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Simplifying and Downsizing: When Stuff Becomes an Anchor That Holds us Back

Effective Living

Summary. This page offers a commentary about downsizing by Gregory Johnson.

It’s hard to know when to let go of the things that accumulate in our life.

When trying to decide, take that item before you and ask, “Is this an anchor or an oar?”

Some stuff is like an anchor and keeps us stuck in the past and present, unable to move forward with life and grow.

Other possessions are like oars that empower us and allow us to move forward. Keep the life tools that equip you for more effective and efficient living. Keep the things you use daily or weekly that save time and/or money.

There will be some things that are sources of energy, hope, and inspiration. Keep a few of those, but don’t overdo it.

Get rid of things that slow you down.

When we can discern the difference between the anchors and oars, then we can choose what to keep and what to give away or sell.

If you’re seeking to simplify your transition toward minimalism, consider giving your possessions away rather than trying to sell them on eBay or in a garage sale. In our city we have a thrift store called Crowded Closet that will take donated items and make them suitable for sale at economical prices. What people often don’t realize is that much effort goes into sorting through things and preparing them for sale. It’s necessary to price items, and if you’re posting them on eBay or Craig’s List, it can be time consuming to take pictures, write up a description, and then respond to inquiries. You’d often be ahead financially just to give the stuff away, and in the process you can help someone else.

Remember that losing clutter is like losing weight. You’ll feel lighter. You’ll think clearer. Yet, just as weight easily lost is often easily gained again, the habits that allowed your life to become cluttered can result in an accumulation of new stuff.

Changing the habits that create clutter is just as important as losing the clutter itself.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com