Why do we hold onto things we haven’t used in years and find it hard to let go of what our friends and neighbors might simply call “useless stuff”? It relates to our happiness. We may become even happier, though, with less of it.
Seemingly everyone has heard the decluttering mantra popularized by author Marie Kondo: if an item does not “spark joy,” then get rid of it. Realistically, though, it is hard for many of us to ruthlessly purge our attics, basements, spare bedrooms, or garages because so many items we keep relate to happy memories and even our identity.
We buy certain things because we know they will make us happy or make others happy. The tipping point arrives when our happiness and self-worth link strongly to our possessions rather than our relationships and our role at work or in our community. As Matt Paxton (of Hoarders) reflected in a recent TED talk, people lose “time, money, space, relationships, and opportunities every day because they’re holding onto their stuff.” When that opportunity cost is evident, then it becomes time to jettison the excess. Paxson suggests decluttering one square foot at a time, donating as much as you can, and throwing out items that have no real appeal or value. The space you free up may be mental as well as physical, and tackling the job today has merit. The heirs of those who never thin out household clutter often end up squabbling, but not over who should inherit it rather who should deal with it.1
Mike Moffitt may be reached at ph# 641-782-5577 or email: email@example.com
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1 – ideas.ted.com/many-of-us-have-a-little-bit-of-hoarder-inside-us-heres-what-to-do/ [9/3/19]