What Happens When You Can’t Take It Anymore?

Black and white photo of messy shelves
Photo by Hobi industri on Unsplash

Are you tired of the crap lying around your house? Or in your car? Your workplace? I sure am!

Last year, with the Ninja Writers’ encouragement, I embarked on a yearly theme of organization. I started out with Marie Kondo’s book about tidying up. Hubby and I tried to watch her Netflix series, but we struggled with that one. Ha!

I pecked away at the edges of our middle-class accumulations through this year, but I didn’t go as far as I needed to do. “Pecking away” at decades of unnecessary purchases is not a winning strategy.


Stuff, we know, causes stress. No, really, it does! Years ago, I remember sitting in my faculty office unable to focus because all I could think about was all the unknown stuff in our attic. I’d married a packrat, and I had no idea what all that “junk” was in our now-shared attic. I perched my valuables precariously on top of his mess.

Honestly, I’ve zero room to talk as I, too, struggle with throwing things away. I’ve gotten better at it in the past few years, but the piles keep appearing. Blaming it on a mischievous elf might work, but those only come around Christmas time, right?

This problem is not funny at all, but George Carlin sure nailed our propensity to hold on to things in his hilarious bit called “Stuff.” (Language alert!)

The More of Less

Two weeks ago, I received a lovely Talbot’s postcard announcing a 50% off everything sale in the coming days. Without thinking, I began to shop for something to buy, given the irresistible offer before me. Nothing. It was a genuine struggle for me to choose anything. At half-off, the prices were astounding and I don’t work anymore outside my home! Even the activewear, which I’d surely use, was insanely priced, but I added a top to my cart and left the tab open on my laptop for “the big event.”

And then it happened. The very next day, I opened my December read, “The More of Less,” by Joshua Becker. What had I been thinking when I browsed the Talbot’s website? Was I thinking at all? I shook my head in shame as I read the first chapter.

The book’s a delight to read as it describes the concepts of minimalism and its applications. What I love most about the book’s message is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to slimming down the closet, the desk, or the kitchen cabinets. You do you is Becker’s message. He offers lots of examples about real people he’s encountered and embedded in them is a variety of strategies to decide what stays and what goes.

Hint: you don’t have to move into a tiny house to win.

So, allow me to ask you again. Are you tired of the junk lying about?

The subtitle of Becker’s book is, “Finding The Life You Want Under Everything You Own.” Would you join me on the journey to a less weighed-down life? Let’s travel together to a space unknown (a clean one!) and reap the joys and freedom we can’t see beneath all that stuff.

If you’re a Baby Boomer like I am, you’ve likely mastered the skill of consuming. We were raised on television advertising, that constant beckoning to buy. But if you’ve since had “the epiphany” and pondered the tasks of minimizing, do something about it!

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