I have been on a mission to get rid of stuff. Downsizing saw me get rid of many possessions, and I am regularly looking at things clothes, books, and thinking it is time to pass these on. I read a great article – 46 Ways to Give Experiences Instead of Stuff This Year (Even Last Minute)
In the run up to Christmas, people have been buying many gifts for their children and getting ready to swap gifts. But we mainly end up with things we do not want. I love how this article asks us to consider experiences rather than things.
With my downsizing move I still had too much stuff as I was using my garage as storage, but I want to put my car away, so I have got rid of many more things this past couple of weeks. I vaguely considered renting a small storage unit but decided that if I need anything. I will find the room, and if not it can be sold or given to a charity shop.
Apparently – our grandparents had an average of nine outfits, including dress clothes and work clothes. Now, we have an average of 30, plus a lot of extra clothes that dont qualify as an outfit.
The average child in the developed world owns over 200 toys but only plays with 12 of them on average per day! Only 3% of the worlds children live in the US, but they own 40+% of the worlds toys!
Why we should give experiences
Thomas Gilovich, Cornell University and Matthew Killingsworth, published research in the Journal of Psychological Science showing that experiences provide more lasting happiness than material possessions. People tend to get less happy with material purchases over time, and more happy with experiences. They speculate that this is because we adapt to physical things, so even the nicest car or newest phone becomes commonplace after enough time, while memories tend to get fonder over time.
The article talks about the 4-Gift Rule that some parents follow: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.
Fascinating article and you can get ideas here.