There’s something very ‘big’ about Christmas, isn’t there? People think it’s all about spending as much money as possible, overeating food, drinking too much alcohol and overdoing it in almost every area of life. But the truth about Christmas is that ultimately, none of this really matters. On the day itself, it’s about family and friends, and the reality is actually a lot smaller than the massive event we are sold in the buildup.
It got me thinking about how society seems to be geared up to living large, and that ‘small’ often has a bad reputation. For example, if you are small-minded, have small horizons, or live in a small house, there are negative connotations that go along with it. But after spending Christmas with the family, I think there is a lot to be said for living small.
The small home
Most people you talk to will dream of living in a huge house, but let’s be honest – how much space do you actually need? Big houses cost a lot to buy, maintain, heat and redecorate. Small homes, on the other hand, use up fewer resources, are more practical, and get more use. You can even take tiny houses on wheels with you when you move, these days! Small houses also make you think about what you buy, as there isn’t enough space to fill with junk and useless stuff we pick up just for the sake of it.
The small wardrobe
Everyone loves buying clothes, but the amount of money we waste on them every year is astonishing. The next time you open your wardrobe full of dresses, trousers, tops and coats, ask yourself one question – how many of them do you actually wear in a year? Downsizing your wardrobe and focusing on quality over quantity is a much better way of doing things, and is also better value for money. You’ll find yourself spending less on the latest trends and more on the classics that could last you a lifetime.
The small footprint
We all need to do better in protecting the environment and reducing our carbon footprints. And the reality is that the more stuff we buy, and the bigger it is, the more we contribute to things like global warming, the destruction of natural resources, and plastics in the ocean. And even if you don’t think twice about the environment, there are still plenty of benefits of decluttering and stopping buying rubbish products. You’ll save a lot of money, give yourself a better peace of mind, and spend a lot less time tidying up dusting and cleaning.
The small contributions
Some people do amazing things for charities and good causes, and you hear about incredibly generous giving to others all the time. But while these donations are welcome by the charities that receive them, if the masses all contributed in small ways, I think it would make an even more significant difference. It’s not just about money, either; it’s also about attitudes and having the passion actually to see some change. If you can make a small contribution to good causes in your community, you can bet that other people like you around the world will do something similar.
So, why not make 2018 the year that you embrace living small and see where it gets you?