There’s an obsession in our country that goes way beyond the time we spend on Facebook and Instagram.
More than likely it’s happening in your house too.
What I’m talking about is our endless accumulation of “stuff” – the stuff that can own us more than we own it.
This past weekend, our family took part in the annual neighborhood garage sale. I was feeling the weight of having too much stuff in our lives.This year was going to be the year of letting it all go. That’s what we wanted, but it was challenging to let go of things even though they were only taking up space. I would start thinking “What if I need…?”, “What if the kids can use this?”, etc.
We all find it easy to cling to the past and our stuff, whether it be the memory and sentiment that comes along with the item, the “might come in handy someday” thinking, or knowing how much money was spent on it. Oh, and what about those items that you just had to have only to discover you really didn’t “need” it.
Just a couple of weeks before the garage sale, a neighbor introduced me to The Minimalists podcast. Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus are so relatable, and they talk about creating a more meaningful life through a more minimalist approach. And who doesn’t want a more meaningful life?
One problem they talk about is owning too much stuff. “Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves.”
The reality is everyday, stuff comes into our lives, our homes, our calendars, and our minds, and easily gets in the way of living a meaningful life.
It can take an emotional toll on our lives.
When feelings of “I’m not enough” creep into your life, it can be easy to feel that buying that latest thing will make you feel better. Most likely you will only feel better for a fleeting moment. Without exploring where that “I’m not enough” feeling came from you won’t find meaning.
It may not be easy, but here’s a few things to think about to create a more meaningful life:
Abundance is a full heart, not a full house.
Home is a living space, not a storage space.
Living with less can bring clarity and peace of mind.
Focus on the essentials and what will bring you joy.
When preparing for the garage sale, one question that I found helpful was to ask myself “If I was moving tomorrow, would I take this item with me?” Moving is such a hassle, and only becomes that much more difficult when we take things with us that don’t add to our lives in any way. Would I really use this someday?! Probably not.
Where are you holding onto things that add no value to your life? Let me know if the comments below.
As always, should you have any questions or want to connect, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.