Judy and John are great friends of ours. They are kind and generous people who lead a very rewarding life. But what struck my wife and me when we visited them this summer is how remarkably simple it is.

Their home is tastefully but almost sparsely decorated with quality furniture, a few pieces of just-right art, household necessities, and little more.

The simplicity of Judy and John’s lifestyle made a big impression on us. It was even more striking in contrast to what we witnessed at the next stop on our road trip, the home of two other good friends.

Like Judy and John, Chuck and Laura are kind and generous people, but thousands of trinkets and knick-knacks overpower their home. There is “stuff” everywhere. You can’t even sit down without first moving a pile of something or other.

How does this happen? I can tell you from my own experience…

You begin by shuffling things around to make room for more things. Then you start buying duplicates because you can’t find the originals. (”I know it’s in here somewhere.”) At some point, you get so overwhelmed that you just stop trying to keep everything organized.

You don’t have to live that way.

Here’s how my wife and I got out from under the mess we’d created in our home several years ago…

We sat down and came up with a plan. We would do one room at a time, one each weekend. Anything we hadn’t used recently or that had no sentimental value was fair game. Big items would go to charity or a yard sale. Other things, I’d put up on eBay.

Soon thereafter, shelves and closets were emptied and space began reappearing.

The feeling of freedom was palpable.

[Ed. Note: Ready to take charge of your life and get your goals back on track? Check out Early to Rise’s Total Success Achievement program. With success mentor Bob Cox, you’ll learn how to set and achieve all you want out of life.]

For more of Charlie’s thoughts and insights, check out his blog at http://CharlieByrne.BlogSpot.com.]

Charlie Byrne

Charlie Byrne is a former Senior Copywriter and Editorial Director for Early to Rise. Charlie spent the earlier part of his business career as a systems analyst, project manager and consultant in New York City for Fortune 100 companies including Philip Morris, Digital Equipment, and Citicorp as well as New York University and Columbia University. He then spent over ten years at Reuters Ltd and Interealty Corp designing and implementing financial, real estate and news information services. In 2003, he joined Early to Rise as a senior editor and copywriter. Since then he has helped publish over 1000 editions of ETR, resulting in gross revenues of well over $25 million. He has also produced dozens of winning sales letters and promotions, including two that brought in over $200,000 in under 24 hours, another two that have grossed over $1 million each, and a single sales letter that sold 25 units of a $10,000 product.