Clear Mind – Step #2: Get Rid of Stuff


First off, I hope you feel well rested and ready to tackle the next Clear Mind objective. Let’s put that extra energy to good use.

It is springtime which means many of you have been getting the itch to spring clean. About two weeks ago, spring cleaning hit my house. Room by room we sifted through the piles of junk that have accumulated over the past year or in some cases years.

As Americans, we are great at accumulating stuff. We are constantly bombarded with the message that we need more things to make us happy and it is easy to fall victim to that mindset. I recently listened to a podcast episode (Art of Manliness – Episode 699 “The No-Nonsense Guide to Simplifying Every Aspect of Your Life”) that was deeply convicting. It opened my eyes to the various costs related to our possessions.

All too often, we stretch our budgets to buy the latest things we think we need. We believe it will make us happy. We do not think about the other costs outside of the initial purchase such as the space to store and the time to maintain.

I also think extra stuff mentally gets in the way of us doing what is truly important. For example, we get up in the morning and stumble over stuff while we are getting ready to start the day. In the back of our minds, the constant thought of needing to clean up enters.

When we get into the car we see more stuff that is out of order and needs to be put away.  The thought reenters our mind that we need to clean up the car too. When we get into the office, we arrive at our desk which is cluttered with more stuff and we think about needing to clean our workspace. When we make it home, we do not even consider pulling the car into the garage because it is packed with so much stuff that the car no longer fits.

We often think we have an “organization” problem or “not enough space” problem when we really have a “too much stuff” problem. This month, my challenge is to get rid of things. Set up piles to sell, give away, and throw away. Make it a game or a challenge amongst your family members. Then set up some barriers like eliminating a budget category in order to throttle back the propensity of filling up our lives with more stuff.

I think you will find that a life with fewer things is more enjoyable, less stressful, and disruptive to accomplishing what you truly want to get done. Plus, after you consider all the costs associated with your next purchase, the chances of that thing actually bringing value to your life will skyrocket. This month, consider the true costs associated with things and take action towards freeing up your space, time, and mind to accomplish what you truly want to achieve.

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