We buy stuff to cheer ourselves up, to keep up with the Joneses, to fulfill our childhood vision of what our adulthood would be like, to broadcast our status to the world, and for a lot of other psychological reasons that have very little to do with how useful the product really is. How much stuff is in your basement or garage that you haven’t used in the past year?
It’s surprising how true this statement is especially when I look at myself. For the last year or so I’ve tried to simplify my life and what I own. It’s made me very aware of how much junk I have piled up around my house that I’ll never use. My desk is covered in notebooks, puzzles, toys, and other things I rarely use and don’t really belong there. The problem extends into my digital life as well with hours of video I’ll probably never watch, a feed reader that I rarely empty, and an Instapaper account full of articles I’ll never get around to reading.
Like I said above I’m trying to clean this up when I clean I try to look at everything I pick up and evaluate if I’ll ever really use it. If not I throw it away, give it away, or donate it; if I think I’ll use it I look at what I can do that will make me more likely to use it. Could I place it somewhere different? Would it be useful in some other aspect of my day? Hopefully as I get better at this it will free up more time in my day and add less mental weight to what I have to deal with during the day. Freeing me up to enjoy things more.