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Negotiating The Excess: How to simplify and make space for more of what matters

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

There is wonderful magic created by freedom and lightness when you release the excess.

When our focus is on creating space for joy and purpose, as opposed to filling the void of discontentment, we discover important ways of being in the world and consequently uncover our own expectations of time, resources and relationships.

Today’s world of having more, doing more, and being more triggers deep insecurities of not being enough and somehow, we believe the next breakthrough problem-solving material thing will be the answer to our displacements and uncomfortable emotions.

The process of decluttering, removing the excess, and understanding our true values, sets the scene for building a secure foundation on which to build the most valuable human asset, the asset of peace.

Consider the following:

  • What do you actually need?

  • How much do you need to feel safe and secure?

  • What is not necessary in your life at this very moment?

  • What feeling are you trying to avoid? (e.g. shame, regret, guilt, anxiety)

Thinking about yourself and your inner world through the discovery of what problem this item was meant to solve and highlighting how we view ourselves in accordance with the physical world around us can help to create the peace you crave.

A practical guide to decluttering, one minute for one item

The methods

The KonMari Method™

Konmari encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, “komono” (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.

Swedish Death Cleaning

The home organisation method comes from the Swedish concept "döstädning", a combination of the words death (dö) and cleaning (städning). And while the idea is certainly related to one's passing, it's also about making life a bit easier for you and those you love.

The Movements


A movement to live in a way that requires very little material possessions and focus on having more time, more space, and more life. Learn more here

Slow Living

The acronym SLOW is commonly used to summarise the aims of the slow living lifestyle. The 'S' refers to sustainable, the 'L' refers to local, involving using materials and products that are produced locally, the 'O' refers to organic, meaning avoiding products that have been genetically engineered or mass-produced, and the 'W' refers to whole, meaning not processed. Learn more here

The Techniques

4 box method

The Four-Box method forces a decision, item by item. To apply it, gather three boxes and a large trash can. Label the boxes “Put Away”, “Give Away/Sell”, and “Storage.” Items to be thrown away belong in the trash can. Learn more here

1 in 1 out

To keep your stuff level from rising, live by the following rule: Every time a new item comes into your home, a similar item must leave. Learn more here

Try out different methods and explore which suits you best. The process itself is just as revealing!

Through our life transitions and cycles as we physically renew every seven years, our changing roles and responsibility will be different; we would need to discard that which does not serve to make space for new opportunities and possibilities. We can start with material possessions and then move on to more intrinsic elements such as unhealthy relationships or limiting thoughts.

Removing the excess and letting go of the person you should be, and embracing the unique person that you are.

Happy Decluttering!

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