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Drowning in a Flood of Clutter? Say Goodbye to Stuff.

Audrey's desire to help others understand human behavior led her to study psychology. Here, she lends a hand on dealing with clutter.

dealing-with-attachments-to-worldly-objects

We Already Have Everything We Need

Most of us are attached to our material possessions, and continue to cling to them long after they have out-lived their use. We accumulate boxes of stuff we haven't looked at in years. In fact, we can't even remember what the contents of the boxes hold.

Still, we can't let go. What if we need this later? We are ridden with guilt at the very thought of tossing something away belonging to a loved one or close friend. Slowly but surely, we are drowning in a flood of clutter and caos.

What we fail to realize is - we already have everything we need, within ourselves.

6 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Your Clutter

Some folks get physically ill when trying to let go of stuff. For most of us, it's a tough task to accomplish. Make it easier by going with one or more of the following suggestions:

  • Craigslist. Anyone with a computer or cell phone has heard of this resource. To sell items, be sure to take a photo for posting, along with the price you're asking.
  • Garage Sale. Organize a friendly display of all items. Price as necessary. Post signs throughout the area and list in the newspaper for free.
  • On Line Sources. Most neighborhoods offer "on line sell", and donate newsletters. This is a great and convenient way to start de-cluttering projects.
  • Donate. Grab a large garbage bag and throw everything right in. Stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army will give you a write-off receipt for your taxes.
  • Charities. This is the way I go! Find local charities in your area fast with a Google Search and donate. You may end up even feeling good about letting go of your stuff knowing you are helping others.
  • Ebay. Selling on ebay can bring you in some extra cash as you let go of items you no longer need.

Give a silent thank you as you toss your things away. Your possessions have served you for a time. Keep life simple as you celebrate the ordinary. Your heart knows the beauty and comfort in common things. Now, let it tell your head.

Nashville, Tennessee Flood

While living in Nashville, Tennessee, I experienced a terrible disaster - flooding. The rain came and decided to stay, day after day, destroying homes, businesses, vehicles and shopping malls. Some folks died and others lost everything. All material possessions were suddenly gone forever. The flood was one of the worst in Tennessee history.

With little to no time to prepare, some people were just grateful to be alive, and survive the unforgiving storms. The big concern for all, was about the safety of the family and loved ones, along with pets, and animals.

These dear folks were forced to " let go " of all their material possessions. I began to wonder how, or if, I could deal with losing everything I own. How would this affect me? But, this isn't about tossing out those priceless old photos, this is about creating space. This is about how clutter influences our mental health.

Clutter Leads to Stress

Letting go of things we no longer need or have a use for brings clarity - and clarity brings energy. In a clutter-free work environment, we have a stronger sense of tranquility.

When we accumulate more and more material things, most of it ends up as clutter. Clutter leads to stress and agitation. Learn to let go of more and more every day. Learn to live simply. The more we simplify, the easier it is to attain serenity and peace of mind.

The Ultimate Price

Material and worldly objects are temporary. And although I have always known this, it never really sank in until my beautiful son lost his life to cancer. I remember the call, "Come to the hospital immediately!." As soon as I arrived I was ushered into the hospital and taken to a room where he lay lifeless. My emotions were a hurricane of denial and shock. His green eyes were still open and he wore his Los Angeles Laker's shirt.

I don't know why, to this day, why my thoughts turned to how hard he worked to support his children. I thought about all the material objects that had meant so much to him. How he always sacrificed to give his children the very best of everything. And now...what did it all mean? It was all gone in an instant. Not one thing could he take with him. The surfboards, the snow skis, the kayak, the bikes...gone. His children wanted nothing but their Dad. I wanted nothing but my son.

Weeding through all of Todd's clothes, personal items and such was hard. Letting go of his things was like letting go of him and I didn't want to do that.

Don't wait until death comes to let go of your material possessions. Begin now to clear a clean path in every room, garage, and car.

How Much Do You Spend On Your Self-Esteem?

How do we fall into a pattern of wanting to buy more? Does a Gucci handbag make you a better person than a handbag from a Target store? Are you superior to your neighbor because you drive a brand new BMW? How long does your "thrill" last after an expensive shopping spree?

Spending beyond our means may give us a temporary high and even make us feel better about ourselves...but it is temporary. Our elevated self-esteem is being fed artificially. It doesn't last because it isn't real. Unless you are a member of the "Kardashian Family", with money to burn, learn to live a simple life. Don't buy into all the media hype, television illusions and magazine ads.

