In Chapter 5, you gain surprising insights into the shape of your life by examining the thoughts and feelings connected to your clutter.
A vacation is time away from work — and away from home. Going somewhere else gives you the change of perspective that makes a vacation so worthwhile. You enjoy the sights you see when you travel and the time away from work and routine, but being away from your possessions is the biggest thing that makes a vacation feel different. You can tell how big an effect this is when you return home. Fresh from the excitement of your vacation, you walk in the front door, see all your stuff just where you left it when you went away, and get that sinking feeling that says the vacation is over.
How do we manage on vacation with only a few bags of our own things along? It is a tiny fraction of the material resources we have at home.
We can’t do most of the things that make up our daily lives at home. Yet vacation is undeniably more exciting than being at home. How can this be?
Part of the answer is that having fewer possessions around frees up more of your attention for action, and action is what life is made of. On a vacation, with more action, you literally live more. And you tend to take your favorite things along on vacation, leaving all the junk behind at home — that helps too.
So why couldn’t every day be more like a vacation? Why couldn’t you turn your home into a vacation home? Actually, there is nothing that stops you. If you set up your home like a vacation home, with everything you need and not too much more, every day at home can feel like a vacation.
How much of your stuff fits the idea of a vacation? Then, when you look at the other stuff, does it really make you feel good to have it around?