Getting Rid of the Clutter

A few days ago I wrote a post about Simplifying my life. In it I talked about cleaning my closets and getting rid of the clutter that has accumulated over the course of my life.

I’ve been thinking about this off and on long before I wrote the post. There is time to look around and decide what should stay and what should go. Some people on the other hand don’t have that luxury for whatever reason. Maybe they’re being forced out of their home or they have to scale down to a smaller apartment or move cross country for a new job. Whatever the reason may be they have little time to decide what to do with all their belongings.

You’ve probably seen the TV show where a team of people help a person, couple or family do just this. The team comes in and goes through their belongings one room at a time. During this process they ask questions about certain items that have meaning to the owners. In some cases the item is in a state of disrepair or altogether unusable as originally intended and the team recommends the owners get rid of it. These incidents become very emotional for the owners and the team helps as much as possible to comfort and console them.

When it’s all said and done the owners have three piles left outside in their yard. One pile is the keep pile. Items in this pile are negotiated on by the owners and the team members and are decided to be kept. The second pile is the sell / donate pile. Items in here are tagged and priced for a yard sale and what doesn’t get sold gets donated. The third pile is trash.

Any purging process is always gut wrenching especially if it is a forced process. For the owners on this show it is also a revelation as they are brought face to face with their overwhelming need to save everything. We can rationalize our needs to hold onto stuff all we want but if we never see or use 3/4’s of it do we really need it?

I have a challenge for you. Today, dig something out of your closet that you haven’t seen or used in over a year and pick it up if you can or just set it in the middle of the floor and look at it for a few minutes then ask yourself these three questions:

1) Do I really need this?

2) Does it help me on my life’s journey?

3) Why am I keeping this around, truthfully?

Write your answers down on a piece of paper and tape it to the item. If you find yourself drawn to keep it then leave it in the middle of the floor for the next three days. This is important don’t skip this step.

1) If you find yourself tripping over it and wondering why you still have this thing in the middle of your floor then I think you know what to do next. Sell it if you can, donate it if is usable or trash it if it’s not.

2) If on the other hand you found a useful way to incorporate it into your daily life then by all means clean it up and put it to use.

If it’s a no brainer that you’ll never use this thing again then decide right then and there to get rid of it. Sell it, donate it or trash it.

Follow this procedure for all the things that are stashed away somewhere in your life. Do this everyday. And if you find yourself in a store picking up something to buy ask yourself the same three questions as before with a twist in the third one.

1) Do I really need this?

2) Does it help me on my life’s journey?

3) Why am I buying this, truthfully?

Take the challenge – Simplify your life along with me everyday and we’ll all feel a little less burdened.

I’ll be posting one item everyday that I’ve found lying around collecting dust with my three answers and my decision to either sell it, donate it or trash it.

I’d love to hear about your daily finds and the results of your decision to either incorporate it into your life or get rid of it.

– Peace

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