We start out in this world with nothing but our very own being, our simple existence, needing nothing more than oxygen, nourishment, and a place to lay our head. But fast-forward a couple of decades down the road and look how many “things” we accumulate.
Most of us are conditioned to believe that empty space is meant to be filled. Closets need clothes, pantries need food, and bedrooms and living rooms need furniture, decorations, and televisions.
But, do we really need it all?
I’m not saying that everyone should get rid of everything they own and become a full-fledged minimalist. Maybe that type of lifestyle doesn’t interest or suit you, and that’s ok. But just look around your home and take note of the items you have duplicates of, the objects that you keep “just in case,” and the things you forgot you had until you came across them when looking for something else.
I won’t lie to you, I’m absolutely guilty of all of the above. I’m certain that while cleaning out our house I came across almost 10 pairs of scissors alone. Unless I was planning on running an arts and crafts class from my living room, I can’t see any other need for this overstock of scissors.
Too many possessions complicate our lives and drain our bank accounts. There comes a point in time that we reach a level of excessive consumerism and trick ourselves into believing that we need something just because it’s shiny and new.
I never fully considered or understood the amount of waste I alone was contributing to this planet, or how much freedom my possessions were robbing from me.
It may sound silly, but it’s true. Take what you need and leave the rest for someone else. I think about all of the useless purchases I’ve made and how I could have invested that money into myself and my own success.
I never realized just how much crap I had accumulated over the years until cleaning out our house to get ready for our big move. Bags upon bags of clothes, shoes, and accessories, piles of home decor and kitchen appliances, and closets full of things I forgot I even owned.
It was a slow process at first, starting out with setting aside the things I had no problem getting rid of. Then I kept weeding through choosing what to throw away, donate, sell, or keep. My pile of what to keep kept getting smaller and continued to shrink more and more up until days before us moving.
Overall, I was left with what could fit into a backpack and suitcase.
I found myself feeling more liberated each time I was donating boxes of my things and throwing away the unnecessary. It felt like I was physically cutting ties with these objects and letting go of their power over me as well as the space they took up in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, it was hard to let go of some things. From the standpoint of not wanting to be wasteful, and also feeling guilty for the money I had spent with no real return in the long run.
Keep the things that have true value to you. Don’t get rid of the items that you use on a daily basis or the personal items that bring you joy. If it adds worth to your life, keep it.
But I promise you’ll feel so liberated letting go of the things you don’t need.
I have a newfound awareness when making purchases. I consider the space it will take up, how much I truly want or need it, and the length of time that it will benefit me for. Oddly enough, getting rid of the majority of my belongings and moving from a full house to a studio apartment has given me a sense of freedom I hadn’t known to be attainable until now.
Create space in your life for the things that truly matter. Whether you choose to take a giant leap or baby steps into the process is up to you, but I promise you that less clutter physically leads to less clutter mentally and you will reap the benefits of this enlightening independence.
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