“Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves.
Consider letting them go.” ~Oprah Winfrey
After last week’s post about letting go to move forward with your life, I thought I would continue with that theme of “letting go” and talk about letting go of your stuff. It’s amazing how stuck we get when we are trying to let go of not only the past but the physical things that might be attached to that past.
Case in point, a couple of my friends, who are also Zen Chick community members were upset about the subject last week. Their response, “Did you really have to write this now?” complimented with an eye roll or two.
Yes, it is hard but the more you pursue letting go the easier it becomes. So let’s keep that ball rolling by seeing what physical stuff we can get rid of too.
OUR STUFF! We become attached to it, want to buy more of it while it consumes time and space in our lives. So where do we draw the line?
For me over the years and especially after we moved into our 1000 square foot little farm house, I really started evaluating my stuff. With less closet space and less over all space (not that we moved from a huge house) I let go of a lot of things and have continued with the “letting go” process.
Here are some of the rules I live by:
- If you haven’t worn something in a year then it gets recycled at Goodwill or a used clothing store of your choice.
- If you buy new clothes, shoes, etc. something old must leave. In another words you have to make it an even trade.
- Minimize the amount of stuff that is sitting out for display. I’m not a “collections person” and don’t really want a whole lot of things to dust.
- If there is something that you really think you have to have, don’t buy it that day. Wait a few days or weeks and see if you still “have to have it”. Also make sure that it fits into your life instead of just taking up space.
- Rule #2 applies to household items, something comes in, something goes out.
- Really get all of the “use” out of your old stuff. You don’t really have to have the latest technology, fashion or gadget. Buy a good basic model that fits your needs not the one with all of the bells and whistles.
These are my basic rules and I have found as I get older my attachment to my stuff becomes less and less. I don’t feel the need to keep boxes and boxes of stuff stored somewhere. Good memories serve me much better than boxes filled with things.
Ask anyone who has “lightened” their lives of their stuff and they will tell you just that, they feel lighter. Wouldn’t you like to have that feeling along with adding more space and time to your life?
Start slow with one small project at a time. Maybe it’s going through your clothes closet or smaller still, clearing off your desk. Each thing you remove will allow you to feel lighter and the process will become easier with time. As with any change in your life it takes time, practice and diligence so stay focused on your task at hand.
Most important of all, you have to be gentle with yourself during this letting go process. Don’t let that little voice inside your head beat you up because you are not getting things done fast enough.
I would love to hear your “rules about letting go of stuff” and your success stories. Together we will continue to move forward into slowing down, simplifying and living a life we truly love.