I used to have a lot of stuff. I was attached to that stuff but I wasn’t sure why. I took all of my stuff and put it out into the open, out where I could see it, feel it, where it was present. I took it out of the hiding places where I had buried it. I saw my new things, old thing, papers, trinkets, pictures, postcards, toys and other things, stuffed away into closets, under my bed, in corners, in containers, bins, buckets, baskets, boxes. It was hidden – stored away for many reasons. I don’t know why it was there, why I held onto it, why I kept moving, rearranging, reorganizing, dusting, moving around, and repacking all of these things.
One day I had a realization while I was organizing and reorganizing this stuff that I didn’t love and that didn’t serve a purpose. I started taking out everything, emptying bins, boxes and bags, taking clothes from the closet and getting rid of tons of things. That day was a cleansing day. I cleansed my closet, cleared out under my bed. I rediscovered things that I have been harboring because of unknown memories, forgotten motives, and long-lost reasons. These questions became my mantras during this mass expulsion:
- Why do I have this item in my room, in my life?
- Why is it part of my belongings?
- Why do I still keep it and hold on to it?
- What purpose does this serve?
- Does it make me happy or add purpose to my life?
- Do I love it?
- Is it useful or beautiful?
Then came more questions:
- Will I use it?
- Do I really need it?
- In one year, will this still be sitting in a box, unused and untouched?
- What are the memories associated with this item?
I finally realized that most of my stuff was useless and did not have any meaning. After asking my parents about various trinkets that I thought carried some sort of meaning or value in memories, I discovered that many of them had no purpose. I found a lot of memories in those things but I also found a lot of wasted space and scraps of paper and old things. I am still trying to figure out why we hold on to these things so I can write about my journey. Knowing why I kept these things in the first place can help me discover a solution to avoid harboring useless items in the future. I want to be able to control my “keeping” habits.
I don’t want to hoard away items that I have assigned false value to or that I have invested emotions in that really have no business holding on to my emotions or taking value in my life. They have no right to take my precious emotions or my value. They have no right to take over my life, my time, my space and my energy. I felt a sort of energy flowing in my room. I exercised for the first time in a long time when I had emptied my room of much of my stuff that was of no value in my life. I felt great! I slept better. Using the questions above I continually go through and examine the physical and virtual possessions in my life. I encourage you to do the same.
What can you get rid of today? What is holding you back? Let me know in the comments.