Your joy is not enough
I’m sorry, but your joy is not enough. As responsible, contributing members of the human race, we have a responsibility to be more intentional about how and why we get organized. Tidying up is very nice, but it’s a superficial approach to a much larger issue. People have a clutter problem because we amass too much stuff. We’re drowning in our things because there is simply not enough thought put into what we need, where those things come from, and whether or not those things are good for us. I’ll save you the suspense: Most of the junk we bring home is just fluff, empty calories, a con to separate you from your money. If examining an object and asking yourself, “Does this bring me joy?” is your only filter for whether or not it’s kept — you’re missing the point.
Tidying up is the hip new approach for getting organized, but it fundamentally neglects the four big elephants in the room: 1) Where did all this stuff come from, 2) do I really need this, 3) how was it made, and 4) where does it go after I’m done with it? Collectively, we have grown accustomed to buying and discarding virtually anything dangled in front of us, without regard to how it was manufactured, what toxic chemicals were used in its production, or what slave wage conditions indigent workers had to endure to guarantee bigger discounts at the supermarket.
Collectively, we’re living a fast food, all-you-can-eat, supersize me mentality where very little intention is placed on our personal shopping habits. As a direct result, our buying behavior has created an endless frenzy around amassing cheap, toxic junk. These things are not just useless, they’re harmful. We live in an age of exponentially limited resources, where precious nonrenewables are exploited, wasted and polluted for the financial gain of a miniscule fraction of our population. The overproduction of the crap we buy is killing us and our planet. It’s time for consumers to connect the dots between what we need, where those things come from, how they’re made, and the tangible impact that stuff has on a global scale. Whether or not something brings you joy is beside the point.
Clearing out, cleaning up and getting organized is not just a pleasant alternative to living in disarray, it is a moral imperative as members of the human race. The ClutterFree Revolution is about bringing more thoughtful intention to what we need, where those things come from, and where that stuff goes when we’re done with it. These are the most important world-saving elements of getting organized: need less, support local, buy non-GMO organic, and responsibly pass your stuff along to those who need it most. Supporting local thrift stores and consignors reduces the need for more manufacturing, supports hyper-local economies, and keeps reusable items in circulation within your community at an affordable price. Recycling and upcycling ensures viable materials are reused, rather than added to unmanageable volumes of landfill waste. Supporting local food banks, homeless shelters and clothes-drives helps to ensure that those without have access to basic life-giving necessities year-round.
This important work is not about tidying up, it’s about saving the world. It’s about making sure our children inherit a planet that will sustain human life. Our population is growing exponentially. With more and more people competing for survival, the increasing scarcity of life-giving resources (including nutrient rich food and clean fresh water) will continue to have a profound impact on geo-politics. Climate change will continue to wreak havoc on populations across the planet. Marginalized and self-serving peoples will increasingly exert their violent frustrations on others. This is not theoretical conjecture — this is happening now.
Your joy is not the issue. There’s no help on the way. It’s up to us to lead the ClutterFree Revolution. It’s time to get nimble, consume sustainably, and develop innovative practices around how we recycle. It’s time to need less, share more, and preserve precious resources. Anything less is just negligent.
Evan Zislis is author of the bestselling book “ClutterFree Revolution: Simplify Your Stuff, Organize Your Life & Save the World” and “Aphrodisiac: Clearing the Cluttered Path to Epic Love, Great Sex & Relationships that Last.” He is founder and principal consultant of http://www.MyIntentionalSolutions.com. For more information, like ClutterFree Revolution on Facebook, call 970-366-2532, or email Evan@MyIntentionalSolutions.com.
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The Forest Service plans to replace the Carbondale Aspen-Sopris ranger district station with a newer, larger facility.