Create Harmony - Move Beyond the Battle with Stuff

Battling stuff can be a real challenge for many families. If you want to move beyond the battle, you might want to consider tapping into your strengths, and put the challenge of battling with stuff in a broader context.  Today, many see simplifying our lives as a an opportunity to change to a much healthier style of living.  It becomes a way create a new vision and take action to make a difference. Here are a few tips to that might help you broader your perspective and move beyond the battle with stuff. 

1. Decide what you really want. Advertisers continually like us to buy stuff, but does it make us happier? Indeed, it can create a hole in your pocket, and leave you feeling overwhelmed and depressed. In our family we decided we wanted pleasant and orderly surroundings, more time and space for each other, and to create a lifestyle more in harmony with nature. 

2. Reflect on your beliefs about stuff. Many of our beliefs about the function of stuff are outdated.  For example, a certain amount of stuff, as clothing and shelter, is needed for survival.  Sometimes material objects also represent love. But more stuff is not more love; it depends on how it is used. It can be a hassle.  Talk about it with others and decide what will work for you.

3. Create a new vision. What are the values that are important to you -- equality, a more balanced lifestyle, good relationships with each other? Then let your vision help you to allocate your resources and stuff more appropriately. Set your goals and follow through. 

4. Honor your strengths and align your activities accordingly. If you have a family, talk with your family and make sure each person’s strengths are acknowledged and appreciated.  It helps you work together as a team.  You can accomplish a great deal in a short time when you are supporting each other.

In our family, a number of us contributed in cleaning out the generational accumulation at the home of my elderly mother.  One looked for places to donate extra stuff, another coordinated, another had ideas for home design, another planned a celebration afterwards.  The women gathered the piles of stuff and
the men helped us with the heavy lifting and to focus on getting things done.  All contributed to the effort.

5. Set a time when you plan to do the work. As long as you have a general plan, let go of doing it any one way.  Let people contribute with what they know bet to do. Any big cleaning is easier with a group. Be sure to follow through on recycling and donating.  It connects your cleaning with a greater purpose.

6. When done, celebrate.  Ask everyone what made them the most happy.  We discovered we enjoyed the teamwork, creating a new vision for our lives, giving to those who could use it, and feeling productive. Most of all we really enjoyed the orderly, clean environment!  It was one of our most gratifying family experiences.
7. Lastly, give thanks for all than you have, smile, and pass your happiness on.