There is a reason we have a visceral reaction to the show about hoarders. I find the situations so mentally sad. I also notice the poor folks suffering from this mental illness typically look sick and tired.
With Spring in the air it’s that traditional time to de clutter. I will lay out some ways to do this both physically and mentally. I think it makes people feel and look great afterwards. Something about de cluttering stuff and our mind gives us more energy and vitality. It makes way for increased positivity and creativity. It is like the natural flow of things.
I am fascinated by these people that limit their physical belongings to say 100 items. They report more energy, freedom and increased wealth. There are some tangible reasons why and many benefits to this practice:
1. Less stuff, less costs
When people buy huge houses they are compelled to fill them up with tons of stuff. That extra square footage costs more to buy, maintain, heat, cool, etc. See my earlier article on the state of Americans and our wasteful storage unit habit. Our stuff is so important to us we rent it little apartments. Insane.
2. Less stuff more creativity and energy
I think less stuff results in increased creativity. You have made the mental and emotional space to create something new. The creative process is one of fits, starts and exploration free of the initial inner critic. Having a cluttered space and mind doesn’t allow the room needed for growth.
3. Keep it organized for increased value
If you do have a lot of stuff then you may want to keep it organized. This way the items you have sunk money into are more useful to you. Also the better you take care of your items the longer they will last and the more value you derive from them. When we do not take care of the stuff we have we inevitably waste more money as we replace things earlier than required. Keep things organized and clean, it shows respect for things and other tools that bring us value.
4. Check for collectibles
When u do get rid of stuff make sure to do it in a way that maximizes value to you and society. You may own some things worth real money, check eBay for collectible values. People like cultural icons and collectibles. Hold a garage sale for other common items, sell on Craigslist, etc. If there is some quality stuff left donate it to the Goodwill or other charity. You can help others and your self at the same time!
There are many ways to de clutter your life. Hold a garage sale. Donate old items to the Goodwill. Ask your friends and family if they could use some of your stuff. Some minimalists limit their material possessions to a certain number like 100 items. If they go to 101 then they need to get rid of one to go back to 100.
De clutter your mind
Take up a short meditation or yoga practice to clear your mind. We allow some many negative thoughts and responsibilities weigh on us. It’s importsnt at times to let the mind just be in the moment and stop worrying about some future event or past wrong. Seek professional help if needed. Get outside in nature on a hike or walk. Many times that does the trick for me, being in nature and being ok with the fact that our lives are our own but small in the grand scheme of things.
Lastly, it’s important to not simply de clutter then fall back into the consumerist trap of filling your space up again with stuff. You may feel better, be healthier, help keep our planet cleaner, etc.