Are You Possessed by Your Possessions? (Podcast)

Are You Possessed by Your Possessions

In today’s episode, “Are You Possessed by Your Possessions?” we’ll explore the following questions: Am I surrounded by things that bring me joy? Or am I buried in a mess of clutter that stresses me out? When is enough “enough”?

Many people are living in cluttered homes, have garages they can’t even park a car in, and rent storage spaces for possessions they don’t really even like! Worse than that, is some of it still has credit card bills attached. We’ll discuss how to break the cycle of mindless spending and accumulating that can keep us financially unhealthy and prevent us from achieving our preferred financial future.

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• I recently read a paradigm shifting book about decluttering my home. Bizarre as that sounds, it’s true. The book is called “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. My friends and family would likely tell you that I am pretty neat and organized person, so I really don’t even need a book like this. However, I am AMAZED at how much stuff I have donated and thrown away as I’ve started on my tidying journey.

• Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” method turns the traditional decluttering advice we’ve all heard completely on its head. You don’t declutter by room, but by category (first clothes, then books and papers, saving sentimental items and photos for last.) You don’t declutter a little at a time, but one whole category at a time. Your only criterion for whether to keep something or discard it is the question: “Does this bring me joy?”

Clothes PreTidyingClothes Post Tidying

• I’ll give you an example of how it works with the first category – clothes. Everything on the bed! Hold each item and ask, “Does this bring me joy?” Wait until you’ve gone through everything before you sort your discard pile into trash, donate, or sell. Don’t put anything back in the closet or drawers until you finish the discard process. End result: 5 hours later, 1 bag of trash, 4 bags to Goodwill, 15 items to consignment! And my closet looks amazing!

Books Pre TidyingBooks Post Tidying

• Books – 87 donated. Papers – 4 trash bags + 8 pounds of shredding. Still have quite a few more categories to tackle: CD’s/ DVD’s, kitchen utensils/ appliances, seasonal décor, etc.

•What have I learned from this process? I have WAY more possessions than I need. Many of which don’t even bring me joy!  The areas of my house that are now TIDY, like my clothes closet and my office, make me calm and happy. The items that remain in those categories are things I love and want to take good care of.   It was a real eye opener to realize how much money I have wasted on things that I didn’t even really like!

• My husband and I are pretty “tidy” people to begin with – we’ve always been able to park both of our cars plus the motorcycle and lawnmower in our garage – and we don’t buy anything on credit. So, it makes me sad to think about those folks who are drowning in “stuff” they probably don’t even like and are still paying off the credit card bills for it!

• I’ve noticed since I’ve started this process, that I have purchased fewer things than I normally would have. Now when I’m out shopping, I ask myself, “Will this bring me joy?” and “Where in my home will I put this?” If I feel good about my answers, then I buy it.

• NOW, even before you ask those two questions, you should ask the most important one: “Can I afford to pay cash for this?” If the answer is NO, then put it back!

Are you up for the Tidying Challenge? Go and download the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Read it all the through before starting, then re-read the section for each category before you tackle it. The author encourages the reader to complete the tidying process within 6 months or less. If you can set aside 5 hours every other week, it can easily be accomplished. If you have kids, teach them this process for their clothes and toys!

The author promises that if you do this process thoroughly and quickly, you won’t relapse! I think she’s right because now whenever I see something out of place, I put it right back where it belongs because I love the sense of peace I have when everything is tidy.

Sell what you can from your discard pile for your various categories via Craigslist, yard sale, EBay, Facebook, or consignment- and pay off your credit cards! I’m not endorsing minimalism or a Spartan lifestyle. I want you to be sounded by things that bring you joy! Just be mindful of your spending and accumulating of possessions, so they don’t possess you!

For those listeners who are interested in a personal financial coaching session, I am currently running a Summer Special. I have a limited number of spots available for $25 off the usual coaching fee. I’ve got one discounted spot open for July and three for August – first come, first served. I’m also able to do Virtual Coaching via phone and internet for those outside the Greater Cincinnati area. You can find more information on my website, ChristineLuken.com and click on the “Financial Lifeguard on Duty” tab.

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Christine Luken

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 19 comments
Robin (Masshole Mommy) - July 14, 2015

I have lots of clutter. I am ok with it, though.

Heather lawrence - July 14, 2015

Can you come and help me…I am in serious need of some summer cleaning. We went thru a purge in spring and now we are burried alive again. It’s a never ending battle!!

Tamara - July 14, 2015

Yes, I am!
I recently read that removing clutter is good for mental health and I couldn’t agree more.

Jeanine - July 14, 2015

This is one thing I’m not. Possessed by my possessions. Thankfully, Our house is quite empty and not as cluttered and I really don’t have much. I don’t need much.

Saidah Washington - July 14, 2015

I’ve seen a lot of people online doing the Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” method. I tend to declutter regularly throughout the year looking for things to part with that I no longer use.

Censie - July 14, 2015

Oh man my closet is insane. I need a good purge!

Ashley @irishred02 - July 14, 2015

I love to purge and clean out my house of clutter. I’m trying to teach the kids not to hold onto so much stuff

Liz Mays - July 14, 2015

I’m currently in the process of decluttering! I definitely plan to donate some of my books and make room for the ones I’m actually interested in.

Mama to 5 BLessings - July 14, 2015

I would say I am but I am working on it. I am tossing things away even things that are sentimental.

Lorane - July 14, 2015

Maybe when i was younger but not now. I’ve been clearing out my closet all year long and donating items that I no longer need. Getting rid of those items makes life so much … “lighter”

Kerri - July 14, 2015

I love to clean out a closet and get organized. It is also a great way to donate things that you no longer need or want.

Stephanie @CopyKat.com - July 14, 2015

I appreciate your tips. I had an organizer help me work on a few rooms. She would have me pick up things and just ask if they were giving me joy, or if they were useful, and if not then I needed to take a look at keeping them.

Carol Bryant - July 15, 2015

I read a great quote the other day that said to savor moments and not things. This post resonates and really hits home.

Lexie Lane - July 15, 2015

I’ve seen people get as bad as those guys from the show “Hoarding.” I totally get it but do find myself hanging onto things sometimes because they hold some value for me. But then again … they’re just things, right?

Heather - July 15, 2015

As bloggers stuff is thrown at us constantly. It’s made me realize how unimportant all the stuff is.

Janeane Davis - July 15, 2015

It is easier to enjoy our possessions when we can see them easily Tidying up and staying that wat is crucially important.

Annie {Stowed Stuff} - July 15, 2015

I’ve been trying really hard to get rid of all the stuff that doesn’t bring me joy! Dying to get it all out!

Courtney S. - September 5, 2015

I try and keep things tidy but there are some parts of the house that are still cluttered. Especially the basement!

Lisa Coomer Queen - September 7, 2015

I use to obsessed by my possessions. The older I get the more I try and de-clutter. I tell my children everyday do not let money or possessions define who you are.


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