How to Assess Your Belongings and Start Living Simpler
We live in a society where generally, individuals have all that they need to survive. It is something we can be thankful for, as not everyone is so fortunate. Although it is a wonderful thing not to be in need, there are downsides to having everything.
Excess can be harmful to a person’s well being. When we have too many things, it can cut into the quality of our lives and relationships. How does a person know when they have too much, and what they can do about it?
Do You Love It?
Take a look through your belongings and take a few moments with each item. How does it make you feel? When you look at this item, is it something that brings you happiness? Does it bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face just to see it?
Or do you feel stress when you look at it? Is it something that someone gave you and you never really liked it? Is it something you thought you would use and you still haven’t? Perhaps you used to enjoy it but now it simply seems out of place. Take note of how you feel and make a decision based on your gut reaction.
Are You Holding On to It “In Case Of”?
So many of us have a strange habit of holding on to belongings that are not useful to us, not loved by us, and take up valuable space. Our reasoning is that we might need it someday. This is a fear-based idea. Life has a funny way of bringing us what we need when we need it.
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Saving excess belongings for a potential emergency that may never happen is choosing to live life in a state of not believing that your needs will be provided for. Release yourself from the emotional burden this creates by releasing the item. You will find that even if you do end up needing something similar in the future, it will almost always be easy enough to get that it is worth freeing up the space for now.
Would You Pack It in an Emergency?
This step takes the pruning of belongings further than most others but if you really want to pare down, think about the next question. If there was a flood, fire, or other emergency in your home and you had time only to save your loved ones and a few special items… would this one make it onto your list? If you are craving a life of minimalism, this is a helpful thought. It can make the difference between having a home full of things that you don’t use, to a home with essentials only.
Simple living is worth making a jump into. When we have too many things, it erodes our time, our physical space, our mental space, and our relationships. Take a few moments now to go through all the extra things you have lying around. See if you can find a better use or home for it. You will thank yourself for the peace it brings to assess your belongings and clear out what is no longer serving you well.
Here is a related resource about “Setting Personal Goals“.
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