Day 5: More Room For Happiness

I have started getting a warning message from my iPhone: Storage Almost Full.

What the hell is taking up all the space in my phone?

What is taking up all the space in my mind?

My life?

 

Well, I do have too many screen shots (and I’m pretty sure I won’t look at them ever again.) I also have several apps that I never use.

What else?

It reminded me of how long I have been putting off to clean up my laptop and Inbox, too.

Cyber hoarding: I’m sure this is a widely prevalent phenomenon that almost everyone experiences these days.

 

Why do we hold on to things that we might never need again?

Personally, I save pictures and files in case I need it in the future as a reference, or as a memory. When I decide to save, it’s because I consider them as possible Asset/Inventory. But don’t they in fact usually become Liability?

 

I made a big move about nine month ago. Just before the move, I was in one bedroom condo fully furnished with my belongings that I have been accumulating for past ten years. Initially, I was planning to find another one bedroom condo in the new city so that I can bring all my stuff with me.

My good friend (who is a mentor-figure to me) carefully suggested that I could also extract only the essentials and liquidate the rest. Because I am basically entering into a new chapter and I wouldn’t want anything to possibly become leverage, especially when I will be busy adjusting myself to the new environment. Downsizing will free me and liquidation will fuel me. It sounded right to me.

The hardest of all was the downsizing part. I felt like I needed everything.

I started going through every item in my closet as a starter. Extra sweaters in case I go camping, couple of pairs of jeans I looked good in, and going out tops for girls’ night… When do I ever go camping? A boot-cut True Religion? (Really?) Do I even go clubbing anymore?

I’ve realized that I was keeping them mostly for the memories. For example, those dresses that I used to wear to go out? I don’t dress like that anymore! The trend has changed, my body has changed from lifting, I have grown older and my values certainly have changed.

A verdict: I will highly likely not wear them ever again.

I was holding on to them because it took me back to the time I used to wear them. Plus, even though I had countless number of outfits, I usually ended up wearing my favourites anyway.

And a kicker, I came across a TedTalk video about ‘Minimalism’ (https://youtu.be/GgBpyNsS-jU). In an essence, it helped me realize that ‘I might think I own things, but in reality the things own me.’

I could own more things, but instead I wanted to free up my mind to accommodate more experience, which is much more valuable. I can always buy things, but I can’t always gain experience. If my mind is too busy because of all the things, I wouldn’t be able to experience as deeply as I would have if my mind were freer.

We spend money to buy things and spend more money to store the things we bought. We need more money to buy more things and need a bigger place to store things that we bought more of.

Stressed out and pressured to make more money? Why? Perhaps because of juggling all the stuff we already have and all the stuff we want to have?

This minimalist lifestyle that I have newly discovered has been such a new light for me. I’m a changed woman ever since.

Not sure if it has anything to do with this, but during this time frame, I have also come across the plastic free life style and since I was already at minimizing the number of my belongings, I started throwing out plastic products in my life as well.

I was shocked how much plastic I was having. I was able to downsize nicely only with getting rid of plastics.

Then I became very aware of my output into the world: Stuff I purchase and stuff I throw out. Stuff I consume and stuff I let out into the ecosystem.

Finally I started living more consciously.

 

Storage industry is growing more than ever – both physical and electronic space for sale. I remember hearing someone who is a local storage business owner saying this: “Do you want me to store your junk and take your money too? Sure!!!”

 

I am very hands-on kind of a person. I love to keep hard copies of my favourite pictures and still enjoy writing letters and cards. Of course I will keep important sentimental stuff – the irreplaceable. But I have changed in a sense that now I no longer feel the need to own every trendy piece of clothing and brand new items. Now I only buy things that are meaningful, rare or have an impact by my purchase.

Now I reduce, reuse and recycle.

 

Currently, the size of my wardrobe is about one third of what it used to be. I recall how great It felt to donate. Just a thought of someone who would be happy and grateful about my donated clothes made me fulfilled in the way I’ve never experienced before.

I have never felt freer and in control before. I can now confidently say that I have chosen to be happier.

Thank you for more room to accept more happiness and opportunities.

 

For some reason I can’t upload a picture. Hmmm.

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