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Home / Articles / Arts & Entertainment / Celebrities /  Spring Cleaning: Do You Really Want More Stuff?
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Friday, March 1,2024

Spring Cleaning: Do You Really Want More Stuff?

By Michelle Hays  

Have you become so busy taking care of all your “stuff” that you no longer have time for what is truly important? I am certainly guilty as charged! Guess what? It’s not our fault! We have been raised to believe that working harder to buy more “stuff” is the key to a happier, more fulfilling life.

We are constantly bombarded with commercials depicting lifestyles very different from most of our own. Advertisements for luxury cars, fancy watches, designer purses, the latest smartphones, exotic vacations, and whatever else we supposedly need to succeed and have a happy life are unavoidable. Does working all those long hours, being stressed out most of the time, and never seeming to have enough time sound familiar? Our intentions are sooooo good. We must work hard and accumulate things to make a good life for ourselves and our families, right? Yet no matter how much “stuff” we buy, no matter how big our house is, what kind of car we drive, or what kind of clothes we wear, we somehow feel like something is still missing.

Back in 1998, I was a Property Manager for a prominent family in Lloyd Harbor, NY. In exchange for my services, I lived as a single mom in a 3,600-square-foot home with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the harbor. It was a beautiful, affluent neighborhood, and the school system was one of the best on Long Island. A single mom’s dream, right? Of course, I wanted my kids to have everything. So, I worked harder and harder. I accumulated more things, debt and stress, and consequently spent less and less time with my kids. I became depressed. I felt like a failure as a mother because I fell into the trap and couldn’t keep up with the Joneses. One evening, I was having awful pains in my chest and couldn’t breathe. I thought I was having a heart attack, and ended up in the hospital. Thankfully, it was “just” a severe anxiety attack, but it was certainly a wakeup call for me. So, I did a lot of thinking. I decided to quit my job, and I have never looked back. I sold all my “stuff” and came to Florida with way less, and I soon realized that I had more time, space, freedom, energy and smiles on my face. I wanted to share a bit of my story with you, because we all have a breaking point. What will yours be?

Is it really want more “stuff” you want? Do you really want to keep going like this? Isn’t it exhausting? Well, guess what? There is a better way! It’s called learning to become more of a minimalist! Learning to opt out of obsessive consumerism and decluttering your home is a sure way to be happier and create a more fulfilling life! Fumio Sasaki, the author of “Goodbye Things,” states, “All the time we desperately need is within our grasp, but we have to create it ourselves by saying goodbye to all those extra things,” and I agree. My husband and I have recently downsized. Initially, it was pretty challenging to let go of our things, but it did get easier and easier. We are still working on it, but we already have more time, less stress and we are much happier.

So, when spring cleaning this year, consider saying goodbye to the things that don’t serve you anymore. Find joy in offering them to friends or family. Donate them. You’ll feel lighter. Less stressed. No more searching for items you can’t find. You will know where everything is. You’ll be able to take time to relax. You’ll be able to make time for love and connection. Remember that aligning yourself with your values and being authentic is essential to your happiness.

Happiness is everywhere. We must make the time to find it.

Michelle Hays |

Michelle Hays is a heart-centered Marriage Coach and is the Monarch for Love Podcast Host with decades of experience in marriage and relationships. She has led hundreds of couples in their efforts to deepen their connection and increase fulfillment in their marriages. Michelle firmly believes that love is a decision and that positive thinking in marriage empowers couples to create the marriage and relationships they want and deserve. Michelle also enjoys her community on Instagram @monarchforlove. Please feel free to email her at with any questions or comments.



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