It is a common question this time of year. We shake brightly colored boxes with bows, we hope to receive something nice, and we hope even more that we bought the right gifts. So the items inside the boxes are really important, right? Not really.
This time of the year there is always an emphasis on material objects, having and not having. We tell ourselves that we need more things and new things to really be happy. Look at the clothes in your closet, how many of them have you worn this year? How about the ice cream maker you got two Christmases ago and have only used once? Consider what is in your garage, or the storage space you rent. Are all of those possessions making you happy? What makes us think that accumulating; keeping and saving things we rarely use will make us content?
Most of us have reasons for keeping all of these things; maybe it was your grandmother’s, or your high school yearbook, or perhaps you completely forgot it was in the back of the closet. What we do not realize is that all of these possessions possess us. They take up space in our homes, our minds, and our finances. We buy bigger homes and storage spaces just so we can put these things away; then we pay for the utilities of our bigger spaces. That puts a strain on our environment and us. Is holding on to the high school yearbook you have not glanced at in thirty years actually worth it?
I say throw it out, donate, give it to a friend, digitize, recycle, upcycle (whatever that means), and never look back. Donate the clothes you do not wear to someone who will. Scan your old photos, yearbooks and documents on to your computer where they can be forever preserved in the cloud. Edit all of the extraneous from your life. Then, when you opened up all that space and freed your mind, keep it that way. Think before you buy, be conscious of the things you are holding on to.
While you are gifting and receiving this year, keep in mind what really matters. Happy Holidays!
Follow this link for a great TED talk on editing your life: