Detach from Your Stuff

Bora Bora Bed.previewI remember my young adult days as one of the most carefree times of my life.  I lived in a tiny apartment (many times with roommates) and had little disposable income.  I did not have a credit card.  I couldn’t afford designer clothes, gadgets, or extras.  All of my possessions fit in a few boxes, and I didn’t have to worry about vehicle expenses, home maintenance, or anything of the sort.  I felt awesome and light as a feather.

I was free.

Getting away from your stuff

I am lucky that I have a place to visit in Vermont where, for extended periods of time, I am rather “stuff-free”.  Every time I visit with my family, it feels incredible to get away from it all.  Upon my return to New Jersey, we always reassess and try to figure out how we can declutter our lives even further.

Why do we need so much more when we come back to our “real” lives?  We don’t; we just feel like we do.  That’s why going away–whether on vacation, camping, or to any place of solitude is so important once in a while.  Bottom line is that most of our stuff is hardly necessary for our happiness and overall well-being.

The moving scenario

I have a couple of close friends in the process of moving now.  I get such a kick out of asking them if they are paring down their belongings.  After all, what better time than during a move to declutter to the max?!?

So I looked around my house and checked out the contents.  I asked my myself what I would take if I was about to move.  Even though my family has scaled down our belongings quite a bit, there is still a lot I would leave behind.

Point being: a vacation, a trip away, or a removal of our physical selves from our homes helps put our stuff in perspective.  Our stuff is really not that important, and with that realization, we can weaken its grip on us and be willing to let it go.

A Challenge: Add one, remove two

For the next month, try this exercise:

Every time you buy something (besides food), you must get rid of two things.  Buy a new sweater? Donate two items of clothing.  New book?  Two must go.  Toys?  Same deal.  This is a slow, yet efficient, way to declutter.  It also forces you to think about whether you truly need the new item in your life in the first place.  Try it this month and see how it works.

An aside: Bloggers are a selfless bunch

I did not post a weekly roundup last week, obviously.  I will get back to it for sure, but I find it difficult…I always forget someone, and that upsets me.    There are a few people I want to mention this week, however.  They make the blogosphere an incredible place to do work and cultivate relationships.

Even though she has ribbed me a bit lately, Pauline from Reach Financial Independence has been an angel.  I have had many long conversations with Pauline over email, where she has helped this clueless blogger with everything under the sun.  She has nothing to gain from helping me; she is simply selfless that way.  Thanks, Pauline.

Kim from Eyes on the Dollar hosted my first ever guest post.  Again, who am I?  She posted it anyway.  Thanks, Kim.

Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff has emailed me back and forth several times, giving me tips freely and willingly.  I have learned so much from her!  She also wrote a reader profile on me after I had blogged for a couple of weeks.

Mr. CBB at Canadian Budget Binder paid it forward as well.  He commented on my site when I had (literally) 15 visitors a day and pushed me to write content that was meaningful and helpful to people.  Truly special guy.

Gareth, Tammy and CJ probably write the most thoughtful and heartfelt comments I have ever read.  They also have very unique blogs.

Again, I missed people.  That doesn’t mean I am not thankful!  Bloggers are truly incredible, selfless folk.  I am thrilled to be in the mix.

And finally, some Carnivals I was included in last week:

Carnival of Retirement at My Personal Finance Journ
Carnival of Financial Planning at Life Insurancey By Jeff
Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at The Savvy Scot
Yakezie Carnival at Abstract Aucklander
Carnival of MoneyPros at Money Reasons

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