5 Ways to Let Go When You are Comfortable With Your Clutter
The decluttering process has begun. We have gotten rid of the bread maker we never used and the six extra pairs of scissors, and everything that we have not used in a year. We used the 20/20 rule, and the 90/90 rule (the minimalists). Things are starting to look better but there is still so much clutter.
While trying to declutter our lives and our homes, there are sometimes things that we don’t really need, and possibly don’t even use, but we hold on to it for various reasons. We want to enjoy the benefits of a clean dresser or counter top, but we just cannot let go of that ballerina music box that our Father gave us or the trophy we won in little league. What do we do about the clutter that means something to us?
Evaluate if It Really Belongs
If you had an ugly wart on your nose and after years of putting up with it, decided to have it removed, you would probably still reach to touch it and look for it in the mirror. You would miss it. Just because you miss something doesn’t mean that it belonged there. Really evaluate if the clutter you are looking at belongs there, or if you are just used to it being there.
Put It in a box
Put your clutter in a box, hide it someplace and enjoy the clutter free area for a month. Just like in my “No Risk Simplicity Sampling” post, chances are you will not miss it and it’s much easier to declutter in this non-committal way, because you have the option to put it back.
Take a picture of your beloved items to keep forever. If it is especially meaningful you can frame the photo and hang it on your wall.
You do not have to feel guilty getting rid of something that was a gift. In the future, let people know that when you accept a gift, it is now yours and you are able to enjoy it and re-gift it as you see fit. A gift that comes with responsibility is not really a great gift. Assume that it’s ok to enjoy, then release it to someone else.
If it brings you joy by all means keep it! Nobody is going to judge you and only you can decide what stays and what goes. I have finally cleared my dresser except for my hand made wedding bouquet in a Mason jar vase. I may not keep the flowers forever, but for now the clean dresser with the beautiful flowers bring me joy every single day. I am not going to live in an empty home. I am going to pick and choose to highlight my most favorite sentimental items or display my favorite art. I still want my place to be homey and stylish. Instead of “displays” I choose to display fewer things to make more impact. It also makes it so easy to clean!
Growing Pains Mean Growth – Yay!
Decluttering usually starts easy and gets harder when we start to consider the things we are attached to or that we actually like. It’s O.K. to feel a little pang in our hearts when we decide to let go of these things. If we accept these as growing pains we will soon find that letting go will be more uplifting than any ballerina music box could ever be.
For help making decluttering a habit, I recommend this great post by Zen Habits.