5 TED Talks That Will Inspire You to Live With Less

The U.S. self-storage industry is booming. Estimated to be $36 billion in 2016, the figure is projected to rise to a whopping $37.5 billion in 2017. Thatís just nuts. Americans are living as large as ever, but space is still at a premium. Or is it?

Perhaps the problem isnít so much the lack of space, but the fact that we own too much stuff. The solution seems obvious, right? We should just get rid of it. In theory, maybe, but we all know itís not that simple. Getting rid of clutter is hard.

That may be true, but itís a task worth tackling regardless of how daunting it seems. The benefits of decluttering are many. For one thing, decluttering will make you happier and more productive. It will also help you de-stress and it will ensure your kids arenít left with the job when youíre gone.

The above mentioned blog posts should be reason enough to get you busy, but if youíre still on the fence about letting go of all your stuff, these TED talks will definitely inspire you to consider living with less. Because it turns out, the less you own, the more you have.

Getting Rid of 1000 Things by Liz Wright


Liz says her Ďahaí moment came after reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The book caused her to look more closely at her own life, specifically the small day to day decisions, such as the things you bring into your house.

She looked around her home and saw that sheíd clearly inherited her parentsí post-war Ďsave everythingí mentality. But being an 80s child, Liz also had a consumerist mindset. Not a good combination.

She set herself a goal to get rid of 1000 things. The end result was a lighter, brighter and more airy home and some wonderful learnings along the way. One big epiphany for Liz was the realization that thereís no point holding onto something for its perceived worth. Instead, she recommends looking at stuff in terms of its function and use.

The Masterpiece of a Simple Life by Maura Malloy

As a fellow writer and neat freak, I completely get Mauraís inability to focus, work or relax when sheís surrounded by clutter. Like her, I†too need clear countertops, an empty sink, clothes put away and most importantly, an uncluttered desk, before I’m†able to turn my†attention to work.

Maura says she wasn’t always like that. As a little girl she collected everything from dolls to pencils to teddy bears. It took a trip to India at the age of 19 to open her eyes to the joys of less, although not enough to deter her from shipping home a box full†of touristy stuff to prove she’d been on an adventure.

It was only when she moved to New York that she finally began decluttering in earnest. Mara uncovered her masterpiece life by eliminating the superfluous in her life. What would your masterpiece life look like? Why not follow Maraís example and chip away at all thatís unnecessary until youíre living it.

From Clutter to Clarity by Kerry Thomas

Kerry reminds us that clutter isnít just the physical stuff in our houses (though thatís a really great place to get the declutter ball rolling). It can also be digital, mental, emotional or spiritual, and each type of clutter can be equally overwhelming.

Drawing on the wise words of Barbara Hemphill, who said that clutter is postponed decisions, Kerry encourages us to more closely examine the things weíre holding onto and make a decision about them.

She reminds us that even in the midst of overwhelm, we have the power to effect change simply by making a decision. The quality of oneís life is determined by the decisions we make and itís only through making them that weíre able to move from overwhelm toward peace.

The Joy of Less by Kim Coupounas

The seduction of more led Kim down a dark path that left her emotionally, spiritually and physically so worn out and out of balance that she spent the next eight years having five miscarriages, three failed in vitro fertilisation rounds and spending a fortune on western and eastern medical treatments.

It was only when she slowed down and cleared out the clutter from her life that her world righted itself and she was able to fall pregnant. Kim reminds us that less doesnít mean lack, it means less stress, less anxiety, less anger, less worry. It also means more happiness, joy, abundance and connection.

Dream Big, Live Small by Dee Williams

What would you want to hold in your arms as you die? What favorite room in your house could accommodate that last breath? Imagine how our consumer patterns would change and how small our houses would shrink if we asked those questions more often.

A terminal health diagnosis led Dee to downsize her life dramatically. She sold her home, got rid of most of her belongings and built a tiny house on wheels. Parked in a friend’s backyard, her new abode redefined her understanding of what really mattered. Not surprisingly, stuff didnít feature.

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77 comments

Martina Rimbaldo
Martina Rimbaldo3 months ago

thanks

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Maria R
Maria P4 months ago

thank you

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Leo C
Leo C4 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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aj E
aj E4 months ago

thanks.

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Amanda M
Amanda McConnell4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda McConnell4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Mike R
Mike R4 months ago

Thanks

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Janis K
Janis K4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Marigold A
Past Member 4 months ago

TYFP.

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Leo Custer
Leo C4 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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