That sounds like a glib answer. But ‘nothing’ is a lot. It’s expensive to have nothing.
A few months ago my wife and I threw out everything. We threw out/donated all of our books. (we had either read them or we would never read them or we had them on the kindle anyway).
We threw out all of our extra sheets and plates (we’ve had 1 guest in five years stay over).
We threw out all clothes, 30 years of clothes that were clogging up closets, drawers, hampers, floors, other closets. If we hadn’t worn it in the last month, we threw it out.
We threw out all our broken-computers (‘one day we’ll fix them’ is what we always said about them when we assigned their place in our home-based computer graveyard).
We threw out furniture we never sat in. We threw out plates for guests. We threw out 40 bottles of wine (we don’t even drink. I had gotten the bottles as leftovers in a part eight years earlier). We threw out our cable-box.
We threw out all paper. IRS receipts? Bank statements? Notes from the kids’ school? All gone.
Suddenly everything was empty. No more bookcases (thrown out). No more paper piling up on the tables. No more spices we had never once used. No more envelopes waiting to carry important packages we never once sent.
Even my own books, translated into 20 languages – would we ever read them? Gone.
Why did we do this?
For the prior 3 months we had been living in AirBnBs around the country. All over the country we had traveled from AirBnB to AirBnB.
We got a peek into everyone else’s life. And we realized that we had lived just fine with just 2 computers, bathroom stuff, and a few outfits. Enough to fill one, sometimes two suitcases.
Never once did we miss anything we had left at home. And so the first thing we did when we got home was to throw out everything we never missed during those three months.
Why is this expensive? It costs a lot to be free. It costs a lot emotionally to no longer need the things you thought would be with you forever. It cost a lot to give up on all the things we thought would happen (guests! parties! thousands of books!) well into our old ages.
But now when we need things, we have to buy them. When we were traveling in AirBnBs, realizing slowly we needed nothing, it was expensive to travel (we traveled for work but still). To test-drive 20 other people’s lives.
If we ever did have guests, or needed those plates, or needed more computers, we would have to buy things. If we want anything new, we no longer have the old. So we have to buy.
Or not. That’s the key.
Now when we go into our home we feel less stressed, we feel more calm, the hopes of the future and fears of the past are no longer populating the shelves.
Money bought this freedom. But freedom buys you more money. When you are not tied down to anything, you can fly. Fly where?
Fly into space. Fly into the future. Fly like a child, exploring his or her dreams for the first time. Every day.