Life can be difficult and confusing at times. Having too much stuff around merely adds to the confusion. The solution is simple: Get rid of the stuff you don't need. Ask yourself the following questions about your stuff:
- Do I really need this?
- How long (days, months, years) has it been since I used this?
- How likely is it that I will use this in the next (day, week, month, century)?
- Am I too sentimentally attached to this stuff to throw it away?
- Name five reasons why it is important to keep this stuff.
- Name five reasons why you have never gotten rid of this stuff.
- Write down five benefits from getting rid of this stuff.
- Where and to whom can I give away this stuff?
- How many garbage cans will it take to get rid of the stuff that no one on earth would ever want?
- Can I help someone in need by giving away stuff I hate, don't use, haven't ever used (much), and do not intend ever, ever to use again, at least in this life?
- Who in my family or among my friends would like keepsakes that would likely get thrown out if something happens to me? (Like if I die, for instance).
You might weep and wail over tossing stuff you haven't paid any attention to for decades, but you'll get over it quickly. When people realize that, after all, they didn't need a "dream home" with 27 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms and begin to downsize after Esmerelda and Junior finally moved out, the last of umpteen kids who populated your mansion heretofore, the first thing people have to do is get rid of most of their stuff. However traumatic that selling your house where you have 10 doorposts with the growth marks of 10 kids still marked on them turns out to be, I can promise you from experience and from talking to countless other people who have downsized that you will never miss your dream home or your stuff.
Here is the main advantage of getting rid of stuff: Life is simplified. Life is less complicated. You have less stuff to replace, wear out, fix, and insure. Your new house is easier to navigate in. You no longer have to be a professional heavy-duty janitor to keep thousands of square feet of unused space dusted, vacuumed, cleaned, and scrubbed in case someone comes to visit and would leave commenting about your dirty house. Plus you may not have room in case one, two, or three of your kids decide it would be cheaper to move back in with mom and dad for several years while they get their feet on the ground, so to speak.
While you are busy decluttering your house, you might declutter your mind of excess garbage. For example, here are some things you can toss and get rid of:
- Excess worries. Worries are baggage that drag you down. Worries have never accomplished anything. Believe me, I am a veteran worrier and I speak from decades of experience. You can't make progress on achieving any of your goals or making any changes until you stomp out the worries. Substitute good and cheerful thoughts for gloomy and pessimistic thoughts.
- Grudges. Grudges keep you locked in neutral. You spend too much time being angry at someone else instead of motivating yourself to actually (split infinitive!) do something about your long overdue plan to achieve a goal.
- Habits. Dump all of your worthless habits in the garbage can.
- Buying sprees. Avoid the mall. Avoid online infomercials. Avoid Amazon. You don't need new packages showing up on your doorstep daily, hourly. You don't need any more stuff.
- Excuses. Name all of the excuses that have prevented you from losing weight, cutting down on spending, kept you from cleaning up clutter, mired you in difficult family relationships, and chuck each and every feeble and worthless excuse down the disposal, turn on the grinder, and watch them vanish.
There. You could have spent many dollars on a library of books that tell you how to solve all of your problems and declutter your house and brain. Think of the money you have saved just by reading the Curmudgeonly Professor's Task number 208. You haven't added one bit of clutter to your lives and you wouldn't have read past the first two or three paragraphs of any magic book you bought anyway. So set a goal and a time limit to get rid of stuff and enjoy your simplified and clutter-free life. Good luck, and keep going. The Curmudgeonly Professor.