What do you value more: your time and attention or your stuff?
For many of us our ‘stuff’ has become the priority in our lives. Rather than spending time doing the things we enjoy and giving our attention to those around us, we are left dealing with our stuff.
Many people hold onto their stuff even though it is actually costing them. It cost them once when they bought it. But now it’s costing them 100-fold because rather than letting it go (which is really what they want to do) they hang onto it. This robs them of their time and their attention, over and over again.
Think about how much time you spend every day, every week tidying up? Do you find it hard to concentrate? Are you overwhelmed and stressed out by the mess and finding it hard to keep in all under control? If this is you, maybe you need to re-think your priorities.
One simple way to re-align yourself and your home is to remove the excess. I’m not saying that by decluttering you won’t ever have to tidy up again, that is unrealistic. But the brutal truth is, the less stuff you have the less you have to clean up and put away.
Think about the stuff in your home and yourself these questions:
Do I love this?
Will I use this?
Do I need it?
If the answer is no to all of these, why is it still in your home?!
Is it because you are afraid you might need it again? I call this FOTO: fear of throwing out. If you got rid of that item, what is the worst that would happen? Honestly?
‘I might need it!’ Ok, if that does happen, can it be replaced easily? Most things can. But hey, you might not ever need it at all. You probably won’t even miss it! But you’ll never know unless you try.
I don't have time to declutter
Ok, I get this! I run my own business, I run my household and I have an active toddler that runs around me lol. Sometimes, time is hard to come by but that is exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t want to be wasting every spare minute dealing with stuff.
When I hear people say that they don’t have time, my response is normally “well make some time.” Make it a priority. Make an appointment with yourself to declutter and keep it! Put it in your calendar. Do whatever it takes to make it happen. Send the kids to day-care, to a friend’s place, out with Grandma.
Take action. You need to break the cycle otherwise you will just keep treading water, hoping to stay above water. You need to spend some time to free up some time.
It’s sentimental. This is a tough one. I get the attachment. BUT the big thing you need to realise is that your memories aren’t in your stuff, they are in your head and your heart.
So, when you come across something that is sentimental what feelings does it evoke? Good feelings, happy memories? Or bad ones like guilt and anger. Because if it’s the latter why do that to yourself? Why hold onto something that only hurts you.
Next question: Would you be willing to display it or use it? Is it something that you are proud to have out for everyone to see, or you would you be likely to use? For example, Grandma’s tea set that you love but never use because you are afraid of breaking it. So instead you have a dozen other cups that you don’t really like and the pretty set sits tucked away in the back of a cupboard, never used, getting covered in dust. Wouldn’t it be better to actually use the tea set? Enjoy it whilst you drink your morning tea and remember the good times, then for it be hidden away being wasted?
Use grandma’s tea set and let go of those other cups.
DO NOT let this stop you! So many people hold onto things simply because they don’t know what to do with them. Please do not be that person. Research! If you Google any item followed by the words ‘donate’ or ‘recycle’ you will probably come up with a solution. There are so many great charities out there, so many wonderful recycling programs. You just have to find them.
Yes, you will come across things that you will have to throw away. That is just the sad reality of things. But do your best to recycle and re-home first. And in future become a more conscience consumer. This is one of the best ways to reducing the waste you produce. Buy only what you need, buy good quality (even consider buying second hand) and actively think about what you are bringing into your home.
I know how difficult it is to break the hold our stuff has on us. But you really need to consider the impact your stuff is having on you, your family and your home.
Is it robbing you of your time and attention? Are you missing out on things because you are too busy dealing with your stuff? Are you getting overwhelmed and stressed? Because if the answer is yes, you need to do something about it.
Take action. Enlist the help of a trusted friend, a family member or even a professional. Someone who will keep you motivated and on track. Delegate where you can. Every small step forward, is just that a step forward.