Revoke Your Membership

Think what you will about minimalism – an ideology and way of life for many that’s becoming more and more appealing, even, dare I say, mainstream. Why are we seeing a trend toward living with less?

Put simply, we (collectively) are coming to the realization that we simply don’t need as much to get by. Pair that with the current economic slump and the rising cost of, well, just about anything, and you can understand why de-cluttering is becoming so popular.

Over the weekend I read a quick post on Cool People Care urging everyone to go through their closet and get rid of the clothes you’ve never worn (we have, on average, 20 things in their that we’ve never – repeat – NEVER worn). Having already gone through this clothing-cleanse before moving back to Nashville last year, I started thinking about other things I could get rid of…

One of the first things that came to mind was to review all the websites/clubs/services I’m a member of. Things I’m paying for, or even things that are free that somewhere down the line I decided to sign up for.

Take off the Members Only jacket

Stop for a second and think about this yourself. What online services are you paying for right now? What are you a member of? How many newsletters do you get sent to your inbox each day? Make a list. Write all of them down…

Now think about which of those you actually use on a daily basis. Think about the newsletters you ACTUALLY open and read. Then think about possible alternatives. Is there a free service that can replace the one you’re paying $30/month for? Can you subscribe to a blog via RSS instead of getting that daily email?

Today I’m encouraging you to eliminate some of the virtual “stuff” in your life. Not because that stuff isn’t any good, but because you may not need it.

My example? This weekend I cancelled my Backpack membership. I have nothing but love for 37signals and the products they offer – and would recommend them to anyone looking for outstanding project management software. But for my own use, there wasn’t a need to continue paying a monthly fee when Evernote, a free application, can serve me just as well.

And in one fell swoop, I saved myself $300 this year.

So today, as we begin a new week, think about some of the virtual “stuff” you can get rid of. Your inbox, your wallet and your brain will thank you.

What is one thing you’ll get rid of today?

(Photo c/o batintherain)