I threw out almost everything I owned this week.
Yep, not an exaggeration. My husband and I stood in front of our closets and decided what we wanted to keep and what we didn’t. Erring on the side of less stuff, if we didn’t know what to do with something it ended up getting tossed to the “out” pile. We also made our way through our office and are starting on the kitchen.
Why throw most things out/sell them? Well, for starters, we’re moving. That’s enough to make for some deep-cleaning action. But also, David and I aren’t exactly what you would call hoarders. We get rid of our stuff periodically. This was just the perfect opportunity for another purge. And can I tell you, it feels so good to have less stuff. Our house pretty much looks empty, and I honestly love it. There is so much space to move in. So much space to practice yoga, or play with my dog, or literally do anything. My house has space, and it feels like my mind has opened up in response.
I could give you the standard answer most people like me have: materialism is a plague, we Westerners are constantly on the move for more and more stuff, cleaning the house cleans the mind, etc. The list goes on and on. And while all of these are, yes, true, that’s not what I wanted to touch on. Rather, I got rid of my stuff because it makes my life easier. My house is now easier to clean. I don’t have to worry about how we’re going to move all of our crap. I don’t have to do nearly as much laundry. My life is easier. And that is a hell of a good reason to get rid of stuff.
And, of course, I didn’t get rid of all of it. I have plenty of clothes for plenty of occasions. We’re keeping a few dishes and my crockpot and blender (and pots and pans, cause duh). But getting rid of the excess really changes your life. Again, there is so much space! My house feels like a breath of fresh air. If you want your life to be a little easier, get some work done and get rid of the things that don’t serve you in your house. That dress that you wore when you were in college that hasn’t touched your body in several years? Get rid of it. That old bra that seriously doesn’t even fit anymore? Why do you still have it?! Screw attachments. Find freedom in your ability to choose to let go. You’re not going to wear that dress again. You’re definitely not wearing that old bra again. Seriously. Sell your dress. Throw out your bra. Live life with the attitude of letting go. And I swear to you that you’ll breathe in the fresh smell of clean and open again. Life and laundry and cleanliness will get simpler.
We speak all the time of letting go of attachments in our yoga practice. I’ve been learning lately that so much of my practice has been thinking of all of the wonders of the Eight Limbs of Yoga and then ignoring them in “real life.” Just recently I’ve started to really, really try and match up my values with my actions. Cleaning out my house (purging, really). Letting go. Finding balance. Getting out in nature more. And I have learned that life is infinitely happier—and infinitely easier—when you allow yourself to really, truly release and do what you know will feel good. It takes more work to get to that place of balance, but it’s absolutely worth it. Take it from someone who has been cleaning out her house (and her mind) quite a bit. It’s worth it.
So let go. Go with the flow of life. And see if it becomes just a little easier.