Something in Your House is Taking Your Life: How to Save Yourself

You are paying a significant price for everything you own. If time is our most valuable resource, what are you doing to protect yours for things that matter?

All that stuff you are saving in your closets, drawers and hidden places is sucking the life out of you.  There are so many articles and schools of thought these days about how to unclutter your life. Some people preach the “one place for everything and everything in its place.” Others insist that you move into a tiny house and just share one spoon for the entire family. After a little research of my own one thing is clear: you are paying a price for everything you own. I’m not talking about the purchase price, I’m talking about what you continuously pay to keep that crap around.

There are basically two ways to go about controlling stuff in your life:

1) Just in case

2) Just in time

I have spent the better part of my life being a just in case person. I have saved up some useful things like tools but have also saved up board games no one plays, puzzles that are missing pieces and rusty nails that I might need for the zombie apocalypse. I save bill statements, beer tops, and random plumbing parts. And books, oh boy at the books I’ve saved. I have two book shelves full of books that made some impact on my life and I may never read again. I don’t consider myself anywhere near to a hoarder but the more I type, the less I can defend myself. We don’t have to climb into our house but our closet space and junk drawers are very resourceful to say the least.

I’ve finally realized that “stuff” has an ongoing cost. The more “things” you have, the higher price you pay in time to clean, maintain and organize it all. Did you see that? TIME. I am literally trading my life away to have all this stuff that I don’t use or couldn’t find if I needed it. So what’s the answer to this problem? I’m about to apply Pareto’s 80/20 rule to all of my belongings. I’ll do a post on Pareto’s law soon but in other words, I’m axing the stuff that doesn’t somehow contribute to my dreams. I don’t mean I’m cleaning out a drawer or two, I am about to unload some serious baggage.  I’m about to get medieval around here on this stuff.



Less time with stuff means more time doing what you enjoy most.

For me that’s:

1) time with my wife and kids actually spent engaged with them instead of just being around

2) time spent scaring myself doing new things

3) time spent here with my fellow dreamers and adventurers.

How many memories do you cherish that involve stuff and not people? For me, not many.

Less stuff =more humans= more life. It’s time to become a just in time kind of guy. If you’re having the same problem, then I challenge you to get started this week with me.


Open up that closet and if you haven’t seen it in the last year and it’s not your diploma, throw it in the trash. I say again, THROW IT IN THE TRASH. Another way to do this is empty a drawer on the table and separate it between the 20% you can’t live without and the 80% of stuff you wouldn’t remember a month from now. Keep this up a couple weeks and soon we’ll reclaim that extra time and be able to have that perfectly clean, clear, organized environment we’ve been dreaming about all along.

Yesterday I had a very close friend ask me what has caused me to get so fired up about life recently. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer his question. There’s been a series of events that have changed me deeply and some of it started with books. I plan on doing a post soon and sharing with you the books that have made a tremendous impact on my life. But part of the excitement started with my son and a Saturn Rocket. Here’s the post if you missed it.

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4 thoughts on “Something in Your House is Taking Your Life: How to Save Yourself

  1. I’m doing a trick with my clothes so at the end of the season I can take everything that I’ve not worn to goodwill. Here’s the trick: I’ve hung everything in my closet with the hanger facing towards me. When I take clothes out to wear and wash them, I’m putting them back with the hanger facing away from me. At the end of the season, everything still facing forward is going to Goodwill.

    Also, heavens above, don’t go in our basement. I have NOTES from classes from high school that I’ve not looked at probably since high school and wouldn’t do me much good if I did look at them. When I get finished teaching this class in October, I’m going to set aside a weekend to do a big dump. Probably your 80/20 thing. Plus we have to put new flooring in the basement so it makes sense to get rid of a lot of that stuff now.

    Great post to get me motivate!

    • I’m going to try the clothes trick. On notes, I’m still trying to decide what to do with old journals. I don’t read them now but maybe one day I’ll want to look back and see who I was. Let me know when you guys do the basement so I can make sure I’m at work.(-: