Humans love possessions. We strive to own things to improve our environments and circumstances. Having lots of possessions, however, can begin to take your time and energy in ways you may never have expected.
Possessions have emotional and physical weight in your life. If you use your possessions productively, the weight is like eustress, it can be good for you if you use it to generate something of value. If you own things that don't produce anything of emotional, monetary or temporal value, it causes distress in your life. It's time to ask yourself if holding onto so many things really improves your life.
Your first thought might be that you don't own too many things, or perhaps you know you have too much but don't really know where to start. After all, like so many other things in life, if it's not actively causing you trouble, why bother changing it?
Living lighter can improve how well you sleep, relax at home and even your performance at work. When you have fewer things to manage, even subconsciously, you're freer to enjoy more fully the things you truly love to do.
If you're interested in lightening your load but are unsure how to begin, here are a few ways to get moving.
- Pack up items you think you won't need and store them out of sight or easy reach. Set a calendar invite in three months. Anything you haven't touched that isn't a family heirloom or a season-only item, it's most likely not important enough in your life to keep.
- Go through items you rarely use and ask yourself who you know might use it better than you, or might be happier with it. The potential joy of the gift is a great motivator to shedding.
- Hold a yard sale, use Facebook Marketplace or other item-selling app and try to make some money for a trip or personal pampering night out. Specifically sell items so you can go on an EXPERIENCE, like a date, weekend away or even a cruise!
- Ask yourself if a poorer person might use something better than you if they could buy it from a Goodwill. If you rarely use an item and it wouldn't be too expensive to merely purchase when you actually needed it, consider giving it to a thrift store. Or better, if you know someone in need, give it directly to them!
- Anything you REALLY want to get rid of but can't move, put an ad on Craigslist that it's free for anyone who comes to get it. You might be surprised how quickly people respond to it. Just invite a few friends over if someone does come for it for your own safety and security.
There are endless ways to start getting rid of things you don't need in your life. Start small if you must, but it gets easier once you get a few things out of your way. You'll see real return and true emotional benefit as you shed things you rarely use or value.