Improve Your Life By Clearing Your Physical Spaces
You may find that your living environment is pleasing to the eye, but that all does not feel as settled as it should. Is every surface clear but every closet full? Do you have a secret and dreaded store of boxes in the garage, the basement, the attic?
If so, it may be time to rethink your relationship to what comedian George Carlin called “stuff.”
Deciding to Let Go
Some of us have enough stuff to fill several houses. Rather than helping someone who is going without, we hang on to things we are not using.
When talking about clutter, people often say that they can’t get rid of things because they once belonged to loved ones, that they have been in the family forever, or that these things will be needed the very moment they are thrown away.
After a while, I realized that I was thinking in this way too.
I had deposited all my ‘stuff’ in storage in Los Angeles, having decided to move to Europe. On returning to LA to go through everything more carefully, I found myself looking at a huge “to keep” pile and only three items on my “things to donate” pile.
“What’s wrong with this picture?” I asked myself.
The answer? Everything was triggering old responses and patterns of behavior. I was automatically hanging on – emotionally, physically, and mentally – to physical items that were given to me or that reminded me of people, times, or events.
The reality, however, is that all those important people, times, and events have a permanent place in my heart. I’ll always remember those things, but the objects didn’t really need a permanent place in my home. The physical things were breakable and bulky and sometimes downright out of place, unlike the memories themselves, which will always be a part of me and a part of my life.
Vietnam Veterans of America
I took a deep breath and started making calls so that I could find the best possible new homes for all of these things that I no longer needed. It turned out to be very rewarding and a lot of fun! I learned so much about various organizations that exist to help people give and receive.
Groups like the Vietnam Veterans of America, who have been serving generations of American veterans, helped me donate my clothing and household goods. Clothing donations are incredibly important. My donations help provide funding for the Vietnam Veterans of America and their many veteran support programs.
The Value of Removing Clutter
Creating space in your physical world helps to open spaces in your mind, allowing you to think more clearly and to attain more peace. Downsizing means that I spend less time cleaning my house and I spend less on my insurance too, since I have fewer items in general. With downsizing, I have created time and space to think about more important things.
I’m not suggesting that you become a minimalist, I’m merely pointing out that everyone can benefit from finding ways to free themselves from items that have taken up residence in their homes that are disliked, unused, or are too many in number. Bag them up and give them new life by donating. Your donations benefit worthwhile charities such as the Vietnam Veterans of America.