Maybe you’ve decluttered and your home is looking pretty darn good. But then you see all your friends with amazing wardrobes or new houses or all the latest gadgets.
Do you start to feel a little left behind?
Maybe your freshly decluttered home feels a little too humble?
This is totally a normal feeling!
And I’m sure most people have a twinge of jealousy (or great big feelings of regret and panic) after deciding they want less in their lives.
In fact, someone messaged me with this question this week.
So I hopped on Facebook to answer her question.
If you prefer text, here are the highlights of this video.
Here are 4 things you can do if you’re struggling with feeling content with decluttered spaces and fewer things
1. Practice gratitude
If you focus on being grateful for what you have and content with life as it is, you’ll be so much happier! I promise – it’s like magic.
Spend some time each day thinking of what you’re grateful for:
- your family
- good health
- nice weather
- a thoughtful text message
- coffee with a friend
It can be big things or small ones. When you’re focused on being grateful, there’s less room to be envious of others.
2. “Want” what you already have.
This is different than being grateful.
You may spend time day dreaming about things you want for your future. But what about things you already have? Do you actively “want” them as well?
You may even realize you haven’t been wanting the things you do have and are therefore taking them for granted. Something that’s wanted is much more loved, appreciated and enjoyed than if it’s just expected.
3. Remember where you came from
It may be challenging to enjoy living with less after you’ve decluttered. But where did you start out? Did you work hard to save up for your current home? Did you start out married life in a tiny studio apartment? Did you grow up in humble surroundings?
Remembering where you used to be (both literally and emotionally) can spur tremendous amounts of gratitude and peace for what you have now.
4. The grass isn’t always greener…
Now we get to the part that’s a little bit of a reality check. You totally know this is the case, but are you falling into the trap of thinking it’s not?
The people in that gorgeous house may be totally unhappy. The guy with the boat and the motorcycle and the XL TV may dread his credit card payments. When I see a house with a large lawn, the first thing that comes to my mind is, “I’m soooo glad I don’t have to pay that lawn service bill!”
There’s nothing wrong with having a beautiful house or a brand new car. The point here is that those things aren’t what make people happy in life.
What does make people happy is their attitude about what they do have, whether it’s a small house or a large one.
That’s why everyone wants to win the lottery but the people who do end up no happier than the average person (source: Nymag.com). A concept called hedonic adaptation says that we get used to the things that used to make us happy (like that new sweater, the new iPhone or your kids and their new Xbox game). It’s a race you can never win.
So be glad for your friends and neighbors if they’ve got more than you do! But don’t fall into the trap of thinking they’ve got it better than you do.
Have you done our 10 minute decluttering challenge series yet?