Less Stress: Reduce Possessions Stress Reduction by Joel Wagner - October 18, 2007July 5, 20101 My name is Joel. I have too much stuff. Most people in the western world have way more stuff than we know what to do with. The thriving success of self storage units is a testimony to this fact. Possessions add clutter We spent all last week looking at steps to reduce stress by decluttering your life. Some people recommend simply ignoring the clutter. That is definitely one valid option. It doesn’t work well for me, though. So I strive to reduce the amount of stuff I own that can potentially add clutter, which will in turn increase my stress level. I am not necessarily advocating living as a hermit or social discontent, but I have personally found that simplifying my life has led to greater peace of mind. I’m not saying that you necessarily need to live out Henry David Thoreau’s experience in Walden, but the simpler I make my life, the less I have to worry about. It never hurts to do a Media Collection Purge to gain some extra cash and some extra space around the home. Find the local goodwill center and give your stuff away. Have a garage sale. Donate your extra stuff to a nonprofit or other worthy organization that has occasional rummage sales. So how do you decide what to get rid of? Obviously there are some essential items that you need to keep. But there are also some things that you don’t need. If you haven’t worn or used ot eaten it in a year, then it can definitely go. I know that I hold on to DVDs and books way too long. Once I have read or watched them, if they aren’t continual reads, than I can either give them away to a friend or just sell them. Magazines that are older than six months should probably go away. You could even go so far as to take up Leo’s 100 Things Challenge. Whatever you decide to do, be sure that everything you hang onto are things that you specifically choose to have around. Take control of the things you bring into your life and you will have a much happier existence. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.