If your self-esteem needs a little boost, just donate your time to serve others. Help someone in need. If you still want to shop, go to a consignment boutique or a good quality thrift shop. You will save a bundle and at the same time, you are hopping on the re-cycle bandwagon.

Final Thoughts on Letting Go of Material Possessions

We are surrounded by "stuff." We hold on to our possessions out of some sense of obligation. Many of our material possessions are tied to emotional reactions. We feel guilty about not keeping certain things for one reason or the other.

Holding on to worldly objects that are not useful anymore, blocks the flow of energy. If you have too much to display, you end up not seeing anything. I have a black grand piano that stares right at you as you enter my home. When it is cluttered with stacks of music and books and who knows what all, you hardly see it. Then, when it is completely free of "teaching stuff", it is a large beacon ready to welcome one and all.

I'm still making changes both physically and spiritually. Every month I give one or two of my worldly possessions away. It has taken me years to let go and detach myself from my belongings. I rarely purchase clothing and other items at the mall. I much prefer thrift shops and quaint boutiques that offer quality at very affordable prices.

When my time comes ( I like to think it never will ), I sure don't want to leave a great big mess for my kids to sort through. And I sure don't want to put them in the position where they feel guilty if they want to throw something out. They will feel bad enough as it is.

I may even leave a few little notes here and there with a touch of humor and fun for them to come across.

Begin now to search deep inside of your true self, and find the beautiful treasure that awaits you. When you find your divine truth, you will no longer be attached to worldly objects. The glorious light that shines within is more beautiful, more valuable, than any material object, and is waiting to be discovered.

© 2011 Audrey Hunt

Comments

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 08, 2016:

intriguewriter

Thank you for being here, reading and sharing my hub. You are now liberated! I feel the same way when I clear the clutter. The older I get the less I need. It's a great feeling!

intriguewriter from worldwide on October 06, 2016:

very inspiring! I have just recently started to clear the clitter and it feels liberating. I didn't really have that much to begin with but it still feels liberating to be able to clear the path. you make some really valid points here and I will definitely be sharing.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on December 23, 2015:

Jason - Absolutely! I do a little of this on Ebay. Thanks for being here.

Jason on October 06, 2015:

You can let go of materials items. Just sell them online and you won't feel bad anymore.You will get something for them and feel good!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 06, 2013:

cbar77 - Good for you! It's so very cleansing to let go of material things, they keep us in bondage.

I love your attitude. Thanks for being here and I'm coming to visit you right now. ~ Audrey

cbar77 on August 06, 2013:

Wonderful article and very true. For over a year now I am learning to let go of material things, including acquiring things. I am now focusing on seeking more important priceless things in life. Voted up.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 06, 2013:

rose-the-planner ~ Thanks so much for being here Rose and for your positive comments. How I wish I could have learned the importance of being non-attached to worldly objects years ago. When I think of all the money I've wasted and time I've spent on material possessions - well, I could cry!

You are a beautiful example of dealing with attachments to worldly objects.

Beautiful thoughts to you ~ Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 05, 2013:

CrisSP - Congratulations on your garage sale and saying goodbye to your "Gucci days." I agree with wanting more time.

How great that your daughter is starting at the University. Very exciting.

Goodwill will be happy to get your donations. And the thing that I've noticed is - once things are gone I know longer miss them and at times never know they're gone. :)

I'm proud of you my dear friend.~ Hugs~Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 05, 2013:

stillwaters707 - "Letting go" isn't easy, as you have pointed out. In fact for some it's downright impossible. When we're forced to get rid of "stuff" we find that we even forget what we tossed out or lost for the most part.

I recently moved long distance and lost a box in the mail. I was asked to fill out a form listing the contents and for the life of me - I couldn't remember.

Thanks for your comments.

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on August 05, 2013:

What a wonderful article! You can't take your material possessions with you and many of us have too much. Whenever I feel I have accumulated too much, I make sure to give it to charity. I think some individuals have a hard time giving material things up and then there are those who feel they have to have something whether they need it or not. If we could just focus our attention on the really important things in life, I believe we would all be better off. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 05, 2013:

Hello Mary - Letting go of material possessions isn't easy. We end up with so much stuff and like you say there are memories connected with everything. I like your idea of letting children decide what they want while we're still here.

I like what your daddy used to say about the uhaul not following the hearst. :) He sounds like a wise man.

