My mind can’t handle too many choices. Honestly, having a lot of stuff brings more anxiety than joy. We live in a material world, and I fall into the temptation to participate in that often. When I get back to basics and remember why I have “things”, it puts life into a better perspective.
For many years, it’s been common knowledge that I don’t place much sentimental value on physical items. I just don’t. Now, of course certain things like certain jewlery and photos are very sentimental, but still… it’s just stuff.
I go through items on a regular basis and use these three questions to decide if it’s worth keeping. If it meets ANY of the criteria, I keep it. If not, I donate or trash it.
Have I used it within the last 12 months? If it’s been and ENTIRE year and I haven’t found a reason to use it, it gets donated. Holding on to an item for the “someday” is not my style. This provides an entire cycle of holidays and seasons to find an opportunity to put it to use.
Does it serve a purpose? The item should have a reason that it’s among the items I decide to keep. If it’s not being utilized, I donate it.
Does it provoke good feelings? For too many years I held on to clothes and home items that I didn’t even like. They didn’t make me feel good when I saw or used them. Negative thoughts come too naturally to me anyway, I don’t need stuff sitting around that feeds that emotion.
Now, don’t go on a toss purge or feel overwhelmed by the need to get rid of your stuff. This has been a process that I’ve been journeying on for the last five years. It takes time, and it can be emotionally difficult for some people. Do this at your own pace. Don’t make it a stressful process. If it begins cause more anxiety than keeping the stuff, take a break. Revisit it at a later date. Take it slow if you need to. It should feel a bit freeing as you do it.
Remember, “stuff” isn’t always bad. Many things are great blessings! It becomes harmful when we begin to put more value on our physical things, than the state of our hearts.