Finding The Silver Lining of a Catastrophe

When a catastrophe strikes, like a devastating hurricane, we are often forced to look at our lives and possessions differently. For example, we might need to let things go when items are ruined by the catastrophe. Also, the situation may require moving on with less, due to reduced space in temporary living arrangements.

If this happens, we might start seeing what we own in a different light – might even discover that we can let go of our attachment to things as we start a new life with less. Owning less means less to take care of, less to store, and a deeper appreciation for what we now own.

Within days after a significant hurricane, community volunteers rushed in and helped declutter homes in preparation for the much-needed repairs. However, there were many random, untouched items left in these homes. Those items were not necessarily what these families wanted or needed to keep. But the rushed volunteer-led effort was spontaneous and disorganized. Everything went into boxes. Homeowners had no idea what they had or lost, and they didn’t have immediate, organized access to the saved items. 

A Different Point of View

As families prepared to re-enter their repaired homes later that year, they surveyed what was left of their possessions and, instead of holding on to those few things as representatives of what they lost, these families expressed the need for further decluttering. Why was that? Because what was left in the houses made no sense to them anymore. Their perspective had changed. The stuff that remained now clutter to them.

After experiencing the life-changing revelation that often occurs after a catastrophe, many have embraced living with less and now enjoy a different relationship with their stuff. They realize living with less in their homes means less to take care of. As a result, there are freer to live a life of connection with friends and family. Embracing the essentials in their homes helps them find serenity.

These people have opened up to change and have looked forward to a future with no clutter, a deeper appreciation for their possessions, and energetic space for all better things to come. They found the silver lining of a catastrophe.