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.