Here’s a simple technique that can simplify your life a lot. I’ve been doing it for about a year and it’s worked for me:
Every day, throw away 10 things.
Here are my personal rules:
- Obvious garbage doesn’t count.
- It still counts if you take a picture of it and then throw it away.
- Mystery electrical cables from the junk drawer count.
- Books I know I’m not going to read again count.
- A file folder full of old health insurance forms from Belgium counts as one.
I drop a lot off at the Salvation Army. 10 a day seems to be the right number.
It’s done a lot for me:
- Less clutter
- I know where things are
- I spend less time spent trying to find things. If I don’t have it I realise it quickly and it’s never been a problem.
- I’m more organised
We’ve all heard stories about immigrant families who arrive with almost nothing and achieve amazing things. I think that the fact that they don’t have a lot of baggage actually helps them.
Having fewer belongings helps with focus. It’s a good reminder that it’s not what we have, but who we are. That’s a fact that we’ve all thought about, but I’ve found this habit to be a helpful reminder.