Items that improve the quality of life
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
Do most of your possessions improve the quality of your life?
In general, I'm not a huge fan of buying a bunch of junk that you'll get rid of later.
I like the philosophy of minimalism, with moderation. I think, in general, that is a good way to live, but minimalism is not about having nothing. It is okay to be a minimalist and buy things; you don’t need to have a completely barren house. The whole point of minimalism is to only have the items that make your life better, not worse.
As such, there are some items that I definitely think are great to have around that improve your quality of life. Though I love boredom, I don't want to see anyone sitting around an empty house all day long, with nothing to do, and nothing that brings them joy.
Fortunately, in this day and age, with advertisements running rampant, it's pretty easy to find items that we want, but it can be very difficult to weed out the items that will actually bring quality to our lives.
Is stuff good or bad?
The problem is, there are (almost) no universally good or bad items. For people in general, you can't say that one product is of no value to everyone, because it might be of great value to someone and have no value to another person.
For instance, if you like to knit, it's really nice to have circular knitting needles. But if you don't knit, you couldn't care less about them.
Here are a few examples of things that I own, that I believe improve the quality of my life.
This is my main source of exercise as it combines strength, flexibility, aerobics, and grace. I have a passion for dancing, and this was the best way I found I could use my skills.
Purple mattress - Post coming soon!
I love this high quality mattress that is much less expensive than comparable mattresses. Ross and I have no complaints!
I must say, she is very convenient to have around. I have avoided so much screen time with her help.
These high quality silicone rings are so comfortable, stylish, and versatile that we almost always wear them instead of our actual wedding rings.
What better way can you acquire insight and knowledge from the life experiences of others? One of the best ways to spark creativity is in reading a captivating tale of adventure. Books are truly amazing and will never be outdated.
Bean bag lounger - Post coming soon!
I was tired of not being able to lie down on our loveseat in the living room, so now I can stretch out and relax whenever I want. I've fallen asleep in this bean bag several times.
Computer glasses - Post coming soon!
Computer screens do a number on my eyes and these have helped a lot at work and at home!
Florescent light filters - Post coming soon!
I was getting regular migraines from the florescent lights in my office, but since I put these in, I've noticed a huge difference!
Waterpik Platinum - Post coming soon!
A more convenient way to floss with a few other nice features.
Trampoline (I don't currently own one, since I live in an apartment, but I had one growing up.) - Post coming soon!
Obviously, there are things that you need to have, or you probably should have, like a refrigerator and furniture. But there are also things that make life easier. Sometimes we can replace things in our lives with something better, like replacing our light bulbs in our home with full spectrum sunlight bulbs that emit more natural light that our eyes are more designed for.
Many tools can be really helpful (my husband collects these). There are some books that are really helpful. There are a lot of great things that we can have, that will make our lives better.
However, we need to be careful and make sure that we are actually getting things that are going to make our lives better. Advertisements are designed to make you think that you need that product. The first time you see an item, you might get somewhat twitterpated, like love at first sight.
However, that doesn’t mean that you need the item.
The 30 day rule
My husband and I are big believers in waiting to buy items. The bigger the purchase is, the longer we wait to buy it. If I want to buy something that's $20, I might wait a week, or at least a day. If I want to buy something that's a couple hundred dollars, I'll usually wait for at least a month.
That’s our “30 day rule” for large purchases (I even put a 30 day timer on my calendar before I started this blog). When we want an expensive item, we have to wait 30 days to see if we still really want that item. At that point, the twitterpation has worn off, so we generally make more rational decisions. I want you to start thinking like that as well.
Don't just buy things on impulse; even little things add up.
I want you to think about an item you want and where you think you might be with it in about a year. Maybe you think it'll truly be worth the money spent on it, but most of the time you won’t even still be using it in a year.
I have a lot of very good stuff that I don't use much anymore, because I have so much stuff (I’m getting better about this). I think one day I'm going to use this item, but I never get around to it. That way of thinking builds up clutter in your life, gives you less space, gives you less scope for the imagination, and doesn't improve your quality of life.
Annoy the salesmen in your life
Salesmen hate the 30 day rule, because they want you to spend impulsively. That's why they say act now and they'll give you a discount, because they know if you spend impulsively, you're less likely to be rational about it and you have less time to change your mind. As such, they give you a sense of urgency, implying you need to spend money right now. But it's not worth it most of the time.
There may be some great promotion that's going on that you don't want to miss. But as Julius says in Everybody Hates Chris, “I’ll save even more money if I don’t buy it.”
It is very easy to get caught up in consumerism and trying to get people to spend money. That’s why I don't write this blog for the money; my purpose is to help people. (Full disclosure: I’m hoping to make enough money to pay for this blog so I can keep it up after my initial purchase runs out.) I know that won't make as much money when I'm telling you not to impulsively spend money on things that I'm promoting, but that habit is going to give you a better quality of life.
The next time you're you're thinking about buying something, whether it's impulsive spending or something you really do think you need, I want you to wait. Give yourself a certain time limit; set a calendar event on your phone, or what have you. Promise yourself that you will not buy that item until the given day. Then spend that given time thinking about it. If you survived your whole life without that item, you can probably survive another month without it. You might find that more often than not, after a month, you have different priorities, and you don't necessarily truly want it anymore. You can save so much money using this method.