Reflection: Several times over the years, I’ve created lists of things I might like to Do, Be and Have. The current lingo would label it a Vision Board (thank you, Oprah) or a Bucket List (thank you, Jack Nicholson). No matter what you call it, the exercise creates a set of intentions and desires for the future.
What was of interest to me an a recent round of inquiry was what showed up in the ‘What I’d Like To Have’ column. In my earlier days, I found it easy to come up with a lengthy list of possessions that I imagined might somehow make my life better.
However, on this particular day, the very first entry – top of the list – popped out without hesitation. What would I most like to have? Less stuff!
That could explain why I struggled with family requests to tell them what I might like as gifts for Christmas. That could explain why trips to fetch something from the crawl space in the basement are increasingly irritating. That could explain why I’ve had this feeling that the walls in my office and home are closing in on me.
The idea of more stuff has less appeal. I’ve taken that insight to heart and turned it into one of my first activities for the new year. I’m sifting stuff, ditching junk, and clearing space.
Old magazines. Gone! Outdated software disks and manuals. Gone! Christmas decorations that have lost their appeal. Gone! That mountain of cardboard boxes saved just in case they might be needed. Gone!
The garbage bin is brimming and the recycling bin is bursting. The Salvation Army Thrift Shop folks were beaming with my first delivery of six boxes and a suitcase full of stuff.
Action: Are you looking to lighten up? Chucking the clutter is a great way to start the new year.
Take a good look around. This stuff grows invisible over time. See what kind of excess may be cramping your style. Move it on and move it out.
A little elbow grease may buy you a little elbow room – and a whole lot more breathing space. Let me know how it goes!
Quotes Of The Week: Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire. – Wendell Berry
Give me the discipline to get rid of the stuff that’s not important, the freedom to savor the stuff that gives me joy, and the patience not to worry about the stuff that’s messy but not hurting anybody. – Vinita Wright
Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self. – Eleanor Brownn
Resource Of The Week: You might find value in this article by Mikael Cho: How Clutter Affects You (And What You Can Do About It).