Tuesday January 7 2014

You need to throw away stuff...


By Ethan Musolini

One day I was shifting to another house, and in the process of packing, I noticed something interesting. Clothes I had not put on for years. Winter jackets I had kept for close to a decade. Magazines I will possibly never read. Workshop notes I had stashed away for five years.
A lot of stuff that was unnecessary, irrelevant or obsolete.

And they were covering space. In essence, I was holding onto stuff for the sake of it. May be we do it to feel safer and better because of having more stuff. But it’s an illusion. More stuff doesn’t mean a better quality of life. It can actually be the opposite.

Why is this an important subject for us to talk about? Because whatever you carry has an emotional charge attached to it. It covers mental space which could have been otherwise used for something else.

Stuff covers physical space which could otherwise have created a clearer space for visual beauty.

And, to attract new and better things, you have to create space for the new first. Meaning, if you are holding onto something, it means your fists are clenched. So, how will you open them (fists) to receive the new things coming into your life?

Here is an assignment for you. Go to your closet and look at the clothes you have. Do you really need all of them?

Are there outfits you have not put on for over one or two years? Get them out and give them to someone who would celebrate that opportunity. If you don’t know of someone, you could take them to charity organisations or churches. They would find the right people for you.

Look through your papers and files. Do you have notes and pages which seemed relevant and useful a few years ago and yet now they seem obsolete? What of the old magazines?

It could be anything. From furniture to shoes, books to beddings there is always something to clear out of your life. It could be an old phone that blacked out and you no longer use.

Challenge is, sometimes we are attached to things we love. For example, there is a phone I really loved and used it to a point of “extinction”. It reached a point beyond repair. Guess what? I kept it around for about five months. Why you may ask. I don’t know but I believe it’s because of my previous emotional attachment to it.

Here is the rule of thumb before you clear out stuff. Hold something in your hands and ask yourself a basic question – will I use or need this within the next six months? If the answer is no, then, that’s a good candidate to be thrown away. Of course you have to use common sense here because if it’s a passport and you are not planning to travel within the same period, then, don’t throw it away, okay? Alright, go clear some stuff to create space for better things.

The writer is the CEO of Success Africa, a motivational speaker, author and HR consultant