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OPINION: Less is more

Everyone’s heard the phrase “less is more” yet we have more stuff than ever before.

The self-storage industry in the U.S. generated $27.2 billion in annual revenue in 2014. This means people spend almost $30 billion just to store all of their extra stuff.

So not only do we pay for stuff, but we pay even more to hold all of it because we have too much.

The HGTV series, “Tiny House Builders,” constructs houses 200 square feet or less.

The builders get away with shoving everything into a tiny home by taking away anything unnecessary. More applicable to our lives, we need to rid of anything and everything we don’t absolutely need.

I’m not saying we should all live in tiny homes, but we can take some advice from the Tiny Home Nation.

A good rule of thumb is to go through your room and ask yourself what you haven’t used in the past month. If you haven’t touched it for a month, you probably don’t need it anymore.

Tiny homes still have to be liveable, so, in order to get the most out of the small space, the builders make sure everything in the house has multiple uses.

The best way to have less is to do more with less.

For example, instead of just a staircase, they make the stairs hollow for extra storage space. Instead of a simple headboard, they install shelves to hold books. Everything is intentional in the tiny homes. Nothing is solely for decoration. If something is going to be decorative it also needs to have a use.

Sure, we aren’t living in tiny homes, but dorms aren’t the most spacious of living areas. Put drawers under your bed. There’s a lot of wallspace, use it. Buy those Command Hooks and hang away.

Be creative with the stuff you do have, but ultimately try your best to have the least amount of stuff possible. Declutter your life.

Now, it’s important to mention the receivers of excess stuff are not the only guilty party. Those who give people unnecessary stuff are also to blame.

Since we’re coming up on the holidays, it is a good time to really think about what presents you plan to get your friends and family.

Try buying experiences instead of items this year.

What I mean by that is buy a concert ticket or a weekend trip instead of a stuffed animal or a pair of shoes you’re not really sure if they’ll like.

Chances are, they’ll enjoy the experience even more than a tangible gift, and you’ll stand out among the piles of sweaters and socks.

Instead of paying money to store meaningless items, you can store memories for free.

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