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Check out this post which provides a different way to think about simplifying. Leo Babauta has many great posts about living more freely without stuff worth checking out! This post beautifully articulated what I’ve been thinking about as “open hands.” Rather than holding our things with a tight grip, fearful that we’ll realize later that we needed it or be unable to replace its “true value” (monetary or sentimental), think about having things for only the amount of time they provide us the most joy and/or utility. I ask myself lately rather something is greatly enhancing my life and if not, I’m letting it go.

I just really love this concept that ownership is fluid. Here’s a piece of the post.

Ownership, for me, is more fluid and less concrete.

We don’t own something for life — that’s wasteful, because most of our lives we don’t need or use something. We “own” something just for as long as we need it, and then pass it on. Think of ownership like a public library — we check things out when we need them, and then return them when we’re done, so that others can use them.

And then he talks about how he gives things away to friends, relatives and Goodwill where he also gets things along with Craigslist, Freecycle and other places. This fluidity means you need less space and spend less time caring for only what you’re need at that time. And it also ensures that things have their full life usefulness. Rather than sitting in a closet or attic or garage unused, others are enjoying what it offers. He goes on to say:

And yes, (this means) sometimes buying things that I owned years before. This means sometimes spending a little more, but it also means I’m giving away a lot of value, and others benefit from things I think are great. It means things pass through my life, into the lives of others, and I don’t try to hold onto anything. It means no object holds much emotional meaning for me, and so the meaning is instead put into experiences, relationships, conversations, the moment.

Open hands. Relaxed. Possessions come and go leaving room for receiving the unexpected and giving in meaningful ways.

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