Unclutter Your Life by Erasing Your Future.

This unsettling practice creates unending possibilities.

3 min readDec 8, 2021


Image courtesy of adobestock.com

I have too much stuff. That’s the bare truth.

Anxiety and guilt morph into a low-grade, psychic nausea, until I finally can’t take it anymore. Then I pay the best $89 of my life on Joshua Becker’s course, “uncluttered,” and I have my kitchen to show for it. It’s clear and clean and by far the most beautiful room in the house.

But when the momentum disappeared, I didn’t know why. I took a good look at what I was thinking, and a pattern emerged: My life was in gridlock because I’m giving this away was completely blocked by What if I need this later. The What If is the future-oriented thinking that paralyzes all forward movement.

For example, the bottom of our bookshelf contains a collection of Tricycle Magazines going back ten years. These days everything’s available online, so why do I still have these physical copies? Because what if the apocalypse comes and there’s no internet and I can’t access these articles online?

Really? Sociopolitical upheaval has obliterated the grid and I’m going to be sitting on the couch reading a magazine? When I see it in the daylight, it’s pretty funny.

How much of this What If thinking fuels the rest of my decisions? I bought eye makeup that I don’t know how to apply, but it looked so awesome on the instagram girl. I don’t wear eye makeup now, but What if I have to go to fancy events because my novel got published and everybody loves it? Ha! I’ll be prepared for that imaginary future with just the right eye makeup.

Holy crap. Really?

So the idea is this. Lose the What if. Be someone with no future.
Look at your life right now, your furniture, your clothes, your things. Look at the nature of your attachment to them. Without the future you’ve been imagining, what can you let go of? What can you give away? If you really do this, even for the next ten minutes, it could lighten your load by a lot.

When we really get that the moment we’re in is the only one we’ll ever have, a spaciousness opens up, a sense of deep breathing, clear sight.




Novelist. Poet. Musician. Buddhist. Quilter. Animal lover. Visible grownup. Hidden child. Secret dancer when all alone. Makes good bread.