Minimalists proclaim the motto that we shouldn't keep any possessions in our home that aren't either beautiful, useful, or sentimental. Letting things go physically is a good metaphor for letting other things go that should also be released, like resentment, anger, grudges, jealousy, and conflict you can't remember who started. It turns out that letting some things go that we no longer need is really good for our emotional and mental well-being.

I got started thinking about this letting go of stuff process as my husband and I prepare for the big annual garage sale that's held in our community each October. We both had households before we met, so now we have my set of stuff, his set of stuff, the stuff we've accumulated together, and all the memorabilia it took to launch three great children up to college age. Now that's a lot of stuff! Seriously, with the kids all at college or beyond, the blow-up pumpkin on the front lawn for Halloween is a bit over the top. Time to release that to some nice family with little ones.

I've heard organizers say before that we should each go through our closets once a year and donate anything you haven't worn. Chances are that Goodwill, or the charity you like best, needs it more than you or I do. It feels wonderful to easily be able to find what you are looking for in the closet. Some fashion writers recommend taking two items out of our closet to donate for every one we purchase or add. The same thing could be done with household purchases.

From a parenting perspective, what a great lesson to teach our children about the joy of releasing things you no longer need and giving them away or selling them. That's a lesson that can help them learn to be organized, keep track of things, take good care of their possessions, and release things they no longer need. That's a hard lesson to learn if Mom and/or Dad don't role model it for them.

Letting things go----emotionally and physically---is a healthy way to travel lighter through life. Being focused on people, relationships, and the present is a much healthier mindset that holding on to stuff. Travel light, let love and unneeded items flow from you to others, and focus on collecting beautiful moments.