Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Being Happy With Less

Have you ever looked at your collection of gear or equipment or belongings and thought, wow, I have a lot of stuff? For a while now, I've been employing a philosophy of doing more with less on my hunting and fishing outings. The days of lugging two tackle bags bursting at the seams or loading down my daypack until it's too heavy are over. I know many of us are familiar with the scenario - well, I'll take this in case I need it and I'll take that, too, because you never know. And I might need this, maybe. Let's be honest, only a small percentage of the "stuff" we take along on hunting or fishing trips actually gets used. And I'm not including items that we take for emergency or survival situations. Being prepared is important. I'm talking about the excess stuff that gets packed and carried around even though we know it won't be utilized.

Downsizing or doing more with less is certainly not a new approach and many people adhere to that philosophy. I no longer take tons of tackle out on the boat. Realistically, only a small portion of the tackle in one bag gets used. There's no reason to have two or three bags full of stuff sitting around. My hunting pack used to have things in it that I thought I might use someday, but never did. I'm more diligent about packing for specific outings. If I'm bowhunting, I don't leave things in my pack that are only used for firearms season and vice versa. I grew tired of hauling stuff around that never got used. The idea is to pack smarter, not work harder.

I have also applied this on a slightly larger scale to include my general packing, say, for a weekend hunting trip to the cabin. In the past, I may have taken three or four pairs of boots and 95% of the time I only wore one pair. Now, I'll take two pairs of boots in case one gets really wet or there's a big temperature change. I don't pack as many clothes as I used to, either. Most of the stuff I took in the past didn't get worn. I've stopped taking multiple pieces of outwear. I pack so I can layer and adjust to changing weather accordingly without taking everything I own.

Not only have I been implementing "less is more" in my hunting and fishing, but I'm doing it in my life as a whole. My parents have a very nice home and it is one of the most uncluttered homes you will ever see. They have a simple rule - if it's not used or not needed, it goes. It goes to the church, Goodwill, or the trash depending on what it is. It's a rule I am using, particularly in light of my recent move. This is my fourth house and each time I've moved I've thrown stuff out, as I'm sure many folks have. I'm being even more strict this time, though. If I have no legitimate use for something, it goes. I am definitely not a hoarder, but you don't have to be to accumulate things. Stuff just has a way of collecting without us really realizing what is happening.

I want my house and my life to be uncluttered. I have learned that I am actually happier with less. Each time I come across something I know I can get rid of, I have a sense of satisfaction. It's almost like a challenge to see just what I can really do without. I'm not trying to put myself back to the Stone Age, but I have a feeling many of us have more stuff than we actually need or use. My goal is to simplify and remove any clutter. I'm enjoying the results of this philosophy. It's almost a sense of freedom. And I like it.


texwisgirl said...

I'm all about living a "less is more" lifestyle and keeping an uncluttered home (except for too many dogs to step over). At least getting older is good for something - it teaches us letting go can be good.

(you just want those moving boxes and bags GONE so you can have your own space!) :)

Nancy said...

I agree with your philosophy, Brian. Unfortunately, I have a spouse who has been preparing for the End of Days since he was 10.

Love the new header -- looks very professional. :)

Albert Quackenbush said...

Perfect timing for this entry, Brian. I've been talking about doing this for some time and keep putting it off. After reading this, I just want to go home and start clearing things out. It really is a wonderful feeling of freedom when you can make room and live with less stuff.

Great outlook!

I agree with Nancy - the new look is very pro. Well done!

Mel said...

When I first came to this new post, Brian, your new Header caught my eye. Very nice looking, and, also very simple. Kind of goes along with this post on getting a perspective on all that "stuff" we all have and use. Particularly liked this post as I have been making every effort to simplify life as much as possible. Thanks for the push to stay with it.

Ian Nance said...

We're re-arranging the house in preparation for twins this was shocking what all I had come to accumulate. Got a good chance to think about what needed to hit the donation pile and what I was able to convince myself I needed

LB @ BulletsandBiscuits said...

Traveling on motorcycles FORCED me to think about what we really needed when packing. This way of thinking has carried over to my hunting and fishing gear so now I get to sit back and roll my eyes at our friends that bring out totes full of gear that they have to have for each fishing/hunting trip.

Rambob laughs at me because the "simplify" mood strikes me about every 3-4 months and I go thru the house and get rid of anything that we haven't touched since the last "walk thru". Less crap to clean equals more play time for LB! haha

mynature said...

Great post Brian and very true most people get way to caught up in all the little gadgets to get when really you never needed to get it to start with.

FishCreekSpinners said...

Good stuff. Thanks for the brain prode.

heyBJK said...

Well, I may or may not be getting the other comments back. I appreciate everyone who left a comment. I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who likes this approach!

Now we'll see if Blogger restores things completely.

kmurray said...

I love the "less is more" philosophy. I've even taken the liberty of shorting the phrase to "simplify" and have a sign next to my door so that I don't forget. It's amazing how much more you can get out of life by just lightening your load!

Hope all is well with you and I wish you the very best as always!

Stephanie and Dustin said...

Very well said. Dustin and I had to downsize when we came to CO, and we are definitely living more simply. We've never been happier.