Downsizing and its side effects

For quite a long time now, I have been reading these two books:

These titles suggest that it’s all about earning lots of money and then coasting your way through life. After reading the first few pages however, it becomes clear that the goal of these books is to provide you with a new mindset.

You can see all the hipsters in big cities are trying to do the same: eat locally, cook your own food, be aware of the consequences of your actions. In addition, Yoga and eastern philosophies are becoming trendy as well: be one with your environment, be aware of your needs and yourself.

But in the western world we live a rather consumerist lifestyle, and this is where these two books, from the very beginning, want to make a change.

Inspired by these ideas, and my long history of trying things out and pushing myself, I’ve tried to combine some of these ideas to some life changes:

I realized that once I have made these decisions, I see some pretty cool side effects.

Downsizing my phone


Summary: More money, more attention, less frustration, less occupied

Biking to work


Summary: More money, fitter and healthier

Preparing my own meals


Summary: Saving money, healthier, more time with my partner

Unsubscribing from Newsletters


Summary: Not wasting money, more attention for other things

Downsize Online accounts


Summary: Less stress about online security, saving money

Going off Social Networks


Summary: the best decision so far, both for my social as well as professional life

Reading emails just twice a day


Summary: More freedom in my day-to-day life

But, side effects didn’t just occur for each category, they promote each other:

Summary

This lifestyle doesn’t mean it needs to be like this forever. From a very minimal lifestyle, you can move faster, break fewer things, be more cost effective, be more healthy. Every day you feel less addictive and able to be the master of your own world again. Feel free to choose an iPhone again because you like Google Maps on the go and WhatsApp messaging. But, you might feel that every thing you add feels heavy and for the first time you feel all the clutter.

It’s the same feeling as quitting smoking. Beofre you quit, you feel a relief when you are a smoker: standing outside and having a cigarette after a heavy meal. But once you are off cigarettes, you feel the burden to smoke is gone. The same is true for all addictions and clutter in your life. In the beginning, it feels like these things give us safety and stability, but those can also come from within. Which means more money, more freedom and a happier life overall.