Is Your Stuff Life-Giving?

by Tina on August 6, 2010

Are your possessions adding joy, usefulness and function to your life? Or are they sucking the life right out of you?

Owning something is an investment: an investment of your time, space, mental energy, and physical energy. Owning something means you need to acquire it, store it, insure it, and maintain it.

For a chunk of our stuff, ownership is a life-giving endeavor. We really use and enjoy this stuff. For the other chunk of our stuff, ownership contributes to how mentally and physically drained we are.

Think about the chunk of your stuff that is draining you. Are you even aware that it is dragging you down?

Two-thirds of your closet is packed with “that size” since you know you’re going to get back there one day.  Are you thumbing through, crawling over, or crawling through mounds of seldom used clothes to get to the 15-30 pieces you wear weekly? Is two-thirds of your closet mocking you every time you open the door?

You’ve got some kitchen appliances/gadgets that are phenomenal for ONE particular and seldom used task. Are you fumbling through cabinets and drawers, reaching past and over these things that you need once every year or two, to get to the more functional items you use weekly or every day?

Okay, so you love shoes. You spend a lot of money on them. They are beautiful… and they are at the bottom of your jammed closet… or in your underbed storage… or in a pile in the corner. Do you have enough space to store them in a way that you can access them for wear? Or, do you faintly remember that you have an amazing pair of shoes that would exactly go with this outfit, but you don’t have the time it would take to locate them before you run out the door?

You have every electronic convenience known to man. You’ve located the piece of equipment you need. But, what with all these cables and cords and chargers and extensions and portables, you can’t remember what goes with what to make the darn thing work.

So, what’s a frustrated stuff owner to do? Baby Steps.

1. In whatever space you’re working on, (corner of the garage, kitchen cabinet, bathroom drawer, closet shelf, etc.), re-evaluate each item you touch in terms of its life-giving value to you.

2. If most of what you feel or think is negative toward an item, move it out of your space (donate, recycle, trash, or sell) as fast as you can.

3. Get the purged item to its destination within the week (within 48 hours is even better).

4. Note: if you discover some items that you don’t want to look at but you must keep (tax records, family heirlooms that will not be on display, etc.) and they don’t have to be readily accessible, research how to safely store them in your designated long-term storage area. Get these items out of your primary living space now.

5. Lastly, use this concept to evaluate every new item you consider bringing into your precious, finite space. If you make that decision carefully, you can cut way down on the time spent purging things later.

The secret to life-giving ownership is: purge your environment of the stuff that is draining you. Then, there is room to breathe, live well, and find everything you really love and use. You can do this.

“…Peace to you…” 3 John 1:14 (New International Version)

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 Hello, my name is Tina Bonifacio, and I am a Professional Organizer working with residential and commercial clients in the greater Savannah, Georgia area. For more information, visit Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome back anytime.

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