A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Ask the Readers: What are the Hardest Things to Get Rid Of?

In your pursuit of simple living, what has been the hardest thing to get rid of?

Do you struggle with emotional attachments to sentimental items?

Is it more challenging to pare down your children’s toys?

Perhaps it’s deciding what hobbies and pastimes you should keep and which to give up.

Is it the everyday clutter that has accumulated over time that is the hardest to deal with?

Satisfying the Urge to Purge

Making the decision to simplify our lives feels like a big step . . . because it absolutely is.

However, when we actually face the challenge of what to attack first and then what follows next, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

For a long time, having two storage units full of miscellaneous stuff was a HUGE obstacle that stood in our path. It is true that is was physically a lot to deal with, but it was even more mentally overwhelming. I put it off for so long because I was the most afraid of the all the decisions required to deal with every item inside.

Not Everything Must Go

Sometimes when we’re struggling with letting go, it means it’s not the best things to do. If you just can’t make yourself give up a treasured item from your childhood, then don’t. If it’s a priority to you, then don’t feel the need to conform to some ideal minimalist existence you hold in your head.

Hobbies and favorite pastimes are one of the areas that deserve careful attention. Don’t be too anxious to eliminate something that makes you who you are. On the other hand, if you’re holding onto something that is no longer a priority, it may be time to let it go and hold onto the memories instead.

My friend, Robert from Untitled Minimalism, has written a very helpful, and practical book called “Harmonizing Hobbies.” It will walk you through the evaluation of your hobbies to help you decide if it’s something you should still hold onto. It’s free to download and read. Donations are requested only after the reader has the opportunity to find value in the book.

Share Your Struggles

Everyone meets challenges in a different way and everyone sees obstacles differently. I’m curious what areas are the most overwhelming for you. I’d love to tackle each one of those with you and in the process we can help others as well.

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Article originally published on 07/12/2011

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