by Susan McCarthy
Everyday practice: Before making a purchase or agreeing to a new commitment, take a moment to think if this is the right thing to add to your life at this moment.
December seems to be the month of addition. You reconnect with people you may not communicate with the rest of the year. You may find yourself attending more events, parties, or get togethers than you do in an average week. If you participate in gift exchanges, you’re bringing new things into your home – both things you want and things you don’t.
Flip the calendar to January and you enter the month of subtraction. Eat less, smoke less, drink less, clear clutter, spend less time on social media, watch less television. Even ‘exercise more’ means less time for other activities.
One of the things that I’ve discovered by decluttering possessions is that reducing some things can mean getting more of other things. Less stuff means more space. Smoking or drinking less means more money. Less time mindlessly scrolling social media means more time for others or for hobbies. Eating less means weighing less which can mean more energy. (I’m still working on learning this last lesson.)
Eliminating things that don’t serve you frees your time, energy, attention, love, space, and money for things that are important to you. If everything is a priority, then whatever you do you’ll feel frustrated that you didn’t do something else.
Decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of physical items. Clearing clutter is about deciding what objects, obligations, thoughts, tasks, and habits aren’t important to what you value right now.
When you free yourself from the stuff that clutters your time, space, and heart you create space for what’s important to you. Focusing on what you're gaining saves you from feeling that 'less' equals deprivation. Less equals more.
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Susan, chief (and only) organized squirrel at A Less Cluttered Life, loves learning and sharing information about organizing, productivity, and habits. She also likes reading young adult novels, crocheting, and spending time with her cat and husband in their riverside home in Massachusetts.