When I moved out of my big apartment to downsize to a smaller place back in 2008, I rented a storage unit to temporarily store the stuff that I didn't see myself using on a regular basis.
Since I wanted to sell or give away everything and reduce my possessions, I had originally planned to only keep the storage unit for a few months. I thought that if I made storing my unnecessary possessions a financial burden, I would be more encouraged to get rid of them. I told myself that by paying money every month I would be forcing myself to get my butt moving and sell all the unnecessary stuff.
Well, that didn't happen.
Month after month went by and I found myself in an endless loop of procrastination. I kept telling myself that $120 a month wasn't that much to spend for a safe and secure 10'x8' storage space. I told myself that the stuff inside the storage unit was worth a lot more than I was spending and that I would eventually make all my money back when I got around to selling the stuff.
When I finally committed to changing my lifestyle and becoming a nomadic world traveler last December, I realized that I wouldn't be able to afford the storage unit even if I wanted to. So, I set a deadline for myself to have the storage unit emptied by January 31st.
I pushed hard to sell and give away whatever I could. When the end of January came I packed up what was left and moved it to my parents basement. Now, for the past few weeks, I've been going through the remainder of the stuff and listing what I can on eBay and CraigsList.
By the time I finally emptied the storage unit, I had spent almost $2,000 storing stuff that I never even used! Why did it take me over a year to do what I saw myself doing within weeks of moving stuff into storage?
In retrospect, I was holding on to the stuff because I really wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.
I was so sick of carting it around with me for years that $120 a month subconsciously felt like a sensible price to pay for the peace of mind of not having to deal with it.
As humans, we need very little to survive. There are very few things that we need to store.
Think for a moment about everything you own.
Is there anything you're storing away only because your subconscious doesn't want anything to do with it? Is there stuff you're ignoring because the act of doing so seems easier than getting rid of it?
Do you have things sitting in boxes, stuffed in your closets, or pushed under your bed? Do you have a storage unit or garage full of possessions that you haven't used in months or years? Is the glove compartment in your car littered with things that keep getting pushed to the bottom?
Now, how many of those objects are essential to your wellbeing? How many of them are required for you to live? How many of them do you use on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis?
The old adage "out of sight, out of mind" may be true for some things, but do you really want your life full of things that you don't need and don't use? Are you happy being a contributor to the waste in this world?
Do this: Cleanse your life of one thing this week.
It can be anything, from a paper receipt that you no longer need to a box or bag of clothes that no longer fits you. If you can keep this up for a year, you can rid your life of 52 things that you don't need (and if you can get rid of more than one thing a week, go for it!).
Leave a comment below and tell me what one thing you're going to get rid of this week.