I was reading this post that I found on Pinterest today. I have been following the Fly Lady for a couple of years although I haven’t followed closely, lol. I am pretty lazy and my decluttering is in fits and starts. It’s ok with me that the dust bunnies fly around for a while before anyone gets to them. While I love the idea of a systematic way of doing things, I am realistic in my assessment of my abilities and attention span.
When I first started my journey of getting rid of stuff and of discovering minimalism I had a basement full of baby stuff that we had been shoving down there as the girls outgrew things. We also stored extra everything that didn’t fit upstairs. We had a lot of stuff. It was amazing really. I nicknamed the basement “Sheol” (a nice biblical name for “pit of hell” or something like that…). The name kinda fit. ahem. :/
Fast forward about 2 years (According to my emails to my husband and blog posts I saved) and we have over half the basement with usable space and many many many trips to the thrift and consignment stores logged. I have also sold a few things on Craigslist and lots on Ebay. STILL, it is incredible how much stuff we still have to get rid of.
It really boggles my mind how many things we accumulate in such a short amount of time. We believe we “can’t live without” x, y, or z but half the time (or more) we couldn’t say when the last time was we used any of it or even remembered it was down there until we go to clean it out. Ridiculous.
This realization has made it so much easier to say goodbye. Buh bye.
So after my post about shoes, I eliminated another 6 pairs of shoes, then another 2 pair by wearing them this week and realizing my feet don’t like them. I have gotten rid of some more clothes. There is also a pile of stuff I am accumulating and pricing for an indoor garage sale at my mom’s church in September. The goal is to have the basement cleaned out and only storing one box of Christmas decor (maybe 2 if you count lights), extra paper goods and supplies we will use, as well as the girls remaining toys, doll house, easel and kitchen. If we aren’t using it or displaying it because we love it, I no longer see the point in keeping it.
I should admit here that I have a very very very tiny sentimental bone. It is likely microscopic. Getting rid of everything but Aunt Ruth’s blue glasses is fairly painless to me. I keep the scrapbook albums I have made in the past but I am selling the rest of my scrapbook supplies at the garage sale. This is what computers are for. To make my albums for me. Thank you Mr Computer. I loooove you!
At this point my desire to have room to breathe is greater than my desire to accumulate. I want space to enjoy what comes along. To just BE. Ahhhhh…
There are SO MANY methods to “decluttering” but the one I like the best and is the most simple is to just GET RID OF STUFF. No amount of organizing will do what ditching stuff will. Whether you go room by room, drawer by drawer or just walk around with a basket once a day looking for x number of things to get rid of, the most important thing is to say goodbye to stuff. And in return say hello to space, peace, time and life. Unless, of course, you have children, in which case don’t bet on anything other than lots of life! 😉 Kids are chaos. The good kind. 🙂 Like, missing frogs in your dining room…
If you are having difficulty parting with something for whatever reason, one great idea I have heard of many times is to take a picture of it. THIS is a great post I read about this idea today. Someone in the comments said they took pictures of their husbands clothes and shoes after he died to make it easier to give them away. That just made me cry. Ok, so it’s still making me cry, but what a sweet idea. I’m just going to keep mine around in a Grand Marnier bottle, which also stirs fond memories. Then, he, in the GM bottle, and I, in my genie lantern, are going to go hang out on a tropical island somewhere… I don’t plan on taking up much space after I die either.
Besides the exhilaration of creating space, the feel good-ness of donating stuff to people in need, and the saving money by not buying stuff we don’t need, what is the benefit here? For me, it’s partly that space brings a sense of peace and calm in the middle of the storm of life and partly that by losing attachments to things that have little meaning, I now have room for things that mean everything. It comes back to priorities.
What are you getting rid of? How are you doing it? And why?