It's About Time
Pare down possessions and gain peace
HOW MUCH do we really need to live? Too much stuff, too much stuff, more than enough, more than enough; it's out of the closets and filling our space, it's growing and spilling all over the place, we're tripping all over a terrible case of too much stuff."
That's the first verse of a song by Janet Janzen of Kansas.
Most of us have too much; "many households have enough for two families" is something I proclaim at my talks on simplifying, and heads nod in agreement. I then ask, "How much do we really need to live?"
For years I've been in the process of right-sizing my possessions to relieve my stuffed closets, cabinets and drawers and to restore a sense of peace and order. Having less will also free up time for things of real value.
I'M MAKING progress in purging but it's been tedious. Now I have a new goal and inspiration thanks to the book "Driven by Eternity," by John Bevere. It's about making life count today and forever. The author states that "many of us will be shocked to learn that the majority of our time was spent on things that don't count toward eternal rewards."
The book tells of a man who was active in church and set a goal to live off of 10 percent of his income and give 90 percent away. The book adds that living on that 10 percent, he drove a nice car and lived in a beautiful home, and that God caused his business to bloom!
What a radical concept, I thought. Being an organizer, I transferred that idea to my "stuff." Is it possible to live on 10 percent of what I own and give away 90 percent? Yes, I decided, but I'd need to start smaller.
According to the 80/20 Rule, we use just 20 percent of what we have 80 percent of the time, so I decided that it was realistic for me to live on 50 percent of what I have.
I imagined what my home and life would be like with only 50 percent, and I liked that picture!
I BEGAN to purge. First, I attacked my overstuffed closet, which had become cluttered and crowded. It's as if the clothes multiply by themselves when I'm not looking!
It was hard to let go, and nearly impossible to pare my possessions down to half, but I managed to purge one large shopping bag of clothes. That was a start!
If you, like me, are frustrated by too much stuff, I invite you to join me in right-sizing your possessions. If it's not your stuff that's excessive, how about right-sizing your activities and commitments?
The end result will be getting rid of the extraneous and having more time for what's really important. It will be time well spent.
See you in two weeks!
Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Contact her care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813, call 488-0288 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org