This is a follow-up to the recent post about a mentality of “saving” that isn’t as positive as it sounds. If you missed it, you may want to read that original post before continuing on. That’s where I talked about the tendency that some people have to collect things. Small things. Product samples and matchbooks and safety pins that may come in handy some day.
I’m not saying you need to get rid of all your trial size products. What you might want to do is go through them. See which ones are expired, or dried up (that’s what often happens when you hang onto your prized sample too long, it goes belly-up on you, either by leaking out of its container or just becoming completely dessicated – so much for that stash). Take an inventory. How many travel sized tubes of toothpaste do you really need?
In fact, do you have a junk drawer at all?
Here’s a radical suggestion: Just take that junk drawer and dump it. Throw it all away. Don’t even sort through it; just open it up and up-end it into the trash.
If you can’t stomach that thought (sign of some of the issues identified above) then at a minimum, go through everything in that drawer and make an honest, objective assessment of it. Do you really need that stub of a candle that you’ve had for 15 years? If you’re worried about what will happen if the power goes out, then put together an emergency kit – yes this is a smart thing to have around – and make sure it’s got fresh batteries and a flashlight. Look at everything in that junk drawer as if it were someone else’s (yes this is hard to do but so very effective). What if it was an elderly relative’s horde? It would be much easier for you to just toss so many of those items, because it would be easier for you to perceive their lack of value. Use that perspective, and see what you truly don’t need. And toss it.
There’s a trick to this of course: If you have even one thought of “Yes I can throw this away” then you must honor that, and act on it IMMEDIATELY. If you are someone with these types of mental patterns, then it’s not going to be easy to take these actions, and undoubtedly you will second-guess yourself and be tugged in the other direction (“But wait, I might need this…”). That’s how attachments work. You must act in the first impulse of getting rid of it, or it becomes much harder and you likely won’t follow through.
Once you’ve thrown away the true junk, then spend some time organizing the drawer. Don’t let it ever become a “junk drawer” again. Everything in there should be kept for a reason, with a purpose.
Getting rid of clutter that you’ve accumulated can be extremely freeing. The things in your life are what hold you down; they are outward representations of certain obstacles in your mind. The more you indulge in hoarder tendencies, the more you’re reinforcing an attitude of fear, on the inside. Hoarding is actively manifesting that fear into your life, by accumulating stuff.
And look at it this way: Americans definitely have too much stuff. Create space in your little corner of the world, and increase the space (the positive kind!) in your mind, by cleaning out your junk drawer.
Do it now. 🙂