My husband and I recently returned from scuba diving in colorful Belize, and the subject came up during a coffee date with a friend. We discussed the things that really captured my attention while I was there—the people of Belize, their dwellings, their bright facial expressions, their zest for life (all without the appearance of excess belongings). It was profound and inspiring.
As I reflect daily on my work as a professional organizer, it becomes more and more obvious to me that belongings not only cost to obtain and maintain, they cost by stealing our time and energy.
Material possessions can bury us alive, stealing energy that we ought to be spending on the people and passions that we cherish. It’s a vicious cycle. We work longer and harder to make more money to accumulate more things. Then the possessions sit lifeless in our home or garage while we are out working to get more—bigger, better, trendier.
During the precious time we have to spend in our largest possession—our “home”—we end up cleaning, painting, or even renovating because it needs to be “improved.”
Worse yet—how many weekends have we spent maintaining yards, swimming pools, or cleaning out the garage instead of enjoying our free time!
Aren’t possessions supposed to make our life “better”? In reality, they are a financial burden and can be a drain of your time.
So take a few minutes today to sit in your living room, kitchen or family room and just bask in your surroundings. Listen to the sounds. Look around you. Note one of your decorative pieces and try to remember the pleasure of buying it. Enjoy the calm state of observation.
Does what you see around you make you happy or does it make you feel anxious and overwhelmed? If you respond with the latter, I challenge you to take the objects that make you feel this way and put them out of site. Put them in a back closet or in a box and live without them for a period of time (30 days). If you don’t miss them, you know what to do next. Get rid of them.
Is all the stuff worth the stress? Would you like to pursue your dreams in unhurried spaciousness or would you rather be dusting knickknacks and clearing out the garage?
Before buying something ask yourself, “How valuable is my time and am I going to allow this new object to steal it?