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The Emotional Benefits of Downsizing

January 31, 2018

The Emotional Benefits of Downsizing

Life in the 21st century can get cluttered.

Busy. Messy. Maintaining a balance between your work life and your social life gets increasingly hard when your phone is buzzing in your pocket every ten seconds, much less if you have two phones. Meanwhile, it’s harder than ever to give time to yourself: quiet time, relaxation time, whether it’s spent walking through nature, reading at a coffee shop, or doing stretches in your living room. For the average young professional, the struggle is real. That’s why downsizing is so important.

First of all, when we say downsizing, we’re not talking about the 2017 Alexander Payne movie, starring Matt Damon, which dealt with totally different subject matter. Rather, what we’re getting at is minimalism: looking at the clutter in your life, and erasing most of it.

This is, in fact, is a huge goal of the Ridge wallet: the streamlined, simple design seeks to eliminate the bulk and clutter from a conventional wallet, boiling the idea down to its essence. Basically, keeping what works, and discarding what doesn’t. Here’s why downsizing is so valuable.

Better sense of self

In the busy world of consumerism, we’ve been taught to find our identities by grafting them onto our preferred brands: I.E., “I’m a Starbucks person, not a Dunkin’ Donuts person.” Now, considering how much the average person today is constantly bombarded with brands, this is understandable. However, what’s problematic is that when you brand yourself too much, filling your “identity” with hundreds upon hundreds of different (and perhaps contradictory) ideas, it can lead to confusion, and a lack of self-understanding.

For example, take the Ridge. Assuming that you enjoy our wallet, there’s a reason for that: it’s simple, minimalistic, stripped down and easy. Why not take that philosophy to your own life? Throughout life, you get hit by so many ideas, identities, brands, TV shows, apps, products… why not filter out the ones that don’t truly feel like you? By doing so, you’ll strengthen your connection to the parts of yourself that do feel genuine, instead of wasting time on the ones that are forced.

Less clutter means a less cluttered mind

The key place that one wants to arrive at is to filter the clutter out of one’s mind out, so that one can think clearly. Again, look at the Ridge, and compare it to your prior wallets: whereas past wallets were so bulky, loaded up, and heavy, the Ridge is easy to use, easy to find things in, and easy to understand. When you first make the switch to a sleeker wallet, it also inspires you to discard the things you didn’t really need before — the punch cards you’ll never use, the business cards that have been there for years. It’s like moving to a new apartment.

Now, here’s the twist: physical clutter becomes mental clutter. Start by looking at the clutter in your living space. Do you have more things than you need? Why are you keeping them? Do you really care about them? If not, get rid of them. Keep what you need. Keep what you like. Detangling the clutter of your physical space will also declutter your mental space.

Then, do the same thing in your emotional life. Filter out the situations, people, and places that you don’t need preoccupying space in your life, because your time is a valuable commodity. Treat it that way.

Relaxation is as important as productivity

Here’s one of the key aspects of life that so many young professionals are now striving to incorporate into their lives: learning how to relax.

In the professional world, particularly as more and more people begin telecommuting to work, it can feel tempting to spend your entire days working. There’s always another opportunity to push forward. A new application to fill out. A new role to take.

But sometimes, if we really want to succeed, relaxation is just as important. Think of it like exercise: yes, you want to work a muscle hard, but if you work it too had, it’s going to get torn. Your productivity is exactly the same. Work hard, and be productive, but also give yourself time to chill out.