My parents are downsizing once again. They actually did this a few years ago, when they moved into a smaller home, at which time they tossed out two big containers of garbage. And by big containers, I don’t mean just garbage bins. I mean those huge pods that people store things in when they move. They got rid of a L.O.T.
But, like most of us, since that time they’ve accumulated more “stuff.” So I was helping them clean and get rid of the things they no longer needed. The things my mom hasn’t used since the last move three years ago, and the things my dad has had boxed up for more than 25 years that he’s never looked at in that time and likely never will again. Our goal was simple: to declutter.
Shortly after we were finished, mom shared with me how she felt so free. By taking the time to get rid of the things she didn’t really need, it was like this humungous weight that had been tying her down and holding her back was suddenly lifted. She had this renewed energy and enthusiasm, just by going through her belongings and getting rid of the things she no longer found useful.
Physical clutter creates mental clutter. Holding on to material items that don’t really serve a purpose not only takes up space in your home that could be used for better, more inspiring or more purposeful things, they also mentally clog you up. They make it more difficult for you to do the things you enjoy simply because all of your energy and brain power are directed toward the things that you don’t use that are in your space.
To help you better understand this, imagine that your mental space is a pizza pie of positive energy. That’s 12 slices of happiness that exist right in your head. Well, the more slices you lose to the negativity and distraction of clutter, the less you have to put towards all of the goodies in life. In other words, you want to protect as many slices of your pizza as possible, resulting in a full and satisfying life!
So, what are you holding on to that isn’t serving any useful purpose? What items are you keeping in your life that are no longer helping you but, instead, cluttering up your mind, body, and space…maybe without you even realizing it? What don’t you really need that you could let go of so you could feel freer?
Granted, this isn’t always an easy process, letting go of items that are tied to your past in some way, shape, or form. But if you no longer need these material things, all they’re doing is taking up space and stopping you from doing things you enjoy. They’re getting in the way of you living a life in which you feel open and free, a life in which you can do more because they’re no longer there tying you down.
Look around your house right now and consider each item you see. Which ones are like lamps, giving you the light you need to see each and every evening, and which ones are like huge piles of manure, doing nothing other than smelling up your space and getting in the way, causing you to expend energy continuously by making you go around them, even though they serve no useful purpose? It’s time to keep the lamps and get rid of the piles.
Then, when you’re ready, start digging a little deeper. Hit those closets, drawers, cupboards, and garages and go through the same process. Get rid of the things you don’t need and not only will you have less “stuff,” you’ll also find that you have more energy. More life. More happiness. It really is that freeing.