Monday, January 14, 2013

Motivational Monday #77 - My Quest For Less

Every year about this time I decide I want less.  I want less stress, less strife, and less stuff.  My eye wanders my office and I get excited about all the things I can get rid of.  Right now I see a stack of old papers that is just screaming to be recycled!

My quest for less is an ongoing one.  As I have mentioned before, I had a professional organizer tell me visual clutter is almost worse than the physical stuff we need to get rid of.  Visual clutter actually makes you tired.  The more things you look at, the more your brain processes, and the more energy you expend on what usually amounts to junk. She told me to clean off surfaces, have no more than 3-4 things on my kitchen counters, and strive for the feeling of peace when I enter each room.  Doesn't that sound lovely?

Well, here is the problem, I have a lot of stuff.  I have even have a lot of stuff to organize my stuff.  Not all of this fabulous stuff fits under the counter or in a drawer.  Some of it is in my face and obvious.  My stuff like me to know it is around.

So many years ago I started eliminating stuff, lots of stuff.   I started giving away books (gasp) donating kitchen gadgets (double gasp) and unloading clothing I never wore (oh, the pain!).  I started consolidating half empty containers, using up what I had before buying more, and only buying what I needed.

Guess what happened? I started having less stuff! Then guess what  happened....

I felt the need to fill those empty spaces with more stuff! It really is okay to mock me.  I deserve it.

So now I am back on my quest, one drawer at a time.  I am proud to say my junk drawer is all but forgotten!  I hardly ever put anything in it.  I cleaned out my office over the weekend, and realized I hadn't added all that much stuff.  My closet only has a few items I don't wear, and my bathroom cupboard looks almost like when I cleaned it last year.

For me, this is victory!  Don't get me wrong, I still have a long way to go, but I have found the real secret is changing how you feel about stuff.  I went from "keeping up with the Joneses" to "keeping my junk to a minimum."  I no longer feel happy when I accumulate things.

If I don't need it, I don't bring it home.  If it sneaks in the house, I get rid of it.  If it doesn't have a purpose, I donate it.  If it is cluttering my peaceful space, I remove it.

The side bonus is that it take a lot less time to clean a house with fewer things in it.  My kitchen cleans up faster, my bedroom looks peaceful faster, and my drawers look organized faster when there is less in them.

So I challenge you, begin your quest for less.  You won't regret it.

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