“Please don’t take this gift as a hint. This is merely a book that I am enjoying reading at the moment. May it spark joy in your life too,” my card read.
I gifted several copies of the best selling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo for Christmas this year. (I knew better than to gift a copy to my mom who would DEFINITELY take offense! Admit it, mom.)
An avid reader and inspired to further simplify my life in 2019, I read FIVE decluttering books over the holiday break!
But reading overrated.
It’s taking action on what you learn while reading that will change your life.
And so my renewed decluttering frenzy began.
Clothes were brought to consignment.
Boxes of clothes, household items, and books were donated to Goodwill.
Several trash bags of paper were either shredded or thrown away.
Boxes of continuing education materials were sold.
My husband, jokingly I believe, says he feels like he’s living in a sterile environment.
I respond that I cannot stand to be around “visual noise.”
Always the wise guy, Andrew quips that it’s too “quiet” in our house.
The overriding theme of every book I’ve read thus far is this:
The purpose of purging your belongings is not to have less “stuff”.
The purpose of owning less is to free space in your life (figuratively and literally) for the things and activities that really matter to you.
Here are some suggestions I found particularly helpful in deciding whether to keep or discard particular items during the “great purge” at our house:
- Think of stores as your personal warehouses. There is no need to stockpile items at your house.
- If you lost this item, would you buy it again?
- If it’s not a “Hell, yes!” then it’s a “no.”
- It’s not about the money. It’s about the mental bandwidth that every item you own takes up in your brain.
- Ask yourself if you can use an item NOW. Don’t keep “someday” or “just in case” items. You can always buy it again, rent it or borrow it when you need it.
- Reducing your belongings now saves your children the headaches of doing so later. (If you’ve ever had to clean out your parent’s home, you understand what an agonizingly frustrating and time-consuming process it is.)
- And my personal favorite: Don’t buy it because it’s cheap. Don’t take it because it’s free.
Speaking of free, although Family Succession Planning isn’t free, we do offer a great value on our Family Succession Strategy Sessions at only $197. You can book yours today here.
Kristen “the Anti-Hoarder” Marks
P.S. Check out the latest video I’ve posted on our website to learn how to avoid ten common estate planning mistakes to save your family time, money and headaches when you’re gone.