Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Simplify For Less Stress

Everyone these days has a hectic life and is surrounded by mountains of “stuff”. Many times we define ourselves based on our stuff, we refuse to part with a lot of our stuff even though it complicates our lives and actually adds to the daily stress in our lives. Many times we have so much stuff, we end up buying stuff we already have because we can’t find it in the mountain of clutter.

Stress can be alleviated significantly if we just take some times to help our situation along by simplifying. Everyone is guilty to some degree of hoarding stuff we really don’t need including me. I try to keep it to a minimum and my wife says I do a fairly admirable job of it unlike the men in her family who have two garages and a shed packed floor to ceiling with stuff. I keep some things but try my best to sell, donate or give away to family and friends things that I have multiples of or don’t need.

Simplifying your life will lift a big weight off your shoulders I assure you. I used to keep all kinds of stuff and had it packed away all over the place. One day I had enough, I was having some personal issues and issues at work and needed a change. I decided that my life was too complex and need to be pared down significantly.

I pack all the stuff in boxes I didn’t need and stored it in a friends basement, if I didn’t have to make a trip to the basement for a few months to get something, ALL The boxes would be sold at a garage sale and anything that did not sell would go to Goodwill. I ended up getting rid of everything and haven’t looked back since.

Don’t get me wrong, things that I use I keep, along with spares. I need tools, my preps, etc.; I don’t need boxes of comic books, boxes of outdated hard drives and modems, and clothes I never wear. It feels good to have a simple existence. I don’t have the stress or the burden that having excessive stuff carries with it.

I have everything, for the most part, neatly stored and organized and it makes finding the things I need a breeze. I maintain all my stuff, keep it clean, and I put it away when I am done using it. This will do wonders for your mind, I know it sounds strange but there will be a peace that comes over you because you have everything in its place and you know exactly where it is. I must say it is a very good feeling that becomes addictive once you get started. You will actually need to be careful because you DON’T want to get rid of things that you really may need. Once you start purging it is tough to stop.

Some simple exercises to help you get started:
1.) Your keychain – EVERYONE ends up with crap on their keychain they don’t need. It could be a discount card for a supermarket you don’t shop at, to the car key for the car you owned three cars ago. Everyone has that small key on their ring, the one that for the life of them can’t remember what it is for. Clean up your keychain, most people need a car key or two and house keys and that is it. You keys will be lighter and there will be room for stuff like micro lights or micro multi-tools.

2.) Your wallet or purse – Everyone has cards in their wallet and purse that are expired or they don’t need. Get rid of all the paper, trinkets, and stuff that for men can LITERALLY be a pain the ass and for women could turn you into a bodybuilder try to lug that 50 pound handbag.

3.) Your bookcase – I was guilty of this in a big way. I had IT books going back to DOS; they were so woefully out of date and would be little use to anyone, except as a history lesson. Clean out the book case and get rid of books that aren’t needed any longer or are outdated. Clean up those piles of magazine, organize them and store them in magazine holders if you want to keep them, recycle the rest.

Once you start the process you will feel so good you will immediately want to move on to your vehicle, your shed, your garage and finally your home. Organization will make you more productive and less stressed and therefore a happier person. Nothing says you need to make this transformation over night, but you need to start somewhere and that is why I suggest you start small with the three items I listed first.

Simplify your life, you will live longer and live happier.

...that is all.

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  1. Great post Flea. Stress is a serious health risk. I keep my stress level at 0 at most times. I'm also very organized. If I find something I don't need or don't use I sell it or donate to Salvation Army. All my preps now fill the spaces were years of junk accumulated. Organization is important for preppers.

    Kentucky Preppers Network

  2. We just went through our home library and weeded out the unwanted/unnecessary books. I took them to a local used book store and traded them in for cash, pocketing over $200.

    We also try to find ways to actively reuse things. We do save our worn out jeans because they make a good "gnat smoke." Cut them up, roll them into bundles, set on fire, then blow out the flame and allow the jeans to smoulder. The smoke will keep away bugs like gnats and 'skeeters. (Very handy to have when going out picking blackberries and such.) They also make a good white signal smoke.

  3. matthiasj,



    Reusing things is very good. It is perfectly acceptable to hang onto stuff there is a real good chance you will use. We just need when to draw the line.

    I am a big fan of "repurposing".


  4. As always, great points Flea! Getting rid of the crap makes life much easier. Like I say, Keep It Simple Stupid!

  5. Mayberry,

    Keep it simple stupid is something we can all live by!



  6. I agree on the books especially. I've cleaned out boxes of them and donated them to the Library's used books store.

  7. Upon-request,

    I stuggle with that one especially because I am such an avid reader. I end up with tons of books, some of which I keep, the rest get donated to the library or traded on sites like


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