The Burden of Having Stuff; 4 Ways to Lighten Your Load

It has recently come to my attention what a burden having things can be. Do you have a lot of stuff? Do you feel safe, because you have all of it, or does it weigh you down? I used to be afraid to get rid of stuff because I thought I might need it. The energy of keeping all this stuff can sometimes be more burdensome than having to repurchase it. Do you have an emotional attachment to stuff? This can also cause difficultly.

There are lots of different techniques out there to to help you clean out your stuff. Here are a few I have heard about.

  1. According to the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, the way to declutter is to only keep items that give you joy.  If they don’t give you joy, get rid of them.
  2. The 3 container method. This is where you separate stuff into a keep, get rid of, and emotional attachment box. I usually use 4 when I do this method and split the “get rid of” pile into garbage and donations.
  3. Have a friend or family member help you. It is much easier to get rid of someone else’s stuff. When my daughters come over I usually find myself weeding out more things than I would if I was going it alone.
  4. Pay a professional. There are professionals who you can pay to come and go through your things. This can be an extreme but sometimes an extreme solution is just what is in order.

Whatever it takes, whether you do it in one big day or in small bite sized pieces, one room at a time. The more you get rid of the extra stuff, the more free you will feel. The weight will be lifted off you shoulders. I know a wise young man. Everything he owns will fit in his car. This may be an extreme amount of pairing down for most, but for him, this is the ultimate way to live. He is free to pick up and go anywhere and at any time.

No one can tell you how much stuff is the right amount of stuff for you. For starters, try just keeping enough to feel safe but not weighed down. When you bring something new into your home then get rid of something old. If you know someone who needs something more than you do, gift it to them! You may be surprised to find how free you feel.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you find your load light and your spirit free, as if by magic.

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What is Given, Must Be Given Away Again

In our culture, re-gifting can sometimes be looked on as rude. We tend to believe that we must cling to things. If we like something, we think we must possess it. I notice it when I see a type of tree I like, I wish it was in my yard, so I could “own” it. Why is it that we feel we must possess the things we appreciate?

I heard a story, several months ago, about a Native American Peace Pipe. What I heard was how one tribal leader would give it to another. That the pipe was not something to be possessed or even owned. It was to be given away again. So in this way the Peace Pipe was passed around and never really “belonged” to anyone. When the Europeans came the Indigenous people shared the Peace Pipe, in this same way with them, but were perplex when these newcomers kept the Pipe and did not pass it on or return it to the tribal leaders.

This story really made me think about many things in my life. I know I am a spiritual being and not of this world, but rather journeying through it. I know the “things” I possess now I cannot take with me when I leave. So why do I cling to “things”. What is it that makes me feel “safe” because I have stuff. Recently someone shared with me a method of cleaning things out that stems from a Japanese tradition. It is called KonMari and has to do with hold an item to you and if it gives you Joy, you keep it and if it does not, you get rid of it. I love the idea of this. Why would we keep something that doesn’t give us joy? As the co-author of a book called Lessons Through Joy, I have a fondness for Joy in my life.

I recently made a choice to step away from something in my life and part of the decision around this was related to baggage. When you go somewhere, how much stuff do you bring with you? Do you cling to material things to make you feel safe? I do this! When I travel I bring so much with me that my bags are heavy. Is all of this outer baggage really just a physical manifestation of the inner baggage? What would it take for you to feel safe enough to set down some of the bags? I am making an effort in my life to release some baggage, to feel safe and to appreciate something without needing to possess it.

I intend to voyage through the second half of my life a little lighter. Know that if I see something beautiful today, I can appreciate it in the “now” and not need to keep it forever. Instead, I can pass it on to others to appreciate. I can share freely, knowing I am safe and that I have all I need.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of feeling safe, as if by magic. I love you.

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