Thank you Mary, for your condolences. I appreciate that. I wish you a pleasant week my friend. ~ Audrey

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on August 04, 2013:

I'm pretty sure I came by this hub sometime ago but not sure if I've dropped a comment (maybe not). Regardless, it sure is a great hub with powerful message. I got it, alright and have been practicing to live simply much as I can. My Gucci days are gone. It's all about my daughter now, who's entering the University and of course buying lots of experience spending precious family (and friends) time, travel included but no more buying souvenir stuff like I used to do, maybe just a piece of fridge magnet to places we go and that's it. :) I don't want anymore clutter. I want time. Time to enjoy life instead of spending it dusting off the house.

BTW, I just had my garage sale yesterday and I never realized how much junk I have in the house. I tend to hold on things too but now, no more. I promise. *hugs*

Awesome hub!

P.S. I like your idea of letting go of your material possession each day. I have a bulk gone to Goodwill and I think there's more. :)

stillwaters707 from Texas on August 04, 2013:

Thanks for this needed hub. It is a painful process to let go, but needed. It also won't happen overnight for those trying to purge, unless it is forced, like in the Tennessee hurricane.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on August 04, 2013:

My children used to laugh and say, "What will we do with all your stuff when you die?" I have been a collector for years because I just enjoyed looking at my "things". I'm sentimental so everything my children and grandchildren ever made for me was kept in love. Well, because of my pending foreclosure, I have been forced to declutter my house. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. I'm glad now that my children will get the things they want now rather than wait until I die.

My Daddy used to say, you never see a U-Haul behind a hearse! Yes, material things mean nothing.

I am so sorry you lost a son in such a horrific way. My condolences.

Voted UP and will share.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

scorpioman - I want to thank you for sharing your exceptional comments. I agree with everything you've said here. Letting go is a very difficult thing to do, but you have shown how this can and should be done. You have added such good advice to my hub. Thank you so much!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

Dear Sarra - Thank you ever so much for your kind and uplifting comments. I think it's wonderful that you have lived a life of frugality even with your lucrative salary. This is a marvelous example for others! Thank you for the votes!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

Maya Pillai - You are a marvelous example of the way we can live without hoarding material things and giving to help others. Your grandfather was a wise man and you are following in his footsteps. I'm very glad you shared these comments. Thank you!

Joel Gonzaga Jr. from Bacolod City, Philippines on February 19, 2013:

Hi. Nice hub and I'm also sorry about your son's passing. I think this can be explained by Mark 8:36 "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

Material possessions and letting go are actually two matters that doesn't go hand in hand. Especially, the latter was hard earned. But let's not forget that all of these material abundance that we experience in life does not actually belong to us. We all just borrowed it from the real Owner. Most of us forget this. Instead some of us just brags about it. Exhibiting their luxury to their neighbors. Purchasing flashy things just to impress others. Buying latest technologies with sky high prices where you can not even use all the features that it's offering. Instead of giving thanks for all the blessing we had received to the Provider, we just brag about it and get all the praises and applause for our own benefit. That's Human Nature.

Letting go. I think is a phrase or even a deed that is very very difficult to do. But we can make it light if we just think of it as "to share". From that perspective, it's not gonna be hard to bounce those things off. These things are actually temporary anyway. Share the stuff that are not longer in use. Purchase things that are most important. Choose functionality rather than trend in buying gadgets. Brands were just names. Looking good is not directly proportional to wearing signatures. The most important is that you look good on anything you wear.

The art of sharing, for me is how I can let those material possessions go and you can be blessed as well by doing such an act. Share your blessings and good things will return to you.

God bless. :)

Sarra Garrett on February 18, 2013:

I am so sorry about the loss of your son, I know that had to have been so hard for you as our children are not supposed to go before us, the parents. This was a beautiful and wonderful hub. Wordly things are just that and no we can't take them with us. Shopping at thrift stores or even travelling around to apartment houses at the end or beginning of the month will provide you with treasures such as furniture and lamps that are perfectly good and free. Living frugal is a good thing and I have lived like this all of my life even though I, at one time, was raking in $100,000 per year. So many people have to still "Keep up with the Jones" and you are so right in saying a Gucci bag doesn't make you any better than the next person. Voted up and Awsome.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 17, 2013:

Hi Paul - You and I share something in common. I, too am making a move, clear across the U.S. And like you am deciding what to keep and what to give away. Good for you for not collecting so many objects! Makes it so much easier. Thanks so much!

Maya Pillai from Pune on February 17, 2013:

Thanks VC for a touching and interesting hub. I stopped hoarding many of my stuff a couple of years ago. Books and crockeries were my greatest treasures. I have donated most of my good books to a library close by and children's books to a daycare and pre-school where I have put my kid. Most of the clothes goes to the poor and needy. I am not bothered about brands. I have kept only the heirloom pieces of crockeries and the ones which i use regularly. The remaining stuff have been sold and money donated for old age homes. Right from my child-hood days, I was taught that you don't carry with you anything when you meet your creator other than your good will and blessings. I don't think I understood much then, now at the age of 38 yrs, I started realizing the golden words of my grandfather who practiced what he preached.

