By Leo Babauta
While we might want to get out from under the mountain of possessions we have, and have all the best intentions of simplifying our lives … the truth is that we continue to have too much stuff.
Part of that is laziness, an attitude of “I’ll get to it later” … but the real driving force behind our too-much-stuffitis is fear.
Fear is what causes us to buy things we don’t really need. Fear keeps us holding onto stuff we don’t need.
You pack too much when you travel, and have a garage full of stuff, just in case you might need it. This is a fear that you might need something and not have it. It’s fear of lack of safety and certainty.
You buy a lot of things for an upcoming event or trip because you don’t know what you might need. Your fear is that you’ll be unprepared. Again, it’s fear of lack of safety and certainty.
You hold on to things you don’t use anymore because you might need it someday. You probably won’t, but you’re really not sure. Again, it’s fear of lack of safety and certainty.
You keep books and other aspirational items (guitar you never learned, elliptical machine you don’t use) because you hope you’ll get to them someday, and letting go seems like a loss of hope. You fear not being the person you want to be. This is a fear of not being good enough as you are.
You hold on to sentimental items, because you don…