Have you ever played "Would You Rather..."? It's a conversation game where participants must choose between two scenarios and explain why.
If you apply this game to your relationships, your stuff, and your home, you can start to see what you value and what really makes you happy.
- Would you rather have your curio cabinets, shelves, and collectibles that fill an entire room, or enjoy a smaller home that costs $300 less every month?
- Would you rather have a garage full of packed boxes, or room to park your car out of the weather?
- Would you rather have your father's first edition Stephen King novels, or a close relationship with your sibling?
You may not realize it, but these represent the types of choices you are making as you declutter, downsize, or death clean. It's important to ask yourself the questions so you can imagine the results before making a decision you regret.
So often, we fear that decluttering will lead to regret. We focus on what we're giving up, and worry we'll discard something we might need or want later.
But sometimes keeping stuff causes loss.
Keeping stuff we don't need can mean a loss of space, time, money, freedom, energy... even of relationships. ("I had no idea that fight over Dad's books would create such bad feeling between us. I wish I'd known I was choosing those books over my brother!)
Every day, we make decisions about how we will prioritize the elements of our lives: the stuff we own, our relationships with family and friends, our jobs, our leisure activities, our health, even our spirituality. Too often, we are unaware that our choices and actions are defining who we are, and that they communicate much more about us than any words we say. We thoughtlessly accumulate more and more, or get busier and busier, or go deeper into debt, or eat junky food, all without realizing that we are crafting a message about our true values and beliefs.
Minimalism can help you take an honest look at what really matters to you. When you peel away the things and activities that you don't need or want, you're left with a clear view of what you really care about. Then you can decide if you're happy with that view, whether you want to cultivate it or make some changes. You'll figure out who you really want to be.
Photo by Daniel Fazio on Unsplash