I think the biggest thing that holds us back from getting rid of things is very simply fear. Even if only subconsciously, we worry about all the “what if”s. Here are some decluttering tips to help you conquer worry.
(At the end of this post we’ve got more decluttering tips – a free guide to identifying what things to get rid of.)
Although none of us ever knowingly signed up for a class called “How to Worry 101”, the vast majority of us have become quite skilled at it.
When it’s not specific questions plaguing our waking thought life, it’s nagging beliefs in our subconscious that drive us to try to control our surroundings, and even the people we interact with.
“What if” really means one thing.
It seems utterly ridiculous when applied to a scenario like whether or not we should get rid of a spool of ribbon we’ve had for years and never used (for example).
I’m not scared to get rid of the ribbon, I merely don’t want to arrive at a situation where I will wish I had it. I don’t want to be mad at myself for getting rid of it.
But how is that ribbon serving you now?
Truthfully, you’re serving it by giving it some of your space.
When you live life from the perspective of “what if”, you’re saying I’m not going to be taken care of, I’m not going to be able to handle it.
You’re bringing some future hypothetical situation into your right now and using up valuable space and energy that should be devoted to your present.
By trying to prepare for every possible iteration of life, you lose the one where you are free and at peace.
This is why minimalism has gained so much traction – it’s the symbol of freedom, of unhindered living and being fully alive.
Merely focusing on getting rid of stuff doesn’t give us somewhere to place our focus and confidence, however.
Minimalism isn’t an end – it’s cold and lifeless unless it’s filled with purpose and connection.
Most would probably say that’s the point of minimalism – to have the space and freedom to focus on what matters most to you.
As you discover what that is, you find that worry fades because you become more present.
The what-if’s are eaten up by the what-nows.
There do seem to be some people who skip through life never taking time to worry about anything, and while all the responsible people shake their heads, 9 times out of 10 (or more) stuff tends to work out for the non-worriers. It’s irritating!
But how has worry ever served you???
I’m not saying throw all caution to the wind and jump off a bridge.
But maybe jump a little.
If you get rid of the burdens you’re carrying, you’re not going to sink.
So how do you actually stop worrying about the “what if”s when getting rid of things?
Very simply, you put stuff in its place.
In the grand scheme of things how much does it really matter?
You can’t prepare for every scenario under the sun, so why try to hoard all the things?
We don’t put our trust in stuff.
Our trust is in the Provider of the stuff.
It may sound trite, but He’s proven himself to us over and over.
And there’s really no way to explain it.
Just like there’s no way to really explain the freedom you feel when you get rid of stuff.
You just have to experience it for yourself…
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