When I was younger I always thought it was so sad when I would see people getting rid of their “stuff” – their accumulated possessions of a lifetime. They’d always say “I don’t need this any more”. To my inexperienced eyes it seemed like they were giving up on their lives, packing it in, preparing for their life to end.
Now that I am older, has my perspective changed! I see now that unburdening oneself from one’s stuff actually paves the way for a new life to begin. Personally, I can’t wait to shed myself of the challenge and burden of managing a bigger home than I need or want and all the trappings that come with it. Rather than living my life I am a hostage to it – to my yard, to the upkeep of my home, and to the trinkets all around me.
Yes, many items hold very dear and important sentimental value to me and enrich my life. But so many other items extract a price – in time or money – such that they actually impoverish me. What I yearn for instead are the experiences of living – the relationships, the learning, the richness of the world around me calling for my embrace.
So I welcome this time for shedding the stuff – letting go of the old to make way for the new. Of course, this applies to both the tangible items as well as the intangible – the attitudes, worries, and mental habits. And I appreciate the wisdom of those I’ve observed all along – I just wish I had paid more attention before I bought that second set of dishes I only use twice a year!
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Are you thinking about cleaning house? It can certainly be overwhelming. So here’s one way to start. Make a list of 5 items that are unnecessarily taking up too much of your space or attention – things you’d like to get rid of, recycle, give away, or repurpose. Pick just one and dispose of it accordingly. Ahhh, didn’t that feel good? Now, next weekend, clean out the second item. Keep repeating every week until the five items are gone. Repeat as desired!