Paul Maplesden from Asheville, NC on February 17, 2013:

Good hub; I think that understanding what's *really* of value to us is extremely important. As someone making a big move in the next year, I am having to look at all of my worldly possesions to decide what I truly need to keep. It's a suprisingly short list.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 17, 2013:

manatita44

Thanks for visiting.

manatita44 from london on February 17, 2013:

Endless love.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 17, 2013:

rajan - It took me many years to learn this lesson. When we no longer "need" material possessions we are free. Thank you my dear, loyal friend for your constant support. You remain valuable to me.

Taleb8o - Thank you for your caring comments. I am so proud of my grandchildren and the good people they are turning out to be.

"Things" are temporary and in spite of a temporary feeling of happiness, don't bring lasting joy. I'm so grateful that you have read and posted your comments. Take care.

Taleb AlDris on February 17, 2013:

Sorry to hear about your son death. I am sure you are giving his children the support they need.

You write here very wise tips which let me think again about many things. I think my wife will be happy by the effects of this hub.

Thank you so much.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 16, 2013:

This is such a beautiful reminder . Material possessions tend to bind us and letting go relieves stress on many fronts.

Voted up, awesome and sharing.

Steve Andrews from Tenerife on July 24, 2012:

Material possessions are only of any use if we use them. Otherwise in Biblical terms, they are "a vanity!" I gave up 25 years worth of accumulated possessions to move from Wales to Tenerife. I hardly miss any of those things! When we die we leave ALL of our material possessions including our bodies so what is the worth of all this stuff? Why is the world being destroyed because people want more and more things?

anonymous on July 20, 2012:

I can't let go because I have no friends. No one believes in me, no one cares, everyone's too busy to notice I'm a human being with feelings too, and that is why I am very clingy to the things I own. I need to find my center, some sort of inner sanctum where I can just send everything faraway, because I am nearing some kind of biblical meltdown. It's going to happen this year, I just know it. The job where I work is absolutely awful and its leaving me physically exhausted with no chance, time, and space to recharge. I'm dying inside myself yet I feel there is no one I can reach out to for help because the only people I know are too busy to find time for me.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on December 09, 2011:

carrie - I couldn't agree with you more. It is such a waste to turn to material possesssions for comfort, uplifting one's self esteem for temporary pleasure. So glad you came by and left your comments. Thank you.

epigramman on December 07, 2011:

....words of great wisdom and philosophy by someone whom I have truly admired and respected here at the Hub during my time as a fellow colleague and I am so glad that we met - and as I can see you have a passionate and loyal following too - little wonder because you are a gracious, warm, talented and very caring young lady - and I say 'young' lol because you put the glory of youth back into life no matter how young or old we all may be - warm wishes to you and good energy sent from lake erie time ontario canada 10:18am

carriethomson from United Kingdom on November 21, 2011:

hey vocal coach this is a beautiful hub!! We are turning too much of materialistic these days!! and you said it correctly that finaaly we know that all the materialistic pleasures are not so important after all!!

carrie

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 21, 2011:

Cogerson - I want to let you know how much I appreciate your comments. Your support means everything to me. I thank you!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 21, 2011:

Sunnie - I must thank you for sending me a blessing of peace. Somehow it is working and feels so warm and comforting. You are a treasure!

I have been studying the art of Fung Shui and learning how clutter blocks the positive flow of energy. Now, I am more determined than ever to rid my home of "stuff".

Thank you for your kind and caring comments, Sunny. May good energy flow within and around you.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 20, 2011:

fastfreda - How I appreciate your beautiful and heart felt comments. I have read your sweet and compassionate words over and over again. I am so sorry about the loss of your siblings. There is nothing as painful and lonely as losing a member of your family.

I am also wishing I were rich enough to buy you another house. ( I would buy us both one :) You have certainly realized how temporary material things are. What a dear and lovely person you are!

Thank you for sharing my hub with others and google. I pray that your life is now bringing you blessings beyond your dreams. I send you love and a nice warm hug!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 18, 2011:

DeBorrah - You are an angel. Your beautiful comments about the death of my son brought tears. What understanding and compassion you have, dear one. I believe every word you have written. I needed to hear this. I needed to hear to celebrate his life and to grieve less. I will do that.

I am so grateful to God for sending Todd to me and allowing me to raise and nurture him.

