Declutter and Reclaim Your Life


“Stuff does not bring happiness,” wrote an English businessman in his pledge letter to donate his fortune to charity. In extreme cases certain people have even given everything away to enjoy a simple life. Several studies have shown that material possessions do not bring true happiness. We live in a time in which we are constantly urged to purchase. We are constantly bombarded with images of newer products, trends and sales and the temporary benefits of retail therapy. Hence Instead of controlling possessions, we have allowed possessions to control us. Here are some of the ways too many things have a negative impact on our lives:

Things take up time, space and money. We need space to accommodate our stuff. We have to ‘maintain’ our possessions, meaning we must spend time cleaning or organizing them. Often this requires spending money to get more closets and cleaning equipment.

Too many possessions are distracting. They may keep you from focusing on important goals and tasks. You spend your time and energy on your possessions and when you are done with them, you may not have the time or the energy to complete more important tasks. When we have a cleaner, uncluttered environment, our minds can work more efficiently. It is also easier to find things.

Too many choices is not always a good thing. When we have too many choices, we sometimes don’t make the right choice. Why is it that celebrities who own a million outfits are always in fashion police columns being criticized for their choices? With the kind of wardrobe available to them, one would think they would be perfectly dressed all the time.  It is always better to own versatile pieces and things that look good on us rather than buying a ton of different styles much of which then sits in a corner neglected and ignored forever.

Things are wasted investments. When we have things lying around that we don’t need or use, over time they get spoiled/ripped/stained, lost or exceptional cases, stolen. Now if we hadn’t bought it, we could have used that money elsewhere, or even saved it.

So, in a nutshell, too many things can make you lose control. You should control your stuff, your stuff shouldn’t control you. Too many possessions can overwhelm you. You have to keep them safe, organized and clean. Sometimes you will feel like you are drowning in your possessions! They surround you, take up lots of room, and start to control your life with their presence!

Now that it is clear that having too much stuff makes life chaotic, here are some solutions on dealing with your unwanted possessions:

  • Sell things you don’t need. There are many online websites, pages and communities that provide good selling platforms. I started decluttering a month ago by selling unwanted items. I sold over 25 items in a month making over $300!
  • Donate.  Donate to a charity that you support.
  • Give them as gifts. If you own something that is still in brand new condition, and you do not really need it, gift it!

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

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