Clearing Out Clutter

Declutter photo

It may be a function of getting older, but I’m more ready than ever for less excess and more simplicity. Of course, part of the reason is that we recently moved into a smaller condo.

But now that I’m 70, it’s time to take stock. Perhaps you too want your mantra to be less is more. But why does that persistent inner voice still encourage us to hold on?

Sentimental feelings – You may still feel attached to the handmade cards and pasta necklaces your children or even grandchildren have created for you. But do you need to keep them all? With technological advances, you can decide what to shred and what to scan. Or you can label large envelopes with each one’s name and, as you fill them up, savor your trip down memory lane. And someday your family will do the same.

Good Intentions – Don’t we all have piles of photos waiting to be filed in scrapbooks? Not to mention the multitude of recipes to try out and books to read. But today, with all the new devices, we can easily put pictures into iPhoto and read books in e-reader format. What if we brush up on technology and, at the same time, reframe our thoughts? Haven’t we felt good, giving to others who will enjoy gently used kitchenware or books that we no longer need?

Expense and value – What about the clothes we hope to get into again once we lose weight? Or those impulsive purchases with the sale price still attached? You may think, ‘I can’t just give them away, they were so expensive.’ But that might be faulty logic that needs a correction. Charitable acts have benefits that go far beyond those who receive them. Research data shows that the mere thought of giving activates the part of our brain associated with pleasure.

Dealing with clutter can mean digging deep into your hearts and heads. And that can help prepare you for major changes ahead. So if you’re ready to make a fresh start, know that outer order can lead to inner calm. And think about the energy and cheer you’ll release by relinquishing stuff. Besides, you’ll always know where to find your keys.





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