There is an old saying that has been running through my mind lately. Clean your closet, Clear your mind.
If you are like most people, you probably have a lot of stuff in your closet that you don’t use. Things that might not fit, might be out of style, or things you don’t really like any longer but haven’t gotten around to giving away. The result is a crowded closet where finding certain items or just getting dressed can take more energy than it should. Chances are the closet is not the only part of the house that is full of extra stuff.
As a society we are trained to believe that we need stuff. Stuff will make us feel good. Stuff will make us successful. Having a lot of stuff will make our lives easier. It will show the world how important we are. When we start on our journey most of us don’t have much stuff. Part of the game is to acquire things as we go. And for a while it is fun. But as we continue along our path, there comes a point when we realize that we don’t really have stuff. The stuff has us. For a lot of us that is not really a good feeling.
The simple truth is that having a lot of stuff requires a lot of energy. Once we have acquired things we have to take care of them. It takes time–and money. As we accumulate more possessions, life seems to get more complicated. Our homes become cluttered, cupboards full of seldom used items and garages full of things we should throw out but haven’t gotten around to. Just thinking about trying to clean out a closet or worse, the garage can be overwhelming. Our lives begin to resemble our homes, cluttered and complicated, leaving little time to enjoy the things we have.
About a year ago I decided to try an experiment. When I wanted to buy something I had to ask myself if I really needed it or just wanted it. And if I just wanted it, would I use it once I bought it? This wasn’t an easy process. At first I felt like I was going through withdrawal or denying myself. However, after a while it became almost liberating. I found I didn’t need most of the stuff I thought I did and not having it didn’t bother me at all.
There is a lot to be said for the minimalist movement that seems to be sweeping the country these days. Basically, if we live simply we have more time to enjoy life. Less stuff equals more freedom to enjoy what is important to us. Uncluttered surroundings provide a better environment for an uncluttered mind. However, getting to that point is no easy feat.
That is why you might try cleaning your closet as a starting point. Aside from physically having a more organized and useful space, you might gain a new perspective on life as well. Having more space and easily being able to find what you are looking for is a great feeling. It can make you appreciate and enjoy what you already have rather than wasting energy striving for things that will not serve you in the long run. It is also a great way to start the new year.
What do you do to simplify and de-clutter your life? Do you find that having less stuff gives you more time to enjoy life? I’d love to hear your thoughts.