I was listening to a podcast by The Minimalists the other day and they said something that really made so much sense.  Choose access vs ownership.

Example #1: Barely used item.  I've only used the cake plate a few times in
our marriage.  I haven't gotten rid of it, but if I did, it's something I know I
could borrow from a friend or family member!

What do they mean?  Let me see if I can explain.  Instead of buying home gym equipment, join a gym so you have access to those machines and weights.  Stop buying books and go to the local library instead.  Skip the DVDs and go to the movie theatre.  Ask your friends to borrow an item instead of buying it.  See what I mean?  Basically, instead of owning everything you could possibly need, own less but find a way to have access to what you do need.  Not convinced?  Here are my 3 reasons why I think that they are right:

Example #2: Special occasion item.  We only use this ENO when camping, but
I don't get rid of it because we enjoy it when we do go camping!

1.  MONEY: It costs money to buy things and many times, we don't need something as much as we thought we did.  Stop buying more stuff and save that money.

2.  SPACE: It takes up space to own things and chances are that your space is already filled with things you don't use very often.  Get rid of those items and clear up that space.

3.  TIME: It takes time to take care of the things that we own.  If you don't care for them, they don't last.  If you do take care of them, you have less free time.  Get rid of those items and enjoy more free time.

Example #3: Frequently used item.  I enjoy owning my bike
because I love to go riding often.  This is not something I
would want to have to constantly borrow.

Be ok with not owning some items.  Learn to find access to that item by renting or borrowing.  Another genius idea I heard on The Minimalists podcast is to think of craigslist as your "storage locker".  When you need something, go on craigslist (or FaceBook groups) and find it.  Get it and use it.  Then, put it back on craigslist for the next person who needs it.

If you haven't used an item in 90 days, chances are it would be a good item to find access to instead of owning.  Go through your entire house.  Each room, drawer, closet, shelf, box and storage bin and start to clean out.  Trash or donate the items that you haven't used in 90 days (you can keep Christmas decorations or things that can really only be used once a year).

Don't be fooled.  I believe all this, but can still use some work at my own place!  Although the goal isn't perfection, it is good to be conscious about the things that we own and why we own them.  Living with less usually means that we can truly live more!

What will you choose?  More stuff?  Or more adventures?

You already know what I'll choose.