Less Stuff And A Clearer Mind

Some people function in a disorganized mess, but I can’t.

A colleague’s desk 😮 (five years ago)

Since I moved to the United States 20 years ago, I’ve lived in six different places. Fortunately, each one was better than the previous.

Below you can see where I lived when I first came to the United States. I used to think these buildings were ugly but now I really like the architecture.

When we moved from a large house to our modern apartment almost five years ago, we saw how much stuff we had accumulated. It was shocking!

We tried to sell a lot before the move but in this country, nobody likes to buy used items so we ended up giving a lot away. It felt so good to have less. I read a book on Japanese minimalism called, Goodbye, Things. The author quotes the movie, The Fight Club:

“The things you own end up owning you.”

Our new apartment was still completely full of stuff, still in boxes. It was very upsetting to live through. Just look at the picture below!

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We had already unpacked a lot of boxes and it seemed like all the storage space was full!

Now that we’re getting ready for our next move, we’ve already sent six large boxes of things to family in Venezuela.

We don’t know how much we really want or need, but we still have too much.

I was even overwhelmed in my digital life. Instagram was becoming too time-consuming so I unfollowed 2,500 people! It’s impossible to appreciate that many people. The first reward was this:

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What a great feeling! Time to put down my phone. Nothing else to do. I get this message a lot now.

I stopped unfollowing people because I wanted to remain over 6,000 followers. But I ask myself why? In Goodbye, Things, the author says,

We are more interested in making others believe we are happy than in being happy ourselves.

My email app badge had 2,100+ unread emails so I unsubscribed to almost all of them. Why receive that much if I can’t read them all? Now I see this all the time:

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I have felt truly overwhelmed by how much of everything I have. I miss so many of my blogger-friends’ posts because I’m always too busy on things that shouldn’t require so much time, and then I end up too exhausted to read them.

I already have a lot less in my head and I can think more clearly now. I also need fewer possessions so I can enjoy what I have. My goal is April.

27 thoughts on “Less Stuff And A Clearer Mind

    1. It definitely is. I don’t only want to be organized, though, but I want to have fewer things to organize. I want to see empty spaces.

      Soon I will be living out of a suitcase, looking for a simpler life.

      Thank you for visiting, Linda!

    1. Thank you, Jane. I’ve been working on this for months and I found that my digital life can be just as cluttered and noisy. It’s nice to calm down all aspects.

  1. I loved that book. I need to reread it to get back into the mood of minimizing my possessions. I too have unsubscribed from all but 1 newsletters I used to get, and feel so much better not having to read through all those emails. I hardly go on Facebook or Instagram anymore as I wasn’t posting there anymore. Feels so good to have more time.

    1. It’s so nice to stop and question what we’re doing sometimes. Life can get so hectic, especially with social media. I haven’t been on Facebook for a long time, but I found with Instagram and with this blog that the part I like most is connecting with people. It doesn’t have to be many, but to get to know the people out there, like you.

      Thank you, Debbie!

      1. I totally agree with you on connecting with people through our blogs…it is more fulfilling to connect with a few people than trying to keep up with so many people that we end up feeling overwhelmed.

  2. Incredible how much stuff we accumulate – it serves no purpose but to clutter our lives and minds.
    I loved living on a boat if I bought something new, I had to throw something out as there is no room on a boat. Really made you think about buying something…

    Social media is a great time waster!

    1. That is so true and you know it better than anyone, having made it your lifestyle. I’ll be joining you soon, moving to a simpler existence. It’s been a big job, about five months now and still about five more months to go.

      Thank you, Nilla! I can’t wait to catch up on your blog again!

  3. Clutter and disorganization can really take a person down consciously and subconsciously, Aixa! I just donated two big bags of clothes to charity. Most were shoved to the back of several drawers or in a plastic bin. It feels good to clean things out even if it’s a virtual closet! Congrats on getting back on track!

  4. Oh Wow Aixa! What a feat!✌️😃❤

    I know, it is initially very tough to let go of “things” – but when you finally do let go, you eventually realize that you have so much more time to value what’s worth and appreciate the little joys of simple life! Welcome back!❤

    1. It is such a nice feeling to reduce the hectic pace of life, really stress that I created myself without paying attention. Thank you, Richa!

  5. We have the same problem with our apartment, we are searching for something bigger or maybe a house, but it’s also difficult to be organised with small children.
    I think I should do some cleaning of the accounts that I’ve subscribed / followed :/

  6. Oh Aixa, we are living parallel lives! I have over 600 emails in my blogging inbox and it stresses me out so much. And the IG thing is stressing me out too. You are an inspiration to start cleaning out my digital life. My son just told me about this app he got that gives him points when he stays off his phone. He can then redeem those points for discounts on food. It made me really happy that he’s doing this. Enjoy your freed up time for things that matter!!

    1. It is such a relief. I have more to do on both the physical and digital sides. Good luck with yours, however you decide to handle it. Congratulations to your son for realizing how at such a young age absorbing our phones are.

  7. Great post Aixa!! Honestly, I believe that minimalism is a better way of life. Because it’s just impossible to create a healthy life balance and live mindfully with all of this materialistic approach. And actually, it’s pretty easy to check on it… when we escape a bit from this culture of materialistic consumerism we immediately feel relief, more spiritual and peaceful…kind of cathartic experience! 😉

    1. I still have another 1,000 to go. With a child, forget it. I have two, but they’re older now. No minimalism for you, my friend. Not for awhile, anyway.

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