Recently I read an article called “Your Life In 10 items” which was based around the fact that Mahatma Gandhi could count all of his worldly possessions on two hands. He owned less than ten items. Does this mean that owning less makes for a better life?
In my handbag I carry more than ten items, all of which I use during the day, every day. Take into consideration everything else that I use daily, all the items that I own in my life and everything else that I don’t use that I has accumulated over the years I have to ask myself, if I really need everything to have a fulfilled life.
Everyone reading this article already lives in a materialistic world and considers that they need specific items to survive but if we compare our live to one of those in a poorer community (take that to whatever level you wish) we are shown that everything we uses isn’t actually required to survive; it can even make our lives more stressful rather than enriching it.
Of course, you can get on with decluttering your life (I reclaimed my spare room/office at the weekend but only moved all the “oh yes we will do a car boot one weekend” stuff into boxes which were then placed in the loft) but during a decent decluttering process we always find a forgotten treasured possession, vow to use it again and place it back in a prominent position in the house. And so the cycle continues.
I can spend hours on Pinterest drooling over the latest storage solution (eg. table and chairs, shelves, children’s bedroom) but that just means that you have to buy more things – or get someone to build something – to start the tidy-up/declutter. Somewhere to put the CD’s once you’ve ripped them all to store on your digital music player, somewhere to put all the books you’re now downloading onto your Kindle, somewhere to store the photo albums now that you have scanned in the best ones and uploaded them to Facebook…
But do we need to buy more things? Surely this defeats the object? Can we take what we have, work out what you need or use the most, put to one side the items that you just can’t bear to part with and get rid of the items that are not needed or are having a negative impact on your life?
I’m not sure I can narrow that down to just ten items. I’m not sure I even want to. But I do want to ensure that the possessions I have in my life have a positive effect on me and those people around me. Maybe I need someone completely unconnected to me to go through everything in my house and make the decluttering decisions for me?
What about you? Do you have too many distractions in your life? What could you dispose of and what could you never give up? Could you live with just ten possessions?
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