The moonlight was streaming thru the windows casting silver shadows throughout the room when I woke up. The air mattress felt a bit soft as I glanced over to the watch displaying 3:30 AM. We were in the process of selling the house. All the furniture and items that could be, had been donated. The rest of the items were sadly sent to the landfill. It took four large trucks to empty the 5000+ square foot house. I was living there for a week prior to the sale on an air mattress, a hot water kettle, some ketchup and ice in the fridge. Of course, a working TV and Wi-Fi that are indispensable ‘needs’ were also present. At that point it hit me, less is more. We can live with a lot less. We accumulate ‘stuff’, we give in to using shopping as an emotional clutch, we hoard things in closets, we pack the cabinets, we buy more furniture to store more, leading to a never-ending cycle. Letting go can be cathartic, in many ways.
You Feel Lighter. The things we own are carried on our shoulders and back. No, not physically, but emotionally. The brain is aware of the overstuffed closets, the monthly storage fees at the ‘climate controlled’ place, the dresses that still have the price tags, the unopened wine glasses and the drawer so packed it won’t open. We carry these things as loads day in and day out. When you let go, the load lightens. The weight is lifted from your shoulders, you get the energy to go farther.
You can Help Others. Some of the greatest joys in the world come from giving. Its is better to give than to receive. The things that you have no need for and even the things that you think you have a need for (but not really) can help others. Donate your stuff to a charity of your choice. Make a stranger happy.
You can Enjoy what you Have. The fifty board games that you have accumulated in the basement closet will never be used. The process of finding, selecting, brushing off the dust and then seeing that a key piece to play the game is missing is quite frustrating. If you only had two board games, well kept, easily accessible, the good times will roll. Having less but organized, means you know where to find that favorite book, the special coffee cup or that gift from grandma. Enjoy what you have.
You can make Money. Your junk may be a treasure to someone else. Sell online through a myriad of websites, hire a local selling agency or have a garage sale. You get to declutter your home and convert garbage to cash.
You become Organized. The process of clearing out the things you don’t need, frees up space. The space can be used to place things where they need to be. The kitchen that had everything mixed up across cabinets will no longer resemble the Bermuda Triangle. You will actually know where to find the ice cream scoop and that weird instrument to make potato cringles.
You Live Cleaner. Initially when you empty out the closet you will be sitting on a pile of clothes or boxes, however as you declutter, you will be cleaning, refreshing and sanitizing. The uncluttered home will have air that is cleaner, smell better and feel healthier.
You Evaluate your Choices. Do you really need to keep all fifty things you took from Grandma’s house to remember her? Is this thing that I am looking at important? Necessary in physical form? Can I Live without it? Without getting too philosophical, you will reevaluate your choices. What is really important to me, what do I need for my future? What is my future? More to come on this topic. For now, just declutter.