Increase The Peace

It's an ecosystem.  Get your finances in order, declutter your things, calm your mind, and maintain a spiritual core.

By the time I was 45 I had accumulated a lot of stuff.  It's what happens when you raise a family, and don't control your impulses.  Of course to me, these things weren't stuff, they were treasures. Others however would simply call it junk and they would be proven right when I decided to reduce my treasures by having a garage sale.   I searched through the storage boxes, closets and drawers, sent the kids their “treasures” to avoid future regrets and took responsibility for my own gems, anticipating a wind fall from the sale.

Jim and Elly, this is us.

Jim and Elly, this is us.

I assumed my complete set of tops baseball cards from 1978 must be worth a small fortune.  So my wife, Elly was kind enough to visit some local card dealers who where consistent in their explanation that cards from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s had little or no value. If we find anything from the early 70’s or 60’s in mint condition, come back.  The advice we received was reinforced when not one of our garage sale visitors had any interest.  I stored these cards for over 30 years, carting them from one home to another, burrowing a nook to safely store them.  And they had essentially no monetary or sentimental value.  I ended up giving them away. We had the same experience with our other treasures, the bobble heads, textbooks, concert t-shirts… our treasures were essentially and realistically – junk.

This experience was a game changer for us; a head on realization that we could be slaves to our things by accumulating too much and putting high value on their perceived worth. Our home was in many was a warehouse. More things were coming in and very little was going out. Yet, our home has always been clean and tidy, so you'd be surprised how well we were able to organize and hide this stuff. But we were holding on to things we didn’t want or need, and worse than that we were buying more, which was ultimately distracting us from the things that really mattered. 

Taking it a step further, we realized it wasn’t just the material things, but behavioral, mental and spiritual aspects of our lives that needed to be decluttered and minimized. But we had to start somewhere.  And thus, a new journey began.

We are well on the road and still traveling.  It hasn't always been a breeze and its taken a lot of learning, adjusting and growing, but a few years in, we can say the results are rewarding. These slight changes in our behavior, attitudes and overall view of life have produced significant mental, financial and spiritual fruit. These lifestyle changes can change your life. This is our story.