Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Why do we keep everything?

Our country is a land of abundance, yet we feel the need to hold onto more than we need.  Our homes expand to meet the increasing demands of our hoard.  We accumulate so much that we are forced to expand to storage units.

Why, oh why, do we keep everything?

Many possible answers come to mind:
  - We think we are wasting good money (or time) spent
  - We feel compelled to fill up empty spaces
  - We think it is easier to store things than finding a way to reuse or recycle it
  - We feel guilty about getting rid of gifts or family hand-me-downs
  - We think it is the only way we can keep memories alive
  - We are not exactly sure what to do with it
  - Just in case

The answers vary for each person.  Some people go through extreme periods of lack and never want to go through that experience again.  Others are emotionally attached to items.  No matter who you are or what your story, it is not always easy to understand why we keep the things we do.

But one thing is for sure, we are really good at lying to ourselves.

We tell ourselves that our reasons for keeping things are valid.  We NEED those things.  We WORKED HARD for those things.  We MUST HAVE those things.  We cannot possibly get rid of those things.

The truth?  Those THINGS are holding our freedom for ransom.  It is true that physical possessions can enhance the quality and ease of our lives, however, they cannot ultimately bring happiness.  When our emotions - happiness, guilt, fear, - are so wrapped up in our belongings, we are ultimately bound to them.  Instead of our stuff serving us, we become servants to our stuff.

We work harder to pay for bigger houses which take more effort to clean and maintain.  We struggle to find peace at home or work because we cannot see past the piles of paper.  Our time, money, and energy goes toward our possessions instead of our passions.  Clutter reigns supreme.

I believe it is time for a new perspective - one where we see the clutter for what it is - a collection of items weighing us down, keeping us from enjoying our spaces, and exhausting our precious resources.

Let us discard past reasons for keeping everything and find our way out of the labyrinth of clutter. Freedom is waiting...

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