How To Let Go Of Stuff And Enjoy Life
I’ve been working with friends on how to let go of stuff and enjoy life. It seems the older I get the less I want or need. In fact, I want less of just about everything, except chocolate, of course. I have the giggles because I love chocolate and See’s Candy is one of my downfalls. Well, actually any chocolate. But, in all honesty, today I will be at lunch with family or friends and we seem to zero in on the fact that we want less stuff. We want food storage and water storage so we can be prepared, but we all want to live a simpler life.
I have helped people move over the years and every single time I hear the same thing, “I need to get rid of stuff.” We always laugh and say we all need to declutter. It seems sometimes people move their stuff to a new house and never are able to let go of items they have boxed up years ago.
Keep in mind, I’m not talking about letting go of family treasures or sentimental items. I’m heading over to a friend’s house this morning to help her declutter and organize her laundry room cupboards. She’s picked up some plastic containers she can label so she can find items quickly when she needs them.
I live in a subdivision of very small homes, so storage is a premium. I left a home up north that had a basement where I could store things. When Mark and I moved here we had to let go of a lot of stuff. We are still working on it 13 years later. Did I say, 13 years??? Yes, I did. Good grief, that’s a long time!
Let me tell you this, I have been donating, selling and trashing items that no one would want, and it feels awesome. I want to sip a homemade lemonade in the backyard this year and simplify my life now. Bring on the lemons, I may even plant a Meyer Lemon tree.
Enjoy Life by Letting Go
I want to challenge you and myself to let go of stuff and enjoy life. Look around your home, grab some clear bags, garbage bags or boxes and label them to recycle, keep, donate, sell, or trash as many items as possible. We can do a cupboard today, a closet next week.
There is no hurry to let go of stuff, but you will enjoy life a whole lot more, I promise. Divide the stuff you may want to let go of in the following ways:
- Give to someone
Here are some things I want to do to enjoy life more. I hope you will share your ideas as well. Let’s make this list really long.
- Simplify lateral counters (let go of stuff you have to dust around).
- Stop buying clothes that need to be dry-cleaned.
- Spend just one day a month in solitude, no TV, cell phones or internet.
- Watch the sunset, it’s amazing and simply beautiful.
- Decide on getting up one hour earlier each day, oh my, that one-hour rocks.
- Take your lunch to work, you will save money and eat healthier.
- Skip the soda and drink water, good water (not tap water, at least where I live) I have reverse osmosis installed.
- Before you buy something take the time to think about if you really need it. If you do bring it home, get rid of something else.
- Set a savings goal and stick to it.
- Organize your bills, important documents, tax returns and file them.
- Buy a golf pass, that’s for Mark, it saves us money and all his friends get a discount to golf with him.
- Simplify your gift giving, money doesn’t buy happiness, gifts are not always needed, spend time, not your money.
- Don’t answer your phone if you don’t want to, let it ring, they can text a message if they need you.
- The doorbell, who invented the doorbell? LOL! Don’t answer the door if you don’t want to, it’s usually a sales pitch.
- Cancel magazine subscriptions, sometimes they become clutter and you may feel obligated to read it.
- Buy clothing that will work with all your colors in your wardrobe, less clothing, less money spent.
- Rent a home, I know, I was realtor and mortgage broker, but I can see that renting has positive options. Oh yes, you may have to move, but you no longer have to maintain a home with repairs. If you let go of stuff, you can downsize and travel, if you so desire. I remember one neighbor mention to me, “I love renting because I can try out this neighborhood, move out (she’s condensed her stuff) and travel for six months and find another neighborhood to see if I like it.” I always felt owning a home was the American Dream, but is it, really? Do you like your neighborhood, your neighbors? If you are renting, you can move when your lease is up.
- Meet friends for dinner at a restaurant once a week for date night. No one has to cook and you get one night off from planning a meal.
- Stop getting newspaper delivery, you can see the news on TV or on the internet.
- Go for walks and listen to audible books, they are free at your local library, typically.
- Pay off your house as quickly as possible.
- Practice planting a garden, it’s so relaxing when you dig in the earth God gave us to grow our own food.
I have worked since I was 7 or 8 years old, cleaning houses, babysitting, being a mom, working at corporations, I owned my own mortgage company, and now I want to enjoy life, what about you? Thanks again for storing food storage, water, and all the necessities to be prepared for the unexpected. Please enjoy life, you deserve it.
Chalkboard: AdobeStock_102972988 by Marek
14 thoughts on “How To Let Go Of Stuff And Enjoy Life”
Saying no is ok. Since I retired everyone thinks
I have the time to do for them. Im working on decluttering. It feels good. Love your articles. Thank you.
Hi Deborah, oh I love your comment! I remember when my last little girl went to kindergarten, I suddenly got phone calls to babysit neighbors kids. WHAT? LOL! I’ve been waiting for this day! Now, they are all grown and enjoying life! The thing with retirement we can slowly go through stuff and decide what we really want to keep. I’m so happy you enjoy my articles, that means so much to me. Linda
In the past 38 years of marriage, I have lived in 7 states. We now live in a 1200 sq. Ft. cabin, with a crawl space under it. Since I am retired, I need very little in clothing and I buy most of it at thrift shops. Since we have always moved ourselves with a rental truck, we learned a long time ago to thin out the stuff. I am getting ready to thin out my craft stuff next and I really don’t need 5 sewing machines. I rent a booth at the local flea market from time to time to sell the excess. What doesn’t sell gets donated to the Humane Society Thrift shop.
