You are most definitely not the stuff you own. Not even close. Many people have trouble getting rid of stuff because they have an emotional attachment to it, forgetting one important thing – “it” is a static, non-living item. No matter what “it” is, if it is not another human or an animal, “it” is just a thing. Sure, you can like it, collect it, sell it, do whatever – but it is still just a thing. And to live a happy, comfortable life, you don’t need things – you need a life. One that gives you space to breath; space to discover your true passion; space to take a look around and explore. By trying to create happiness with stuff you are missing out on the very essence of life itself…even without your stuff, you should be able to have a nice life.
No matter what happens, we still have ourselves. Our stuff could disappear, our homes can burn down, we can relocate to a town where we don’t know a soul. But in the end we still have “us”, and as a therapist once told me, “No one and nothing can make you feel abandoned. Only you are possible of doing that“. Truer words were never spoken.
Look closely, even a lizard who wandered in from outside likes my clean, uncluttered setup!
Don’t get me wrong – I like my technology, my couch, my bed, and my books. I like most of my clothes, and I enjoy having a nice place to live. But what I don’t have much use for is just random “stuff” that I hold on to for no apparent reason. What is most important to me is relationships, family, what I do for a living, etc…not items that fill up my home. Having an organized home gives me the time and space to concentrate on those things that bring meaning to my life, rather than having to spend time digging through clutter to find a pair of shoes in the morning!
Having trouble separating yourself from the “stuff” in your life? Try doing the 10 Things Challenge I have been running on the site here, where we get rid of 10 things each week. Take pictures of your mementos to “keep” them around. Find out where the local Goodwill facility is and start donating your items to those less fortunate than yourself. All that stuff taking up space in your life is just stuff – and it’s time to keep your happiness separate from it. Start focusing on what’s truly important. I guarantee you it’s not your knickknacks and clutter!
So very true…
Glad to see you’re really sticking with the simplicity idea in all areas of life.
My shipment of STUFF from Seattle just arrived and as I began going through it I realized that I hadn’t missed most of the things I was unpacking…interesting to see when my first donation will be made!
Very nice Jesse – isn’t it amazing that even after getting rid of everything we thought we could, there is always more!? 🙂
Oh yeah, things like that are amazing me daily right now…
Just found you through the good human. I love that someone is writing about this.
I started living a more simpler, minimalist life one year ago and I have so much less stress, it’s amazing!
I’m going to give the 10 things challenge.
Have you heard of the 100 item challenge?
Thanks for stopping by Chris! I have heard of the 100 things challenge, that might come next after I continue the 10 Things Challenge and get moved into my new place next month 🙂
Other people are all any of us have. The rest is superfluous and irrelevant. We only glow and grow through interacting with others, not with stuff.
Thanks for the idea of taking a picture of something and then getting rid of it. Good idea. That’s actually why I decided to rent my wedding dress. I knew that if I didn’t, I would carry it with me my whole life, get ornery if something happened to it every time we moved or cleaned out (and we’ve moved a lot). I have never regretted that decision because I have lots of pictures of my wedding and a wonderful husband to look at everyday.
I need to do more of that kind of stuff though and so I’m grateful for the reminder.
My sister was helping me clean out my house once and said, People are more important than paper. I think it was good advice.
I have entered a contest to write a good mood blog five times a week. You can view my profile and vote at http://www.sam-e.com/job/profile/564.
P.S. Smile-You’re happy now that you’ve gotten rid of your clutter.
4 years ago, we picked up our family of five and moved from So Cal to the PNW. I thought we’d pared down when we packed up, but as our time in our new home felt more and more, well, settled, I realized we’d brought to much “stuff” with us. 3 years of decluttering and I still am making donations at the Goodwill drop off, selling stuff on Craigs List and donating things via FreeCycle. As I contemplate our debt load (too high) and our belongings (too much), I finally have convinced my husband there is a direct correlation (thank you, thank you, thank you)…I think we’ll be getting rid of stuff for another year. (Not as easy to do when you have kids who are attached to their stuff, but, at the same time, necessary if we’re going to break the cycle.) Did I mention my dad is following us and…are you ready…needs two Cargo Containers! to move his stuff. If that wasn’t enough to scare the crap out of our house, I don’t know what was. Thanks for sharing your journey…it really does help.
And thank you for sharing yours, so glad you stopped by and did!