The Benefits of Simplicity
“I am amazed at the correlation [that] getting rid of the physical clutter leads to getting rid of the emotional clutter as well.” -FlyLady mailing list reader (Dec. 10, 2004)
“How can living in an metal box with insufficient heat and light make life simpler? Borowitz, Janes and Rosecrans [UCSD students living of their cars] insist it’s easier to focus. With fewer possessions, they say, come fewer worries. Fewer bills, no TV, and no video games.” -San Diego Union Tribune (Dec.12, 2004)
Now, I’m not saying you should sell your home and live in your car; I’m just hoping you’ll take a moment to think about whether that “stuff” in your life REALLY improves the quality of your life. Your mind is easily cluttered by the chaos around you. That’s why it really is a big deal to actually make your home clean, and important to purge those belongings that just aren’t serving you.
Maybe you inherited a really nice and expensive china, but if it just doesn’t meet your needs, well, it becomes clutter. Is there some other relative who would appreciate it way more than you (and actually use it) that you could give it to? Could you sell the set?
I’ve noticed every time I watch shows like Clean Sweep on TLC where they help people clean out their homes and simplify the things that are the hardest to get rid of usually is the stuff that belonged to a dead relative–whether that be a parent, grandparent, or great aunt. Over and over the show’s hosts end up doing a mini on the spot counselling session to point out to these people, your relative’s stuff is NOT your memory of them, and then followed by pointing out of how they had so much stuff that they couldn’t enjoy what they had–that by pruning down and keeping only their absolute favorite pieces, they’d get so much more enjoyment out of what they have.
Don’t dilute the stuff that you’d really enjoy with all the stuff that you only kinda sorta enjoy but feel guilty about tossing. “I should have got more use out of this shirt, its brand new”–well, okay, so forget about whether or not you really actually made good use of that item you purchased–is it serving you well *now*? If its not serving your life well, maybe its time you just get rid of it.