took up the majority of your living space.  Do you ever look back on those simpler times with envy and wish you could go back to living that way again?

Graham Hill certainly does.  He took the TED stage and preached the sermon that you can achieve more happiness through less stuff.  The founder of LifeEdited.com and TreeHugger.com inspired us to change our lives and focus on making the stuff in our lives work for us.

Because here is the deal….the home of the average American is 3 times larger than it was 50 years ago.  So with all that extra attics, basements, and spare rooms no one should be struggling with clutter, right?  Unfortunately, we have also spent the last 50 years refining our ability as buyers who purchase more products.  These products overflow in our closets and lead to rooms in our homes that are simply “junk rooms.”  This purchasing ability has caused a spike in not only purchases but also personal debt and the stress that is associated with it.

So how do we change this pattern?  How do we live our lives more efficiently and with less stuff?  He lays out 3 simple rules.

  1. Edit Ruthlessly.  You know that sweater you didn’t wear all winter?  It is time to get rid of it.  That collection of novels you haven’t touched in years?  It is time to donate those books to someone to read and enjoy.
  2. Think Small.  Small is sexy.  Why have a six-burner stove when you only ever us two?  Find things that stack or nest.  Do you have cabinets filled with paperwork?  Think small and digitize all that information down to an external hard drive.  By limiting the amount of space you need, you can purchase a smaller home for less money and also save on the utilities of that smaller home.
  3. Multifunctional Spaces and Housewares.  Do you really work and sleep at the same time?  So why couldn’t one room be your office by day and your bedroom by night with the help of some transitional furniture?

This TED talk is fantastic, but there is one major element missing from the equation…KIDS!  Having children changes your lives entirely as well as the stuff you need.  Of course you can’t live out of a backpack anymore because you are responsible for another human being’s life.  That being said, his three major principles still apply.  Parents can still edit ruthlessly, think small, and utilize multifunctional spaces and products in their homes.  So moving forward, we will hope to provide you tips, techniques, and products that help you to achieve more happiness through less stuff.

So let’s get all the junk out of the way so we can start enjoying the good stuff.

Click here to check out his TED Talk. 

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