I am quite sure, like me, you know someone or many people who have kept everything that has come into their life for years and years and years. The cycle of collecting and discarding “stuff” has always fascinated me.
We humans seem to be wired to collect things. All sorts of things. Things like:
- Those tiny packages of matches – because they were free for the taking and now there’s no way to get rid of them
- Sparklers – your children never did use them but someone’s children might
- Neckties – ugly or not you have them, I mean what do you do with old ties when no one wants them
- Elastic bands – wrapped around a tennis ball, as soon as you take one off it breaks because they are so old
- Seashells and rocks – there’s just something about them that brings you back to your childhood
- Stuffies – you can’t get rid of those cute little guys
- Reusable water bottles – after all you can never have too many
- Screws and nails – “you just never know”, the four most dangerous words when you have too much stuff
We all have a thing or things that we just can’t help collecting. Even though you may choose to embrace a life with less, you will probably still struggle with your favourite things. The pull is very strong.
I believe that acknowledging these tendencies is the first step towards the freedom of living with less. Recognizing the thought process that you have always had around collecting and accumulating stuff can allow you to begin to challenge that process. Only then can you begin to let go and avoid future accumulation.
If you pass as much along to others as you can and discard what is truly no longer useful you will begin to feel less of a burden when you think about what will happen to all of that stuff someday.
Ask yourself what you have in your life right now that you could let go of. And then go do it …. Right now!