Do Your Possessions Cause You Grief?

One thing that really amazes me is the number of people who buy consumer items (that are destined to lose value), items such as cars, boats, furniture, appliances and similar, often purchased under finance so they cost more than the actual purchase price by the time they are paid off, and then to make that situation even worse they neglect or fail to look after those items!

I see it everywhere I go!

Motor vehicles are a perfect example! If I was ever going to employ someone I would simply look in their car to decide if I would consider employing them or not. If it is strewn with rubbish and filthy dirty I would know what to expect!

If you own a car look after it! Wash it, vacuum it, polish it and have it serviced twice a year. Considering how much cars cost it only makes sense to take the time to look after yours! It will last longer and save you money. You will probably feel proud of it and yourself and it will serve you well.

To keep my car clean inside I use a ‘Subway take-away’ bag as a car tidy (yes I do visit Subway now and then!). I never park in a place where I will be stepping out into mud or dirt that would end up on the floor when I get back in.

If you have children teach them to treat the car with respect as well. If you let them trash it they will trash it. Simply ask them to gather up all their belongings and treasures when you are a few minutes away from home and then ask them to carry it all inside when you get home. If you tell them where to put these items when you ask them to carry them inside you will find it is easier to avoid having them trash the house as well.

The same applies to your home!

Outside, if you mow the lawn and trim the edges regularly and every three months dedicate a half day to pruning and removing cob-webs etc you will ensure the longer term value of your home is preserved.

Inside if you have carpets, care for them. Have a rule that everyone removes shoes before walking inside. That will make cleaning easier as less dirt will come inside.

Your refrigerator should be clean inside and out as should be your washing machine and any other appliances. These items will work better that way, they will last longer and you will feel better about your home environment and yourself in the process. I clean our vacuum cleaner periodically so it can operate more efficiently. It will work better and last longer as a result! Take care of all your appliances and they will serve you better for longer.

If the thought of this advice has you stressing out over how much work it would be to achieve what I am suggesting you are already at risk! The sooner you achieve a clean tidy uncluttered situation the easier your life will be. You need to take action now before it gets worse.

In our society we have been programmed to think that more stuff means more fun and a better life but what I have seen over the years is that the more stuff you have the more looking after is required and the bigger the burden of maintenance and repairs becomes.

You might be thinking that is because I seem to be obsessed with cleaning things and making a burden out of owning them but I can assure you it might seem easier to not worry about meticulously looking after things at first but before too long the tide turns and not caring for things takes it’s toll more than caring for them does.

I believe the simpler you keep your life the easier it will be to enjoy. Less stuff means less repair bills, less maintenance, less cleaning and therefore less stress!

I see some people whose lives are so cluttered with stuff that was purchased in the pursuit of pleasure but all it really ends up delivering is more problems and more stress. It can be a vicious circle. You feel stressed so you go and buy something to make your life better. Not too long down the track that thing requires looking after, somewhere to be stored, cleaning, repairing etc and your stress level goes up, not down!

If I could give one piece of advice on this topic it would be to de-clutter your life and you will reduce stress at the same time. Since our children have grown up and moved out some time ago we are finding stuff in cupboards that we thought we just had to have earlier in our lives and now we are really wondering what the fuss was all about!

The one exception to this is our Lego collection! Our grandchildren spend hours playing with the Lego that we bought for our children something like 25 years ago so it seems to have been a good obsession investment!

You may have seen images on TV of hoarders whose homes are full to the ceiling with stuff to the point where they can’t move! Their possessions have become a disease. It is easy to see the absurdity of the situation when it is that bad, but stop and have a look around yourself and ask the question “are my possessions causing me more hardship than pleasure” and if the answer is “yes” then have a garage sale and do something about it! If you just can’t bring yourself to doing that ask a friend to come around and help you.

My wife and a friend recently went into a mutual friend’s home that was seriously cluttered. There was not one horizontal surface that was not piled up with stuff. The two helpers boxed up car loads of stuff and took it all away while the cluttered friend promised not to look.

When it was all gone and the house was nice and clean and tidy there were tears of joy, a real sense of relief and a feeling of freedom.

Don’t become a slave to possessions. Be sensible and really think about how much stuff you need and whether it will add to or take away from your life and then look after what you do purchase so it gives good service.

 

That’s my tip for today; I hope it helps.

David Wright