Thank you with all my heart for helping me and supporting me. And thank you for blessing me!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on November 18, 2011:

Vocalcoach, This is lovely, enlightening, and heartfelt! What a tender moment you shared about your son! I was able to imagine him lying there and at the same time thinking what a bottomless ache that period in life must have caused your heart to feel! But yet thank God you carry him in your heart through eternity! He has returned to the Lord; who had entrusted him to you for awhile! Grief is painful and grieve we must but we must most importantly Celebrate the life of the loved one that has passed on. This is how we honor their memory… No doubt your son fought to remain for his family as much he worked so hard to provide for them but it was his time to pass to the other side.

Thank you for this great life lesson! This hub beautifully puts everything into perspective! The greatest loss is that of a loved one not the material things that can be replaced… Thank You for reminding us to deal with “attachment to worldly objects!”

Thank you for sharing your heart! The most precious gift we have to share is Love! God’s Love is Eternal! God Bless You! In His Love Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 18, 2011:

MM - Hello, my friend. Material things are at best, a temporary and fleeting satisfaction. Even Todd's expensive Basketball Card collection which I now have to remember him by I have stored away until I pass it on to one of his sons. I thank you for your comments and wish you love and joy!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on November 18, 2011:

Hello Audrey, what a wonderful hub and reminder that really the materialistic things in this life just aren't that important at all.

thank you for sharing, best wishes MM

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 17, 2011:

Cloverleaf - It seems like the older I get, the more I realize how temporary material things really are. I enjoy nice things, however, I must admit that I get a certain sense of "pride" knowing my designer blazer only cost me $7.99 :)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 15, 2011:

Scribenet - One of my biggest regrets is that it took me such a long time to learn this valuable lesson. One reason I wrote this is for young people, hoping they will learn early in life how it will make their lives easier. I appreciate your nice comments.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 15, 2011:

jean2011 - It helps me "let go" of things I no longer use or need when I think about how someone else can really use one of my items or articles of clothing. You are so right about giving to the needy. Thanks Jean!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 15, 2011:

marcoujor - Hello, beautiful friend. The way you give your nephews and nieces the things they admire that you own is lovely! You are such a giving, loving person. I'm sending you a hug!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 15, 2011:

Rosemay50 - I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this hub. I am still donating my boxes of "things" to someone who can truly use them. What good do they do me anyhow, just sitting in a box somewhere and taking up space? It's an ongoing process that takes time. But it feels so good!

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on November 15, 2011:

I often think it is going to take our children months to sort out all the things that have been collected and stored over the years. I have made a start on letting go of some items.

I enjoyed reading this hub and you give some great advice

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 13, 2011:

Sannel - How marvelous you are, to have learned to live the simple life. You are an example of how we all should live. Worldly objects are, as you say, so temporary. A great lesson. Thank you!

Carl B on November 13, 2011:

VocalCoach - My cousin goes by a motto, "if you haven't seen or used it in 6 months, you haven't missed it"

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 12, 2011:

Debby - You are so sweet! I love both of your comments. When you told me my hub score was rising, I got so excited. I have never been able to figure out why it goes up and then down and up again. :) It must have something to do with content within the hub because it definitely went up with this one. Thanks so much, Debby.

SanneL from Sweden on November 12, 2011:

Such a beautiful and inspiring story!

I have always lived a simple life, never letting the materialism taking over. All the worldly objects in life can never replace the joy of living.

I truly admire your positive and healthy outlook on life!

Thank you!:)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 11, 2011:

Carl B - You make a very good point! I will think about this, myself. I still have a lot to get rid of. :)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 06, 2011:

theseus - I understand about the feelings of guilt when it comes to discarding an item from a loved one. I had the difficult task of discarding my own sons possessions when he lost his fight with cancer. Then, I wanted to keep everything my grandchildren had given me, along with my own children.

When I learned that my kids and grandkids didn't even remember giving me the very things I held on to - well, it made it easier to find a new home for them.

Materials things are temporary. The only exception would be valuable colletables and some antiques that can be handed down. Things are just that. Things. It is only the thought that counts and the memories which are ours to keep.

Thanks for your commenting.

vocalcoach~

theseus from philippines on November 06, 2011:

Hi there, Coach.

What a wake-up call. I find that getting rid of worldly things is most difficult to do.I myself am attached to them every once in a while. Not because of their monetary value but because of the value of the person who gave those things to me. Big or small, these things are a part of the person who gave them.How can I discard them without somehow feeling guilty about it?Thank you for sharing.God bless you.

