Is Your Stuff Stressing You Out? You're not alone!
In our modern world, your levels of success are too often determined by three main factors: the job you do, the amount you earn, and the amount of stuff that you can afford to buy.
Modern society promotes and encourages consumption and materialism, and there's no denying that coming home with an armful of shopping bags gives you a certain lift. No wonder that feel-good factor is called 'retail therapy', it can turn boredom into a buzz of excitement!
Over time, however, that buzz starts to fade more quickly. You'll return from a shopping trip and find that you're instantly deflated, down, and looking to recreate the thrill that you got while handing over the credit card.
At the same time, the sheer amount of stuff in your home can become a problem. Where do you store it? When do you use it? And how do you remember what you have purchased?
“Clutter smothers, simplicity breathes.”
— Terry Guillemets
Put simply: having too much stuff can play a large role in the amount of stress that you experience and, in some cases, be bad for your health. Learning how to live with less can play a large role in alleviating stress, elevating happiness, and improving your life.
How To Live With Less - Declutter and Live With Joy
Set Out Your End Goal
Before you get started, you establish your end goal and final vision. What will your home look like by the time you are done? How will it feel? Where will everything live? Have a clear motivation and end goal for your journey to keep you on track.
This can be a written list or a visual representation, such as a mood board.
Eliminate The Obvious
The easiest place to start is with anything that's no longer relevant, and this includes things that are broken, clothes that are stained or no longer fit, and anything you simply don't use anymore.
This not only allows you to quickly remove or reduce items, but it will also help get you into the declutter mindset.
Declutter but Start Small
Reducing the number of things you own can be overwhelming, so it's a good idea to start small. Pick a cupboard, closet or drawer, and set a timer for fifteen minutes.
Dedicate yourself to going through this space for the allocated time, and then walk away when the timer goes off. Take a break and return for another fifteen minutes.
Breaking the task down into smaller sections helps to make things more manageable, and is likely to help you see things more rationally.
Wait Before Buying New Items
Once you have de-cluttered, the real challenge is to stop your items from building up again. To help you achieve this, allow a delay between seeing something you want and actually buying it - 24 hours is usually a good period of time. This allows you to see the difference between a need and a want and reduces your chance of impulse buying.
This can also be a great way to save money, as you'll only be purchasing items that you know you really want. As an added bonus, it helps to free up valuable space in your home, and reduce the impact of your visual clutter.
While it's great to have nice items and cultivate an attractive environment, it's important to ensure that you're in charge of your stuff - and not the other way around!
Resetting your mindset about consumption is an important step, and can help to transform the way you respond to the 'stuff' so often seen as being essential to your happiness.
“Too much of anything is the beginning of a mess.”
— Dorothy Draper
Journal Questions for You:
What is the hidden meaning behind the stuff you surround yourself with?
How can you use self-awareness to improve your relationship with your stuff?
What triggers the need to buy more stuff and what action can you take to deal with those triggers?
What ten items can you declutter and either give away, donate or bin this week?
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