“Possessions aren’t treats, they’re responsibilities” Wow, what a revelation! This line from a blogpost I read recently jumped out at me and makes so much sense.

I am working towards a simpler life, a life filled with pleasures big and small, filled with quiet moments and great adventures, time spent with family and friends. But I am not shirking work or ignoring my responsibilities. I love my work, but I could do with fewer responsibilities. And the best place to start is fewer possessions!

Think about it. We have a home, furniture, appliances, ornaments, family heirlooms, jewellery, linen, clothes and just general stuff. We have to take care of all of this. Clean, dust, wash, iron, protect, organise, store and maintain all of this. It takes time, effort, energy and money. So, having less means less to take care of, giving us more time, energy and money to do the things we would love to do.

Do you want fewer responsibilities and more fun?

Start with your stuff.

Here are 4 ways to less stuff:

  1. Ditch the duplicates.

This is a Professional Organiser favourite. Why have 2 graters when 1 will do? Do you need 5 sets of linen for the guest room? Go room by room, cupboard by cupboard and drawer by drawer. Remove all extras, all unnecessary duplicates, all appliances you never use, clothes that no longer work for you. Tackle the stationery, the toolbox, the garden shed and garage (if you have one), and all those top cupboards where you stash stuff. Now bite the bullet and get rid of it. Give away to family and friends in need, find a worthy cause and donate, and finally sell if you need the money. How does that feel? Lighter? Brighter?

  1. Stop shopping.

Easy peasy for me. I don’t like shopping! But this could be difficult for you. So, stop temptation in its tracks. Only shop when you need to. Don’t shop for fun, rather have coffee with a friend. Go armed with a list and stick to it. Know where you are going to shop, head straight there and head out once done. Keep the goal in mind: less stuff = more fun!

  1. Storage is not the answer!

Almost all new clients ask if they need to go out and buy containers before we start clearing and sorting. I always answer with an emphatic NO! Firstly, you don’t know what you need until you are done sorting, clearing and decluttering. Second, I like to try and use what the client has and avoid buying more stuff. Quite often we think organising is the answer, but actually letting go is the real answer! So, avoid the storage stores unless absolutely necessary.

  1. Bigger is not better

A home with loads of cupboards and storage space is not the answer. We don’t want more storage space for more stuff to take care of. We want less stuff, more fun. If you do have loads of cupboard space, try keeping some of it empty. In our home, all the top cupboards are empty! EMPTY! So, try it, clear and declutter and leave spaces empty! Those shelves in the kitchen you can’t reach, the guest room cupboards, park the car in the garage, the list goes on!

I’m getting there, and I’ve been working on it a while. Start today, remember the mantra “Possessions aren’t treats, they’re responsibilities” and look forward to less responsibilities and loads more fun!

Published in Organizing

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