Carl B on November 06, 2011:

I can relate. When my family and I did some cleaning a little while, even though we hadn't seen some of those items in a very long time, we still had the thought of keeping it around. But then I thought what's the use of cleaning if the items are just going to stay in the same place. the more I thought about this, the easier it was to get rid of things.

Debby Bruck on November 01, 2011:

Hello friends. We are attached to our books. But, are they just sitting on the shelf for decades at a time? We've cleaned out thousands of books over the years, but they still accumulate. Blessings, Debby

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 01, 2011:

Dearest Dee - Books are exempt! You are certainly not hopeless. Good books are like good friends...we need all we casn get. Thanks, my friend.

vocalcoach~

Dee aka Nonna on November 01, 2011:

I dealth with this subject in a hub I wrote a while ago. I am addicted to and very much attached to books. I downsized by donating, giving away and even selling some....only to buy more. I feel hopeless....but I keep trying....LOL. This is a great hub. Thanks for sharing.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on October 22, 2011:

vocalcoach,

How I can relate to your words since a life-altering event in 1999. I almost feel claustrophic now by "stuff". If a younger niece or nephew admires something innocently (art, jewelry), we surprise them by giving it to them for a special occasion (graduation, wedding, holiday...) I am selfish in that I want to see people I love enjoy the "things" that are mine to share.

These wise and sage words are voted UP & UABI, mar.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 18, 2011:

Bail Up - good advice from your sister. I had heard that before, but like being reminded. Great to see you and looking forward to reading your hubs. Thank you!

vocalcoach~

Debby Bruck on October 14, 2011:

Audrey ~ Your hub has hit a chord [what a pitch] and your hubpages score is rising! Hugs, Debby

jean2011 from Canada on October 14, 2011:

Thank you for the reality check! We are all so guilty of stocking up on things that we don't really need;maybe this is a good time to donate some of our "stuff" to the needy. I have voted your hub beautiful

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on October 14, 2011:

Well, that fierce puppy did it...must comment...lol! You are spot on with this...still letting go and have stopped buying anything unless it is needed, like food :)...the result is I don't have to work so hard to make ends meet...Win-win! Thanks for reminding us what is important in life!

Debby Bruck on October 14, 2011:

Dear VocalCoach ~ I hear your struggle between wanting to keep meaningful items from this life and letting them go so you can be free to move to the next life. The human struggle to have possessions that provide a feeling of security that we have enough and a desire to touch spirit, family and friends and love to keep us satisfied. We all deal with these inner questions, no matter how much we have or don't have. Blessings and Peace, Debby

P.S. I like the image of Dollar Flag Waving and also I don't have enough that I can afford to flush money down the toilet.

Alfreta Sailor from Southern California on October 14, 2011:

Dear, dear vocalcoach there is so much to say about this hub, but right now I'm a bit choked up, reading about your son. I have not lost a child, but I've lost two siblings, and I feel your hurt. I know that's not what the hub is about, but I just had to get that out.

This hub hits home with me, with the loss of my home to foreclosure, and having to get rid of most all my worldly goods, (I only kept my clothes, and a few personal items). So you see, I know exactly what you're saying. I've decided when I do get another place to live, whatever that is, be it a room, apt, or home, I'll never collect that much "stuff" again. I found things that I never knew I had, that I'd collected over 40 years ago. Thank goodness I won't have that much time to collect it again,LOL! I like what you said about your children not having to get rid of things and feeling bad about it. Something to think about. I'll have to share this hub with all that I know. Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, etc. Loooooved it!

PS: I just had to "Like" it and give you a 1 for Google! Also I shared it with my followers!

Bail Up ! on October 14, 2011:

Can't argue with logic! My sister once told me that to keep a balanced household (after you rid yourself of all excesses) make sure to toss one thing out for every one you bring in. It helps keep the clutter at bay. Great hub.

Ruchira from United States on October 14, 2011:

Beautiful message vocalcoach.

Attachment to anything is bad and esp. to materialistic things is unnecessary. We should learn to simplify our lives and try to be gadget free ;)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 14, 2011:

kipronor - Excellent comments, my friend. You have summed it all up perfectly. Really like the "when we become attached to our possessions we become slaves rather than masters." Thank you so much! vc

kipronor from Nairobi on October 13, 2011:

the ultimate joy of life is to know that you can enjoy what you have without having to be attached to them, when we become attached to our possessions we become slaves rather than masters, then we have to now cope with the unhealthy stresses of keeping it all to 'me' eventually it all goes down to death, and yet we cant take anything to the next life, not even memories !

Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 12, 2011:

Hi Audrey, your hub really shouted-out to me; a great reminder of how people are so much more important than things. Hugs and best wishes to you,

Cloverleaf.

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on October 12, 2011:

Hi Vocalcoach! Great words of wisdom that I will keep close to my heart - and on my mind. Voted up, up and away!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 11, 2011:

mathair - So nice to see you here on my turf. Appreciate your reading and commenting on my hub. C'you soon. vc

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 11, 2011:

The dirt farmer - I haven't met anyone yet who doesn't have a problem with letting go of material things. And as you have pointed out, by giving things away we show our love. Now, that's a thought to chew on. I love it. Thanks so much for commenting. vc

Winsome from Southern California by way of Texas on October 11, 2011:

Wonderful advice VC, I have a rule that if I haven't used something for two years it goes out the door. Recently I've brought that down to one year and, like you, I'm trying to get it down to only what I really need.

I think that if we could see people as the boxes and putting things and effort into them instead of storing things in our closet, we might just get a handle on what this life is all about. =:)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 10, 2011:

Hyphenbird - If anyone deserves credit for this hub it is you, dear friend. It was your beautiful, eye-opening hub that inspired me to begin cleaning out my own clutter. I am finding such liberation in doing this and knowing that my donations might be of use to someone else makes it that much easier. You are so right when you say we all have too much in the way of material possessions. We keep boxes stored with items we have forgotten about and haven't used. I have pledged to go through every closet, every drawer and every box until I have only what I really need. You are my inspiration!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 10, 2011:

Fennelseed - You have made such a good point. I love that you commented about the love of family and friends being more valuable than anything material. And I am so grateful to have found you here on hubpages, my friend. You combine caring and kindness so beautifully. And that combination is yet another thing that cannot be bought. Blessings and hugs to you!

Jill Spencer from United States on October 10, 2011:

I have to agree with you about the futility of accumulating things. Even more than that, I think they can weigh us down, even paralyze us. Yet, as you note, giving things is one of the ways we frequently show our love. It's an odd thing! Take care--and thanks for a good read. Jill

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 10, 2011:

b. Malin - Yes, I agree that this is something most all of us struggle with. It sure feels good to find the extra space. I am still not quite through with the garage and then I will begin on each room in the house. So glad you liked my hub. Thank you for the good comments. Take care.

b. Malin on October 10, 2011:

I know when we downsized homes, I got rid of a LOT. Now, I'm still going through do I still need this and what do I want to leave (when my time comes) my family, my grandchildren. If one does it slowly, it's not so Bad, letting go. I loved this Hub Gail, good read and thoughtful, thoughts on a timely subject that plagues us all.

Tamarajo on October 10, 2011:

My daughter has informed me that "God forbid" something would happen to me the first call she is making will be to rent a dumpster. She throws everything away if it hasn't been used in the last hour.

I am not a hoarder by any means but I do have lots of "stuff" and you are so correct that it is distracting to living and what does it all really mean anyways. I find myself continually arranging and rearranging my stuff. Moving it to make room for more stuff and not to mention cleaning stuff.

"one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses" ~ Luke 12:15

Time to get rid of some stuff.

A thoughtful article.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 10, 2011:

Dear Green Lotus - Yes, Yes - getting rid of so much stuff is very liberating. When I come to a box of items that I question whether I should hold on to it or not - I decided that if I have to ask that question, it goes :)

Thank you lovely one!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 10, 2011:

dahoglund - Good theory, but until your wife feels the same way there is little you can do to change her habits. The most important thing is to value your good marriage! That is the most precious gift of all.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 10, 2011:

H P Roychoudhury - Hello, my friend. I have missed you. You have been in my prayers. You, I, and others who have lost a loved one have experienced first hand how temporary material objects are. Especially for those of us who have lost a partner or a child, the material things that are left to us have little to no meaning. They would be more appreciated in the hands of someone else. God Bless you dear H P as you continue to live your life without your beautiful wife. Sending you a big, warm hug!

