Collecting Junk

There’s been a lot written about having a clean workspace. My workspace could be considered far from clean.

When I look around my home office, I see Christian music posters from a web-based business that’s no longer active, various electronic gadgets, music CDs (do you remember those), and a bunch of random junk.

Junk piles up

Image by David Hunter

Seeing this collection of junk has suddenly made me sad. Not because my home office isn’t tidy. There’s something else behind this sadness.

My feelings come from the realization that I’ve accumulated a lot of useless materials in my life. Whether it’s the paperwork and pieces of a now closed business venture or the feelings that are locked inside of my heart.

A realization of sorts

There’s a lot of junk in my life. I’ve been collecting junk without getting rid of anything.

And it’s creating havoc in my life.

The junk that piles up isn’t just physical. It’s mental as well.

My mental junk includes the hurt I’ve felt from others. The feelings of being wronged. Of being left out.

I’ve not only filled my office with junk. I’ve filled my mind with junk.

The junk is useless now.

At one point there may have been some use for the pain. Maybe it was to stay protected or I learned not to take that specific risk again.

Yet once I got the usefulness out of it, I left it there. I didn’t cleanse myself of those feelings and memories.

They’re there and they’re cluttering my life.

Is it time for a change?

Are you like me? Have you been holding onto physical and mental junk for longer than you need to?

If you have, it may be time for a change. This might be the perfect time to get rid of the junk.

Are you with me?

Let’s challenge ourselves to cleanse our lives a bit by getting rid of the things we no longer use or need.

The guys over at The Minimalists came up with a game called The Minimalist Game. The idea behind the game is to get rid of one item the first day of the month, then 2 the next day, and so on and so on.

I’m not ready to take it to that kind of extreme but I am ready to stop collecting junk. So I’m going to challenge myself to get rid of something every day of the month of February.

This will mean I’ll be removing 28 things from my home office or my life. This number seems like a lot but it’s only 1 item a day. A small, consistent action to take every day.

Over the month of February, I believe I’ll see some major changes take place. My office will become less cluttered. My life will become less cluttered. And I’ll have some extra breathing room.

What about you? Are you willing to join with me in this challenge? Are you willing to get rid of one piece of junk a day?

Question: Will you join me in getting rid of the junk in our lives? Let me know by saying Yes or No in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I’m with you Joe! Time to get get rid of some junk.

    • Welcome to the challenge Paul! Looking to hear your results.

  • Interesting challenge, I think I’ll give it a go.

    I think that we’re constantly tasked with deciding whether or not something is valuable not only now, but in the future, and it’s difficult to see what’s ahead. But after the type of reflection that you’ve had, we start to realize that we’re overall pretty bad at predicting the future, and if we stop collecting junk (both physical and mental) we give ourselves the space to live and enjoy the moment. Otherwise we’re constantly battling to fit the new in where there’s still the old.

    • It’ll be an interesting month for sure Ryan. Thanks for joining the junk challenge.

  • Hi Joe. At the end of last year my husband and I decided that this year was the year to clear out the junk. We sat down with a calendar and decided which room would be tackled in what month. Otherwise, we knew we’d wake up one July morning and say, “oh year, we were going to get rid of “stuff” this year.” I always think about how if something happened to us, our children would have to come in and sort through all of the useless objects. I’ve had to do that a few times myself. Ain’t fun. Great post, Joe!

    • So cool Linda. How has that changed your life?

  • Your post reminds me of the quote, “The hearse has no luggage rack.”

    Although I am a minimalist, I’m printing this one for my wife 🙂

    • Haha, be careful handing it to her. Seems like a dangerous thing to do!

  • I am a big proponent of clutter free areas. Especially as it pertains to productivity. I made this change about 6 years ago and have never regretted it since although now my wife has to tell me to slow down. Great topic.

  • Shing Degano

    “Mental junk” needs to go first…I’ve vanished those that crippled my good energy. There are still hovering thoughts but not strong enough to keep me in bondage. We must learn to drape our minds with things that propel us to move forward and the rest will fall into place. I’ll be joining you in removing tangible stuff each day beginning next month. It’s a good thing to do.
    Thanks for the post.

    • Shing, that’s so true. We need to declutter our minds and get rid of the mental barriers that are holding us back. How are you getting rid of the mental junk? And welcome to the challenge!

      • Shing Degano

        I’ve joined “Jeff Goins 31-day writing challenge; listening only to K-Love & Air One Christian radio stations for 30 days; fasting for 21 days with my blood & church family; refraining myself from watching Netflix movies & t.v. shoes; and of course, the catalyst of it all– reading & meditating the Word of God–the Holy Bible.
        The first week was hard since I teach children with disabilities in a public school setting. A lot of prayers and self-talk. But I believe that we all have that “instinctive silver lining” to be driven to love above all significant & inconsequential matters.
        The grace of God is in exceeding abundance–I’m finding more of His love that really never fails…
        Thanks for asking, Joe.
        Your posts serve as precursors to moving forward…Keep them coming!

  • Rebecca Jo Cannon

    Yes, definitely. I like the one item a day.

    • Great Rebecca. Are you going to join the challenge?

      • I’m in 🙂

      • Rebecca Jo Cannon

        Yes, definitely joining the challenge! Was already thinking about it today. I am a very creative sentimental person so I tend to hold on to “junk” that a lot of times clogs my brain for new creativity. A funny story here – my son who’s 29 was with me at the beach. I pick up shells. But I also pick up much garbage to throw away. There was some kind of large plastic hockey stick looking thing & I said, “I’m taking this”. He said – “Mom, no!” He thought I was going to keep it & put it on the wall or something. I let him think that until we got to the parking lot, and I put it in the dumpster. 🙂

  • Joe, as you know, I’ve been getting rid of physical junk for the last few weeks getting ready for our Hawaii move. The thing that has surprised me is how much we try to justify to ourselves why we need the junk. There’s stuff we haven’t touched in 10 years that we’re finally throwing away. I’ve been learning the last 3 years how to get rid of the bank junk, it’s has made all the difference in my dream.

    • Oh, I can see how we could justify how we might be able to keep the junk in our lives. What’s a tip you’ve learned to help overcome that justification?

      • You have to switch your mindset and realize the beauty that comes from simplicity.

  • LOL, No! I love my Junk!! LOL, the material junk, that is. I work every single day on ridding myself of all the mental and emotional junk and have for awhile. Now, before I sound too materialistic, I can admit that I started doing just that about 6 years ago. At first, it was simply a necessity of space, then it evolved into something incredibly enlightening. Freedom! Inspiration! Breathing room…

    • Don’t we all love the junk in our lives? But how much does it take up and how much effort to upkeep it?


    I’ve always found that when I clear my clutter, my wallet get’s fatter!

  • Dan Erickson

    I’m a regular purger. I go through junk and give away what I don’t use or need about four times a year. Someday I’d like to live in one of those tiny houses and make do with the bare necessities.

    • Awesome Dan. Some days I feel the same way about a small house and few goods.

  • I’m already doing this. I try to make sure my house is not cluttered with unused or unnecessary things. It allows me to be productive and not worry about the clutter. Thanks for an amazing post.

  • Congrats on joining in on the challenge Cillia. Looking forward to using your site to help me out!

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