CAN LESS STUFF BRING US MORE HAPPINESS?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

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There lives a collector inside many of us. As kids we start with stamps, comic books, baseball cards or stickers. Then we grow up. We may develop a passion for rare, first edition books, fine art, antiques, old coins - all things that make our hearts sing. I have an ever diminishing collection of most of the above. My crystals and elephants (those still intact) traveled with me on countless moves. They bring me joy.

This is one category of possessions:  beloved, precious, unique.

Then there is the other 90%. Most of us, myself included, cling to our stuff. We complain we need more space to fit in more stuff that we don't even use. How do you live a big life in a small space?

My apartment is beautiful, art-filled and shimmering in the light.  But look deeper and you'll find closets and drawers full of things I haven't seen since the flood. How could I? They were so stuffed I'd have to be a badger to get in. It's like a beautiful apple that's rotten inside. Chaos in your sphere, even if hidden in a closet, will affect your clarity and effectiveness.

I decided it was time edit. Clothes and shoes I've worn maybe once, a hundred years ago, half used cosmetics, hair products, brushes, coats, jackets. Stuff.

I got to work. I filled up many heavy garbage bags. Anything used I donated to charity. One bag went to a second hand consignment store in NYC (if they sell I make some money and if they don't they give it away).  All the rest was put in boxes, placed in the street and picked clean in minutes.

Then I stared into the neat drawers and closets and felt a glow of relief. I felt as if a heavy weight left with the stuff. It left behind a happier space.





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