Charles Dickens was really on to something when he created the character of Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol. As you may recall, Marley was dead and condemned to walk the earth shackled in heavy chains and never able to find rest or peace for all of eternity.
It is not too different when people shackle themselves to all of their belongings. They carry the weight, burden and guilt of too much excess and it haunts them much like Marley's ghost. It takes time and energy away from living a fuller life and gets in the way of relationships with others on many levels.
Opportunities are missed when you cringe at the thought of opening the door to a neighbor or throwing an impromptu get-together with friends. There can just be too much embarrassment and shame and way too much effort on your part.
Whatever the reason is for hanging on to things, you can live and actually thrive without a lot of it. If something does not bring you a sense of well-being, then let it go. Holding on to things out of a sense of duty, fear, perceived expectations or plain old habit, will never result in a happy ending. They are just more links in the chain that get dragged around each and every day.
Start tossing things out the back door. Throw open the front door and welcome your family, friends and neighbors back in. Ditch the chains and take a page out of Dickens' book when Marley says, "Humanity is my business." It is for all of us as well so try not to let the stuff haunt you and prevent you from taking care of business.
For more information on this topic, visit 10 Ways to Eliminate Clutter by Lorraine Savage.