H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on October 10, 2011:

I completely agree with your philosophy of wisdom in presenting an excellent hub. We can not be with every object around us, however dear these are. We should sacrifice some of our dear object to others because life is not immortal.

mathair from Ireland on October 10, 2011:

Thank you for this thought provoking Hub Vocal coach.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 09, 2011:

Mentalist - Beautifully said, as only you can do. Thank you my wonderful friend.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 09, 2011:

tamron - You really have it all together. Hopefully, your friend will one day realize how useless material things really are. It sure took me a long time to learn this lesson. Thank you for "stumbling" my hub. What a nice gesture on your part. And thank you too, for your sympathy and compassion regarding my son. Hugs to you , tamron. vc

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 09, 2011:

rwelton - You are the most couragest man I know. I am so sorry about your present condition and just wish you as much peace and joy as possible. I am honored to meet someone like you. And thank you for your compassion and sympathy. I know my son is not far from me and that we will be together again. Without this knowledge, nothing would make any sense at all. Take care my dear friend and I thank you for your comments. vocalcoach

rwelton from Sacramento CA on October 09, 2011:

vocalcoach -

Very heartfelt and moving hub. I am so sorry about the loss of your son.

I too have spent my lifetime "acquiring things" to recently (my personal bout with Cancer)embracing the fact that the best things in my life aren't 'THINGS'.

As with you, I am now divesting myself of most of my worldly goods- mostly unnecessary, that fill my home. I (half-joking)comment now that my new mission is to divest myself of everything and come to the end of my days...with a bamboo mat, 3 stones stacked upon one another, and a small vase with a single flower...and a smile on my face.

rlw

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 09, 2011:

Silver Poet - Exactly what I like to hear :) A big thanks to you for reading this hub and leaving such a positive comment. Thanks, too for the vote up.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 09, 2011:

This really hit home with me. I just purchased a new home a year ago. All i've been doing is buying and buying more.This house has been the focus of my life all year. I've never bought expensive clothing,always shopping at thrift stores. I've always given much to organizations to help the needy, but this house has been number one and it's time to rethink my priority. Thank you Audrey. Blessings...

I'm so sorry about your Son....

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on October 09, 2011:

Oh vocalcoach, this Hub is so timely. Just yesterday I helped at a yard sale. It was at my son's school and the proceeds went to the Garden Club. I thought at one point, every American could go a whole year and never buy a new item. There is such excess at thrift stores, consignment shops, yard sales, in storage buildings , attics and basements. Enough to provide for the world, I feel certain. As I continually purge my home of extraneous items, I become closer to God, my family and friends, and my environment. The appreciation is keener, the enjoyment finer.

Bless you for this beautiful and well presented information.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 08, 2011:

Charlotte - You are such a dear. I have to smile with every comment you leave at my hubs door. There is something about your "innocence" that warms my heart so. And I'm sure you give much to others with your radiant light that shines from your big heart!

Kathy from California on October 08, 2011:

Very good point Audrey! Your message is classic but how quickly we forget what really matters in life, I thank you for you inspiration - you really are an HP treasure!

Earth Angel on October 08, 2011:

Are those double "C's" Charles and Camilla?? Blessings to you gentle one for an inspiring and honest assessment of how many assets we just do not need! Time with loved ones is priceless! Earth Angel!

embee77 on October 08, 2011:

This is lovely, VC! Great advice. Great attitude. What do we need with possessions? What makes us think more is better? But it's not easy keeping things simple. When we moved 4 years ago we really trimmed down. Now things are starting to accumulate again. I try to be mindful about bringing things into the house and give away as much as possible. Thank you for your thoughtful hub.

SusieQ42 on October 08, 2011:

Excellent hub, Vocal Coach! I agree with everything you've said. I've had more yard sales in the past years. I'm always digging out "stuff" that we don't use. Praise the Lord, I'm not addicted to material possessions...they don't buy happiness. God bless.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on October 08, 2011:

My theory is to not buy it in the first place. I wish I could convince my wife.Voted up.

tamron on October 08, 2011:

Sorry about your son! I read one of your hubs about your son and couldn't comment. I was too choked up! The problem is no one see's the big picture greed takes over and because of greed people have lost their live's or became very unhappy. What I am saying we don't see what's really important but see the old mighty dollar which seems to take presidents in our live.

I have a friend that is overwelmed with stuff. Stuff she has had for years! She always had an excuse for keeping this stuff it almost cost her her marriage so she is starting to let go. Great hub! Stumbled it!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 08, 2011:

mactavers - I'm so pleased that you brought this up. Excellent comments that I do agree with. I also collect historical music and stamps. Your words are a welcomed addition to my hub. Your postcard collection is amazing. How I would love to be able to see it. Thank you for your contribution. vocalcoach

Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on October 08, 2011:

Though I Appreciate My Earned Material Possessions...I Cannot Measure The Profit I Gain From My And Others Soul.;)

Hillary from Atlanta, GA on October 08, 2011:

This hub is filled with so much wisdom and good advice. Stuff is just stuff. I think you're right to give as much of it away now to those who truly need it. Cleaning out your attic or basement or closet is a very liberating experience.

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