Martha's Dare inspiring you to achieve your dreams

Shed the clutter, embrace life.

50% off, SALE signs in every store, the new trendy skinny jeans and money burning in your pocket !? Stuff is out there waiting for you to grab it and make it your own. But does this STUFF fulfill us ? Does it make us feel accomplished, proud, or loved ?? Are your belongings holding you back from accomplishing your dreams ?

As I tried to find the perfect storage space for my belongings in my new apartment and found my shelves and storage cupboards already full, I remembered an article in Times magazine that DARES us all to live with only 100 things ! Imagine that.

Life uncluttered, focused on only the things you NEED to live, instead of things you think you need that might instead be filling a void. In the article Peter Walsh, an organizational consultant said “People are finding that their homes are full of stuff, but their lives are littered with unfulfilled promises.”

And so I asked myself three questions and ask you to do the same.
1. What stuff do I have that is standing in the way of a fulfilled life that I love ?
2. Do my belongings align with my life values ?
3. Could I live with only 100 things ?!

#1 As I pondered these questions I thought of what in my life is a barrier to living the life. I define the Life I love as stress free, full of fun, interesting, and innovative work with a balanced family life. EEk. My heart started to pound as soon as I thought of the papers, receipts, and documents that pile up as a result of having stuff. And they were everywhere – in small piles on the table, in the kitchen and on my bedside table. They weren’t blocking me from leading my life, but added a level of stress to it that I did not desire. So I got rid of them. I spent a few hours and went through all those papers and cleared them away – and the stress that went with them. I also signed up for online billing, annual reporting to help reduce that clutter from building up in the future.

#2 Alignment with values. This is an important one. For example, if you value our environment and doing your part to sustain it but own two cars – there is likely some misalignment. This is me. I own two cars (and my fiancee a third) so it is time to make a change. I also value creativity, so keeping my camera, a chalkboard, and some glue in the house are important (note: camera will for sure be on my 100 things list, and a computer !!). What are your values ? And does your lifestyle and belongings align ?

#3 Finally – the big question. Could I live with 100 things. I am not sure, something I’ll dare myself to explore over the next few weeks. Watch for my 100 things post where I explore this topic !

One last quote from the article that I want to share “separate the treasures, heave the trash, embrace your identity from within and drive yourself forward.”

Do you have stuff that is littering your life ? Is it time to shed it for the life that you love ?

About Martha van Berkel

Martha is the co-founder of Marketing Technology company - Hunch Manifest. She likes to fire up customer adoption and disrupting industries! She is a entrepreneur and a Mom!

3 Responses to “Shed the clutter, embrace life.”

  • This is something I keep meaning to do and never get around to, a BIG purge of my house. I am not a shopper, in fact I hate shopping for myself! However, my house is overloaded with junk, I think to myself, how did this happen? Well I bought the house from my parents so it came with 30 years of their belongings (they only took their clothes when they divored and moved out)then there is my very loving mom who is constantly giving me things I dont need (her way of showing she cares and is thinking of me, to which I cant say no). I have a hard time getting rid of gifts and things I have received from others, or that have memories attached to them…these things make up probably 80% of the belongings I own but dont need. I think I need to use a ranking system (just how important is this?) before I even start to downsize! Oh and time to do it, any suggestions on how to get started?

  • With any HUGE project I think the secret is to break it down into small work efforts. This way you can see the progress after a short burst of energy that will then serve as encouragement to continue through the rest of the house. For example, pick a cupboard to start with and go through it. Once you are done it, pick your next manageable project. Through the process be kind to yourself, and reward yourself for progress. When I was de-cluttering my house before my big move I made sure that there was a treat at the end of the day. Often it was super tasty dessert or a pedicure – whatever makes you feel rewarded. Good luck on your journey and remember, one step at a time !

  • […] Inspired by an article in Times magazine that DARES us all to live with only 100 things ! In my last post Shed the Clutter, Embrace Life I talked about how our stuff can get in the way of living. I asked three key questions[…]