My three steps to a happier life with less stuff

Over the past years I’ve lived in 6 different flats (+4 months in a car) and 4 different countries, which has led me to think really critically on everything I buy / sell in order to fit all my “life” into one suitcase + one box. Here are my top three rules to follow for happier life with less stuff:

1. Get rid of things you haven’t used at least once in the past 3 months.

I actually started off with 6 months, then 3 months and now 1 month. Look through all your wardrobe, living room, kitchen, bathroom, electronics and be ruthless. You can always rent them if you use them rarely. I do also have very few exception items, such as my black tie suit, but I can count them on one hand.

2. One in, one out.

Once you’ve cleared out the stuff you don’t use that often, then make sure you keep it that way. I’ve agreed with myself that whenever I buy something, something else has to go.

3. Know what to spend on.

This is a tricky one and I’ve still got a lot to learn from my girlfriend. She lists all her items in Google Docs spreadsheet with original pricing and counts each time she wears/uses something and therefor gets to the true cost, ie price per use. This helps us to understand what to spend on: is this one-off-used shirt / shoes really necessary or would you rather invest in a jacket for everyday wear?

Hope this helps you to live happier life with less stuff. Any critique and ideas are welcome.
By the way, for me getting rid of things does not mean throwing them away, but either giving to charity shops or selling on ebay depending if the item is still worth the sales effort.

Here’s also a video with more philosophical approach to support that it really makes you happier:


By Sander

Sander is passionate about media and technology, helping companies with strategy, product and growth. Currently consulting Red Bull Media House with strategy and growth as well as Moonbug, a $145M fund to create and distribute inspiring kids content, with business strategy. Previously futurist and led non-linear strategy at Disney after heading strategy and growth at Maker Studios internationally. Before that product manager ​at Verizon Media Group (AOL) and video distribution network Goviral. Early on he helped Europe's largest seed investment fund Seedcamp​ and organized hackathons in Africa with Garage48​.