Junk Stress: Why We Keep Junk and How We Can Let It Go
© 2016 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
You have Junk Stress if you have extra stuff and wish you didn’t. Especially if you are aware that your extra Stuff is slowing you down in any way. And if you let people into your office or home, they will be onto you.
So how severe is your Junk Stress?
- Have you been having trouble finding something important because it’s deep in a cabinet full of stuff?
- Are you unable to find your favorite muffin tin in under 2 minutes?
- Have you recently tried to file something, but your files are too full? So the Important Item goes into a pile of Filing Orphans?
- This week, have you had to step around something that’s stored on the floor?
- Today, have you tripped over something you’re trying to step around, which is stored on the floor?
- Do you have any idea where your college and grad school diplomas, or professional certificates, are?
- Do you still have dishes or mugs you never use or display, but they remind you of fun or dear times past?
- Do you have any stacks of publications that can now be found free online?
- Are you allergic to dust but cannot clean around the stacks in your office fast enough to eliminate this month’s dust before next month starts?
- Are you, to any degree, feeling crowded by the volume of stuff in your home or office?
If you answered, yes to any of these questions, you definitely have Junk Stress. And here is my challenge to you: if you can put in 10 hours per week, you can clear these issues in about 1 week per “yes.” Will you consider the challenge? To help you decide, since I live to help you reduce your stress, let’s talk about the secret causes of Junk Stress.
It’s the feeling of the thing, not the thing itself. You have actually bonded with the thing, and you need to break the bonds. Think of one item you know you don’t want to give space to anymore, but which you just hate to release. In my case, I had a set of 100-year-old encyclopedias that I couldn’t let go of. These five clothbound volumes, each 6” x 9” x 2”, were titled Everybody’s Cyclopedia, created by an Encyclopedia Britannica team in 1912. I only read it every few years, but it made me feel so warm and cozy to look at it on the shelf. An elder I know keeps jelly jars from when her children were young. They remind her of Those Days. Her kids would like to put them in the glass recycling. The answer to releasing the precious object can be to take a photo, then bless and release the object to a meaningful recipient. My Cyclopedia set went to an historic district yard sale. I knew the new owner of the set would be someone who lived in that district and would treasure it. After a photo, the jelly glasses may go on Craig’s List or eBay.
Junk helps keep you from moving forward. Wait, wasn’t that the problem statement? Yes, and it’s also the secret motivation for not changing things. You can’t be efficient, get the book written, get the research/report done, design the software, or have guests in. If you are single and fear getting into a relationship, Junk Stress can keep you nicely from an involvement. Junk takes time and energy you could be putting into something useful and/or gratifying.
You might use it someday. Well, so might someone else, and you’re tired of being crowded by all this junk! Consider targeting removal of a percent of the overall volume of your home’s contents. I recently removed about 20 percent from every room: books, clothing, décor, furniture, a stuffed toy, kitchen gear, baskets, pillows, plants, and another round of every category. A church chef was happy to receive 3 full-size ladles, and the youth program got a lot of cookie cutters. We sold a stair-stepper to friends who whisked it away in their truck. I timed my 20 percent push to coincide with one friend’s yard sale (donated to sell) and another friend’s move to a larger home (gifted to use, especially décor items). Most of the 20 percent was retrieved by others in their trucks. The more I released, the faster it went, and the easier it was. My home feels so light and free! Now I’m thinking of going for another 20 percent.
Will you set yourself a challenge, so you can live more freely and get more done? Release even one object from each room each week, and you’re on your way. Now that’s Upbeat Living!
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert and author of the award-winning book, Discover the Secret Energized You, as well as the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition. Her newest book, Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, is available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com for more info. Like this article? Buy Kebba’s books by clicking the links! Reach the writer at email@example.com. For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: firstname.lastname@example.org.