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Our Cluttered Lives

Recently, a good friend of mine had a garage sale in an attempt to start downsizing in preparation for moving to a smaller home. As she was pulling articles for the sale, she was surprised to see how much “stuff” she and her husband had accumulated over the years – much of which they had not used. We have all seen the television programs on hoarding, but that is obviously a serious extreme to accumulating belongings as we travel on our life’s journey.

cluttered pile of belongings

All of this got me looking hard at some of the items I have gathered through the years – some out in the open, others tucked away in closets. I challenge each of you to start looking at your things and try to recall when and why you purchased a particular item and the last time you used it. If it hasn’t been used then consider why you still have it. Is it possible that someone else could use and enjoy your previously loved article? I am not saying throw it out, but consider your own garage sale or donating it to some local charity. The additional benefit may be a tax write-off for next year.
As we divest ourselves of some of the belongings that we hold on to, retain that memory of when you enjoyed using the article or piece of clothing. Many times we hold on to things in order to keep the valued moments in time, but remember that the item itself is not the memory. Before selling or donating an item that was cherished, take a photo of it and write a story about the event involving the memory to be fondly remembered by yourself or your family and friends.


How much stuff do you have that you are not using? Where are your memories? Who are you sharing them with?


Author: Cheryl A. Acres RN, CCM


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