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Get In the Game, Stay in The Game

Get In the Game, Stay in The Game

How It All Started
     Working with a client for the past 2 months, who’s lived in her home for thirty years has demonstrated, yet again, the amount of stuff an individual and family can collect and keep for that time period. With an abundance of storage areas to hold things, she is now facing a wall of history of things of her deceased husband, her grown daughter’s childhood items and historical family memorabilia.
Now add in the sudden need to move and downsize, decades of long-buried items are pouring from closets and cupboards, the attic and basement. With time of the essence, and minimal time to perform the necessary sorting, many items are packed that will need decisions as whether to keep or eliminate in the new space.
How We Operate
As humans we have a propensity to gather, collect, store, contain, hide and yes, even horde. These items, we think, bring us security, safety, comfort, joy, pleasure, and in some ways, they do. But more and more, they actually drag upon us and deplete us of managing what we have. The initial “high” of purchasing the thing gives way to one more thing for which we have find a place. Then we place an emotional sentiment upon these items when they are ultimately neutral thus making it harder to part with said things.
Seeing the boxes and boxes of gift bags and wrapping paper, gifts to give, holiday decorations, mounds of clothes and books in my client’s wrap room, it makes me wonder, why? When did it become okay to gather so much stuff and justify holding onto it? Where is the place in ourselves that says we need more things and that we can’t live without them?
How Did This Happen?
Of course, my client was shocked and embarrassed at times at the outlay of items flooding her new home that she has to find space for–space she no longer has in a smaller space.
It’s time to lighten our loads figuratively and literally, personally and collectively. With way too much stuff to contend, we can never use or enjoy all of it. I have a client who loves her volumes of magazines dating back decades with which she refuses to part. Can she or will she ever read them again? In her mind, that isn’t the point. It’s that she loves them–they represent something to her, whether it’s a sense of comfort or ideas she thinks she needs that she hopes to use some day. And one day, either she will purge them or after she passes, someone else will do the deed of recycling all that information.
Modernity Does Not Equal Simplicity
Our modern world was intended to simplify our lives yet time and again, I see people struggling with more things with which to manage, and an inability to handle the inflow of information, ideas, and physical items that fill every crevice of their homes and offices. The push to gain more stuff isn’t ultimately fulfilling. It can actually depress and deplete our sense of aliveness and joy. Taking the time to ask, “do I need this or do I just want this?” can help ascertain if we should purchase and attain something new. The inflow has far outweighed the outflow in our lives. And a better question to ask is, “does this bring me joy?” Most often it does not.
Change Your Behavior and Get New Results
Take stock of purchasing patterns and the attainment of new things to see if you truly need them or just want them. Do you have the space to hold them? Do you have a storage space you are paying thousands of dollars a year for things that have little to no value because you aren’t willing to make a decision about them? Take a look at what’s in closets, drawers and cupboards and garages, then decide if you need anything more?
     We don’t need more storage solutions, we need to cut the inflow from the inexhaustible supply that surrounds us. We have a choice to purchase one more gadget or to leave it lie. I see the thousands of pounds of items going out of people’s homes each year–things that once were purchased, not necessarily wanted or needed. Donation sites have so many clothes they are shipping them overseas for others to use. When we actually start thinking about these many things we feel attracted to purchase, we can make new choices and have less stuff with which to contend.
Now Is The Time To Choose Differently
     We have a choice moving forward about the kind of homes and lives we want to create. We have a choice how we want to manage our spaces and if indeed, we want them to be “more livable, creative and productive.” Life has enough intensity to it without adding the burden of too many things to process. Our homes should serve as a place of respite, support and enjoyment. As we choose differently in our ways of consuming, we experience a place we can fully enjoy and know what we have, where it is and access it easily upon command. Take stock with the arrival of Spring of your home and office and choose how you’d like your home to be.