Whole Life Magazine

April / May 2018

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CULTIVATING AROUSAL Photo: Jeehyun Lee 16 wholelifetimes.com CULTIVATING AROUSAL SPRING CLEANING & DECLUTTERING By Courtney Carver O ne of the very best things you can do for your heart, for your family and yes, for the planet is to own and consume less. In the simplest terms, by consuming less, you are using few- er of the earth's resources. By owning less, you use fewer of your own resources. You may own your stuff, but it owns you right back. It owns your money, your time, your attention, and often, your emotions too. What would happen if you used all of those resources on something that mattered more to you than useless stuff? CONSIDER THESE 8 WAYS TO OWN LESS: 1. Sell your stuff. Have a yard sale or list the stuff you don't use or appreciate on eBay or Craigslist. Remem- ber that selling stuff may take time, so if you don't need the money, or selling the item isn't worth the time you have to invest, give it away. 2. Dump the guilt. You've paid enough. You paid with your money, time, and attention. And now you are paying with your heart and guilty feelings. You can let go now. 3. Practice one in, one out. To prevent clutter creep and really think about your purchases, commit to donating one item for every item you bring home. If decluttering is your main focus, practice one in, two out. 4. Hide it. If you aren't sure if you need or want something that you already own, hide it in an unmarked box for 30 days. If you don't remember what's in the box, give it away. 5. Experiment. Challenge yourself to live or dress with a certain number of items. While the number isn't im- portant, experimenting with less gives you important information. It can help you determine what's enough for you, and also help you make time and space to un- derstand what you really want and need in your home and life. Choose one of these simplicity challenges to get started: • Project 333. Challenge yourself, along with thou- sands of people around the world to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. It may start in your clos- et, but dressing with less will change every area of your life. • The Minimalist Game. Find a friend or family member who's willing to get rid of some of their excess stuff. This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the fi rst day of the month. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! 6. Get rid of your duplicates. Your duplicates may have come from buy one, get one sales, gifts from well-mean- ing friends and family, or a fear that one wouldn't be enough. From measuring spoons to t-shirts to sports gear, in most cases, one is enough. 7. Borrow and trade. Give away your books and go to the library when you want to read something new. Instead of shopping for new fashion, host a clothing swap. Sell your car and use a car sharing service. Ask your neigh- bors if they want to share a lawn mower. 8. Loosen your grip. Every time I think something has a hold on me, I realize I'm the one with the tight grip. The fi rst step to letting go is loosening the grip. Own what you want, but always remember, your stuff owns you right back. Really consider what stuff adds value to your life and what stuff doesn't serve any purpose. Own- ing less allows you to fully appreciate the things you do have and frees up the resources to engage in what really matters to you. Courtney Carver launched her blog "Be More with Less" in 2010 and is one of the top bloggers in the world on the subject of minimalism. She has been featured in countless articles, podcasts, and interviews on simplicity, and is the creator of the minimalist fashion challenge, Project 333, which was featured in O Magazine and Real Simple. She is the author of Soulful Simplicity. healthy living The Art of Simplicity

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