Hi Liz, I’m a seamstress so I love hearing you have 5 sewing machines! LOL! I have two! It took a long time for me to thin out (I love that statement) my craft stuff. Moving is the best way to get rid of stuff. I LOVE your comment! Linda
Linda, you really are my sister from another mother. Lol I’ve never been really bad about hanging on to “stuff”; I moved around the country a lot in my younger days. But as I grow older I realize a sense of freedom when I purge. I even got rid of some books! (Not many). And, yes my favorite candy is Sees.
Hi Linda, oh my gosh, Sees candy! I love the dark chocolate, my favorite is the marshmallow caramel one! I am purging like crazy! I live the words, declutter, thin out (learned that one today from Liz, and the word purge. We are rocking with all three! LOL! Linda
Funny! Been a See’s candy addict since we lived in Washington State in the 80’s. Just bought my wife a box of truffles for Valentine’s day as I’ve done every year for a decade or two.
Oh, Chuck!!! That is so awesome! I have tasted those yummy See’s Truffles! It’s the small things in life that mean so much! Love your comment! Linda
I moved a couple of years ago. My daughter downsized me and got rid of a lot of my clutter. Then, I started a 30 in 30 project: get rid of 30 bags of stuff in 30 days. It was not really hard to do. I bagged up clothing that no longer fit (6 bags); handbags and shoes I no longer wore/used (1 bag), kitchen gadgets, dishes (2 boxes); books (2 boxes); crafting materials (4 bags). That was just in the first week! I still need to downsize my crafting a bit as I still have things that I no longer enjoy doing or are for younger children than my grandchildren. Also, I have fabrics that I collected over the years that are no longer my style.
A few years ago, I started a “thing” whereby if I purchased something that went into my closet, something had to go. It helped me realize that I could get by with a lot fewer clothes than I had when I was younger. Now, I purchase quality and very few really good pieces.
I went from an 1800 sf 3 bed/2 bath home to an apartment 756 sf 2 bed/1 bath apartment. That makes one sit up and take notice of all the stuff they have!
Oh, Leanne, you are my hero!!! You rock!!! I love hearing about all the stuff you got rid of in such a short period of time. It feels so good to let go of stuff. The funny thing is, it never seems to end. We collect stuff for years and realize very quickly how much less we can live with every day. I do the same thing as you do if I buy a shirt it better be good quality and then I donate one. One thing that’s really awesome, we can easily live in a smaller home if we put our mind to it. Donate, giveaway, sell or trash it. Life is good with less! Great comment!!!! Linda
Enjoyed your thoughts on decluttering Linda . I too have been on a kick I decluttered my closet of some clothes and shoes purses ect. I still have a ways to go and am now in my craft room starting to get the declutter bug in here as well I did also get rid of two sewing machines and am going through my material stash
I have either to much stuff or to many projects that keep me in the clutter zone. I will hopefully make a dent in this mess. Prayers everyone!
Hi, Debbie, LOL! I LOVE your comment, prayers everyone! I have the giggles because we all need a prayer to just do it! Decluttering feels so great! One of my friends came called me to come over and see how she had organized her thread, yarn, batteries, etc. She had bags ready to donate and bags ready to sell. Life is good with less. Linda
Linda you just make my day! My parents lived in New Jersey all their lives until Pop retired in 1981. They moved to Florida in 1982, lived there for 17 years and moved up to WA state to be by us in 2000. Mother packed boxes in New Jersey (remember this was 1982) and labeled everything. All the years in Florida they collected more “stuff”. When they moved up here in 2000 they “stored” everything they own in OUR garage. We couldn’t park the car inside for 5 months while their house was being built. Obviously Mother had packed again when they left Florida but that time she decided to list all their boxes by a roman numeral system so the packers “wouldn’t know” what was in the boxes. After Pop went into a dementia home Mother got herself a two bedroom one bath apartment. She didn’t want to “waste” money on movers moving all of her things so we made 17 trips in our pickup and another 15 in our car moving all the things that she didn’t want to pay to move. (!) Yes, everything was “stored” in our garage until her apartment was ready, and yes we moved all her things in our car and pickup again.
When we started packing things to take to the apartment I found 62 boxes, yes, 62, that had never been unpacked since the move from New Jersey.
Now Mother is in hospice care so most of her things are here in our house again. I’ve tried to donate as much as possible. My daughter is very smart and just said “No. No, I don’t need anything of Nana’s.”
I am going out of my way to thin (love that word!) all of our things so my daughter doesn’t have to do this when we are gone.
Prayers and hugs to everyone, and an extra Sees to you all!
Oh my gosh, Cheryl, I have the giggles! YOU made my day! The pickup truck, 62 boxes, oh my gosh, I hope people see this comment!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. The comments from your cute daughter are the best, “No. No, I don’t need anything of Nana’s.” I have got to put that on Food Storage Moms Facebook right now. I can’t stop laughing. What a great comment, hugs! Linda