Spring is close at hand and with it comes new energy on many levels. For some it’s getting a home ready to put on the market, which often entails more elbow grease than homeowners realize or are willing to admit. Interestingly enough, once the elbow grease has been applied we often hear the words, “Why didn’t we do this sooner so we could have enjoyed this?” That’s a darn good question … why didn’t you? Better yet … why don’t you? By the time home owners set up shop and live in a home for a few years, it’s rare to find a space that isn’t occupied by something, right? Have you ever tried to leave a shelf unoccupied? Try it, I bet it won’t stay that way for more than one month.
When SYP is hired to assist with home staging, we encourage decluttering every space and recommend that most property owners remove 1/3 to 1/2 of their household contents. Yep, you read that right. As you can imagine, we encounter many unique styles of living, but the common thread is too much stuff. While most everyone must declutter, others are faced with de-accumulating … simplifying if you will. One advantage to moving more often is maintaining a lighter load. For those who’ve lived in one location for 10, 20, or 30+ years, the challenge becomes de-accumulating which often leaves us wondering where it all came from. Once the decluttering and/or de-accumulating tasks are complete, the freedom gained from surrendering the need to possess more is priceless. There is a limit to a good thing, and it’s the rare person who consistently keeps from transgressing in this area.
My challenge for you as you prepare for spring, which brings with it ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth, is to act as if you are preparing to put your house on the market. (Truth be told, we ought to live with our house in order with a spirit of trust.) We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Go through the exercise of decluttering and de-accumulating to the extent of giving away, and/or selling 1/3 of your possessions. What’s the worst thing that can happen? It’s not like we live in a country where we’ll never have the chance to re-accumulate. Trust me, it will be a fight not to repossess things. At the same time, I will be stunned if you and your family don’t reach a level of joy that’s difficult to explain, though quite easy to recognize … the freedom of simplicity. Have you ever heard the expression “Acquire less and do less?” I think Brad Pitt said it best in the movie Fight Club … “The things you own end up owning you.”
Stage your space, and … live in it! Who knows, maybe you’ll decide to sell and get something smaller. 🙂 Make your goal one of living simply and profoundly. Our world needs more communities like this.
Let it go, let it go!