I have been through this process before. When I moved last year I took three truck loads to the local thrift store as well as a number of things that ended up in the dumpster. Ten years ago I was introduced to the work of Karen Kingston and her book Clear Your Clutter with Fung Shui by a good friend. At that time in my life I started to see a connection to my life and the clutter accumulating in my life. I have begun seen clutter as an outward expression of my inner world. For ten years I have been in the process to declutter my life only to find that it is full of clutter again. I have really taken a serious looked at the relationship I have with the things and objects I keep accumulating in my life, that is until yesterday
With each object I am selling, giving away or throwing away I have asked myself what is my relationship to this particular object. So far I have identified three different relationships I have with the objects and things in my life. I might need this thing or object someday so I hang onto it. I have a memory that is associated with the object or thing that I do not want to forget. And last of all the object is something I use in an activity that I really enjoy.
I might need something someday so I hang onto it. Most of the objects in this category were not even fit to give away and should have been thrown away when their usefulness ended. I had a pair of dress shoes that had holes in the soles and were no longer fit to wear. This is a relationship about the fear of scarcity, that I will never have enough.
I have a memory that is associated with the object that I do not want to forget. I would like to believe that I will never forget those memories but I know better. I have worked in nursing homes before and seen many old people that have very little memory before they pass on. Once again this relationship to objects is based in fear, a fear of loss.
The object is something I use in an activity that I really enjoy. It is not the object that I enjoy but the activity that the object is used in. In this case the relationship has been one of misplaced connection. The true relationship is in doing things I love.
Consumerism has become a demon that haunts me. It consumes me with my possessions. Understanding my relationship to objects and things helps exorcize the demons from my life. This is the beginning of shift from the perspective of objects possessing me to one of me having objects for a specific purpose.