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Save it for a rainy day...

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: February 15, 2013

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Burn story - No, not a story about a burn victim. It's a term I've heard coined previously where script writers save their plot twists and more exciting parts for later on in the story, or another story, saving better work for later.

This can be a bad thing and this principle applies to everyday life and a lot of the things we do. I have come across the same principle again more recently in my Happiness Project - 5 Year Journal that I mentioned briefly in my previous post. Author Gretchen Rubin calls it 'not spending out'." Let me elaborate…

Do you ever buy yourself a nice top, dress, shirt or something for a 'special occasion' and it sits in your wardrobe until such an occasion arises? Or you maybe have some nice crockery which only comes out if the Queen comes to tea? Maybe you've bought some pretty candles for decoration and will never actually light them, Or treated yourself to some posh paints which you're saving for when you're better at painting? Or perhaps, you're saving a good idea for later in the future when you could use it now?

This kind of behaviour encourages hoarding and a subconscious thought that you can't do better. The thought that you won't come up with a better idea, you'll never be able to get another nice item of clothing or candles, you won't be able to get more paints. It might seem harmless, but this sort of attitude can have a negative impact on the mind and add more clutter to your home. A lot of us are guilty of this to some degree. Chaos in the home causes chaos in the heart. It induces stress and anxiety. Let's look at this another way…

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Let’s say that you’ve purchased an item of clothing to save for a night out or meal and you don't wear it. Then when you go to it, it's no longer 'in fashion' or it doesn't fit anymore or something else that prevents you from wearing it now. So it's gone to waste by just sitting there.

Spend out, you've purchased it so you may as well wear it, or if you won't, give it to someone who will. eBay, blog sales, charity shops or even a local forum... someone will make use of it. Or for example, those paints, you finally feel comfortable enough to use them, but oh, they've completely dried up and you can't use them now! What a waste.

Having all these good things and not using them is almost just as bad as having bags of rubbish sitting in your home. An example that I imagine many of you are guilty of, especially females, is having many half used bathroom products - use them up before buying more or opening a new one, or bin them. It is clutter and junk that you do not need. Use them or lose them!

People often feel better when their homes are clean, tidy and less cluttered, a lot of us don't even realise it. It's time to spend out and use those things we hold on to for 'one day when x scenario happens'. Style changes, needs change, we change.

Our possessions can begin to possess us and we want to hold on to everything. Many people begin to hoard, not just possessions but people and the company we keep, even if they're toxic, such as negative people or people who always put us down because we can often be desperate to keep hold of everything and anything we can. Because of this, we can get stressed, distressed, anxious and off balance and it effects our lives in a negative way.

This is why it is time to 'spend out' not necessarily financially and use our 'burn story'. We can always get more possessions later, they're only things, and we're always capable of coming up with more ideas. Things we're not using are mostly pointless, however, there are few exceptions to this such as photographs, but we technically do use these as a memory trigger, same for things like heirlooms and such with sentimental meaning.

These bring emotions that make you think of the person, so we're still 'spending out' on these possessions, but we need to limit them to what we will use, not everything is essential and we make too many excuses to justify why we're keeping that empty fancy carrier bag from Disney Land. It's clutter we don't need and it's impractical and hoarding like this is not beneficial to anyone.

Here's another list exercise! Go through your things, and try to limit them. Do I need this? When was the last time I wore this? (Seasonal clothing is okay, you're not going to wear a woolly hat or Christmas jumper in the sunshine, are you?) Does it fit you? When will you next use the item or when did you last use it? Can you sell it or donate it? Bag it and do so, if not, throw it away.

Allocate some space for those sentimental items, maybe a shoebox in your cupboard full of photos and trinkets or something. What do you really need? What will you actually use? If you're not going to use it, then get rid!

Have a spring clean and sort out, being mindful of these questions, where in your life are you most guilty of hoarding? Now you're aware of it, you can begin to work on it, do something about it, spend out, have less clutter and less chaos both in home, and in mind!

Written by Elizabeth Fleming of BeneBelle.

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