How much do you have?
Are your cupboards groaning?
When you go to put something in your wardrobe, do you have a hard time getting it in?
Do you complain that you don’t have enough storage space? (And if you’re looking for new accommodation, is storage space of one of your key criteria?)
And do you love shopping for new storage items so you can make (and keep) things looking tidy and organised?
Is shopping one of your favourite pastimes? Maybe you even call yourself a shopaholic 😉
But how much do you need?
Have you ever stopped to think what buying all that stuff you have might be doing to the planet…or to you?
Just about every time we buy something new, we are buying damage to the planet.
First, there’s the energy cost. There is:
- the energy you use to go and buy the goods,
- the energy used in getting them to you,
- the energy used in making them, and
- the energy used in gathering resources that go into making them.
That’s a problem because a lot of that energy came from fossil fuels. And using fossil fuels is a major cause of climate change. 🙁
2 Material resources
Then there’s the environmental cost of the raw resources.
Because if you’re buying something new, it takes resources to make it.
And those resources have to come from somewhere.
- Plastic usually comes from petroleum.
- Metal usually has to be dug up out of the ground somewhere in the world. And there’s a good chance the mine was open cut, which means anything living on the surface of the ground before mining – forests, grasslands, crops, animals – was destroyed to make the mine.
- And – unless you buy carefully – wood and paper most often come from natural forests, probably some tropical forest where it helps drive the world’s weather and provides vital ecosystems and biodiversity.
And finally, manufacturing your stuff just about always has unintended consequences.
Despite major advances to regulate emissions, pollution is still a major problem around the world. How much depends on where and how your stuff is made.
Then, when you no longer want a product, what happens to it? Do you know? Even if you recycle it?
And having too much stuff is bad for you too.
It ties up valuable energy, or chi. It can help keep you ‘stuck’…and get in the way of you doing what you really want (or need) to do. And it stops your money being circulated for really positive things.
If you’ve ever done a big clean-out, or spent time in a hotel or new house, you know how much free energy you feel. Just because there is less stuff.
So, if you want to be kind to yourself and the planet, have a think about how much stuff you really need – and then do something about it.
Now, I know this can be a challenge. That’s because keeping clutter-free is one of my big challenges. Especially with teenagers who are right into consumerism and don’t have any concept of affluenza. 😉 And because I want to free up some energy and simplify my life, it’s one of the things I’m focussing on this quarter.
And because it is a struggle for me, I’ve discovered some excellent resources to help with the mechanics of how to go about the very important mission of simplifying your life and freeing up your energy and resources (stuff!) for higher purposes.
FlyLady is one of my favourites for practical, general help with decluttering, cleaning and organising. It’s a great help – and great fun – for those of us who are not Born Organisers and need to take things in baby steps. 😉
And I know how hard the decision-making can be…so many memories…so many things you have ‘just in case’…so hard deciding where to begin! In my own search for help on this, I found that Karen Kingston’s book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui very useful…and very practical.….especially her advice that if you look at something and you feel anything negative, then get rid of it. That really simplifies the decision-making.
So, will you join me in making simplifying your life by reducing your stuff one of your priorities this quarter?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Just pop your comments in the Reply box below…or send me a voice message by clicking on the tab on the right.
Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!
(PS Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui is also available in Kindle edition – so you can own it without the physical clutter!)