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Why More Time - Not Things - Makes You Happier

Woman laying in a sunny field

What is the one thing you would like more of in this world?

Most people say: happiness, money, freedom, peace, joy, balance, fulfillment, confidence, passion and stability. Statistics show that what we long for today hasn’t changed much over the years.

So how can we reach these goals? Are there any small lifestyle changes can we make that will make us happier, give us more freedom and allow us to live a more fulfilled life?

The answer is yes! Recent studies prove that even simple changes can make a huge impact. In fact, there is one particular study that caught my attention. Researchers at the University of British Columbia conducted an experiment in which they asked 60 adults to spend $40 on a time-saving purchase one weekend and $40 on a material purchase another weekend.

They found that people felt happier when they bought themselves free time than when they bought new stuff.

Not long ago, hiring someone to take care of your lawn or clean your house was thought of as a luxury service. Homeowners were concerned what their neighbors would think or felt ashamed that they couldn’t keep up with the housework by themselves.

Today, time-saving services are booming. It’s now commonplace to hire professional organizers, use online grocery and meal delivery services, personal shoppers, house cleaners, lawn services and professional organizers.

So why does spending money on these types of tasks make us feel good? The researchers wrote, “Our experiment provides the clearest window into this process, by demonstrating that people felt less end-of-day time pressure when they purchased time-saving services, which explained their improved mood that day.” Using money to buy time may serve as a buffer against the deleterious effects of time pressure on overall life satisfaction,” they added.

The one common element that touches all of the goals we want in life – is time. We want more time with family and friends. We yearn for more time to pursue our passions and more time to relax.

Why not pay a little bit to reclaim your weekend and get the “free time” you so desperately want? Why not offload a few of the time-consuming chores you dread doing? As the survey demonstrated, not only are people happier when they gained more free time, but at the end of the day they were less rushed and stressed trying to get all of their chores done.

After writing this blog I suddenly realized that my, “Happy Organizing” closing may be a bit of an oxymoron. If the thought of organizing doesn’t make you happy, give me a call. It’s my happy place.

What time-consuming household chore do you dread the most? That sounds like a great place to start.

Happy Organizing!



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