I have a problem that I will now admit freely with all of you: I am a low key hoarder. Things just find a way of accumulating and accumulating until I’m frankly just shoving stuff under my bed. Quick shout out to Ikea for making beds tall enough for me to hide my hoarding issue but it has become somewhat out of control. My mom thinks that it is the reason I sometimes have writer’s block and believe it or not but I believe she is right. Think of clutter as the equivalent of dirty laundry (which is another problem I have)... leave enough of it there for a long while and it will start to stink and infringe on everything else. I’m now feeling my mess imposing on my quiet space and that’s when I know it is time to put some music on and handle my issue.
Here are four things to focus on while decluttering a space:
1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
In my quest to find the overall benefits of decluttering I stumbled upon this book. The author talks about how to go through your space and asses what is important when choosing to keep things and let things go. Kondo suggests to keep items that spark joy. If that shirt that everyone finds ugly brings you that joy then keep it. The purpose behind maintaining those specific items is to surround yourself with happiness and to give attention to the things that in turn bring you that feeling. Another point she makes is to thank the things you choose to discard. I am a sentimental gal so it felt good to give one last bit of love to items for being smashed, over worn, or neglected throughout the years. With those two points, I am hereby releasing non-joy bringing things that only distract me from the possibility of being happier in what I wear and see around me.
2. What worked for me then does not always work for me now
I went through a few very substantial phases in my life, which was reflected most heavily in my wardrobe. I always think “I looked fly then while wearing it then I can wear it now and still look fly right?” The answer more often than not is no. That oversized button up that I loved so much now looks like it swallowed my body. Just because I wore it to death does not mean it should be revived into what I wear. I cannot let who I was in the past spill into the possibility of who I could be now, which is a person who is a lot better than that thrift-shop 80s clothes phase.
3. The troubles in going down Memory Lane
So I am on a roll, I’m feeling great and then I make a quick turn onto Memory Lane and my momentum takes a beating. I always think it will be a small detour but it ends up taking hours of my time. I love keeping things like cards or bus tickets from places I’ve traveled. Other times, I keep mementos for the simple fact that I placed value on them. That pebble from Switzerland really isn’t the most meaningful piece from that experience. I have to realize that some items are more important than others in maintaining sentimental value, which makes it important to recognize what is truly a keepsake. I have to remember that throwing away the others will not completely erase the memory. I have pictures or could start a memory journal to make sure I won’t lose the joy of my past experiences.
4. It will not hurt anyone’s feelings to throw things away- including your own
No one should be offended by my choice to give things away. If the gifts I received are more of a burden to keep and store away then it is better to just let go of it. I feel like it should be more insulting to people that you are burdening yourself tiptoeing around their feelings while simultaneously cluttering your space. Another point that is probably even more important is to let go of things even if you feel like a fool giving them away. I’m talking about things I never wore or spent a chunk of money on. It causes me mental tension to give them away because I feel stupid for having even bought them. When I am in that mindset, I have to remember that by giving those items away, I am offering them the opportunity to have a new life somewhere else. It may hurt my feelings but it will make someone a lot happier than it made me, which is worth every penny I spent on it.
Right now is the perfect time to declutter! It will not only make room for new gifts and the New Year but this is the best time to donate as well! Can you imagine the joy in the hearts of all those who will be receiving them?
May your days, closets, and drawers be merry and light!