De-clutter and De-tach for happiness!

De-clutter and De-tach for happiness!

I recently received an email in which the sender stated her satisfaction following de-cluttering but her difficulty in doing this more often due to her attachment to sentimental objects. 

How, she asked, could she overcome this conundrum? 

Well, let me begin by noting that for some this is not an easy issue to resolve and that as always, this balancing act requires slightly different approaches by different people. At the same time, however, let me state that achieving the right balance will, quite simply, lead one along a simple path to simple (and genuine) happiness. 

The buddhists have argued for quite some time now that attachment is one of the problems that leads to suffering. Without attachment we are taking important steps towards freedom and happiness. 

Now that's easier said than done in modern day, Western Society but this is something to which I've given much thought; and, I believe, the answer lies in distinguishing between wanting something and needing something.

It is, quite simply, normal and appropriate and OK to want various possessions (in fact it's almost impossible not to given all the advertising and marketing to which we're exposed). But as long as we understand we don't really NEED these things for happiness or for a good life then we can enjoy them for what they are without becoming overly attached to or reliant on them. 

Even if we recognise this, however, it's easy to accumulate excess baggage in our lives and, excessive possesions many of which we rarely use or appreciate. 

So, my suggestion would be to set yourself regular appointments throughout the year at which you go through your cupboards and wardrobes and office drawers etc and ask yourself…

  • Do I still use this? 

  • Do I still wear this? 

  • What would happen if I threw this out or gave it away? 

  • Could someone else enjoy this more than me? 

  • Is there really any reason to hold on to this? etc…

Now the answers to some or all of these questions may well lead you to determine that certain objects or possessions are worth keeping; and if so, that's obviously totally fine!

But, at the same time, if you've not worn something for 12 months or not used a toy/gadget for some time then do you really need it in your home or in your life? 

Most importantly, why is all this important? 

Because every item in your life that's not necessary or important is distracting you (by taking up physical and mental space) from that which is really necessary and important. The flip side of this is that the more you focus on real priorities and what's really important the more chance you have of living a healthy and happy life!