“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.” — Wendell Berry
What does clutter have to do with living thankfully? A lot actually. Clutter and excess possessions have a way of keeping us from seeing clearly and from enjoying life. If you are so tied up in the clutter and “stuff” of your life, then how can you really enjoy the moment? How can you focus on being generous with others when you continually focus on amassing more possessions? How can you live thankfully when you can’t fully appreciate, much less use and enjoy, all that you have?
To me nothing is sadder than seeing a yard or estate sale following the death of someone who has spent his or her life collecting stuff that no one wants in the end. It is sickening to see someone’s possessions thrown out as rubbish. Not only is this a huge waste of money and resources, it is also a sad commentary on our obsession with possessing.
When you possess only a few items of real value, you are better able to appreciate what you have. You will not likely live above your means, and you may even have enough resources to share with others. Less clutter can equal a better quality of life and help you to live thankfully and with a minimal ecological footprint.
How much do you really need? What is essential? What can you give away? Recycle? Share? Re-purpose?
One blogger, Erin Branscom, even proposed a “40 Bags in 40 Days” challenge to declutter. Her idea is to fill one trash bag each day with items to give away, recycle, or (as a last resort) discard. She suggests repeating this process until your home is how you feel most comfortable. She also reports hearing that if you declutter your home by 40% you will cut your household chores by 40%. Sounds like 40% is a magic number in the decluttering process (You may remember my 40/40/40 Challenge during Lent). Click here to visit Erin’s blog.
So do you want to be more thankful for what you have? Declutter. Do you want to have more time, resources, and energy? Declutter. Do you want to be able to share with others? Declutter and share your stuff, trusting that you will have enough when you give out of your abundance. Start right now. Look around you. What one thing can you share with someone else, give to charity, recycle, or (if necessary) throw away?
Photo by misteraitch used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!