Have you wanted to declutter or downsize your things, but when it came to doing it you were stuck?
Here are a few decluttering tips to help you let go of your stuff.
There are many reasons someone might want to live more minimally. Maybe to have a clutter-free home, to help feel calmer and less stressed. Maybe to save money and become an intentional consumer. Or maybe, you are downsizing.
Whatever your reason, there is one thing we all do … DECLUTTER.
Declutter can be difficult. Sometimes we can even feel guilty about getting rid of things, because of an emotional or financial connection. Due to the 2008 recession, we had to downsize. I wasn’t in an emotional place to let go of my stuff. I was emotionally connected to my things and letting them go was very hard.
Even though my minimalist journey started bumpily, It shaped how I shop, spend, and look at my possessions.
Through living mindfully, I have streamlined my possessions to things I USE, NEED, and LOVE.
Here are a few tips to help you mindfully declutter.
Maybe DON’T Get Rid of sentimental items
I get a lot of comments from people who are heartbroken over the idea of letting go of a family heirloom, their children's baby clothes, or a special gift.
Honor where you are today and your feelings. Permit yourself to keep these few possessions that you LOVE and hold a place in your heart.
Sometimes we can get caught up in decluttering and minimalism and end up getting rid of things we cherish and that add value to our lives. Certain items have value beyond their worth.
This is your journey along a mindful and minimalist life. Being mindful of why we choose to keep some things while getting rid of others is living mindfully.
A couple of sentimental items I keep are my great mother's glass storage canisters that have been used by my grandmother, mother and now myself. They remind me of where I came from and how the simplest things can be both useful and beautiful.
When we downsized, I was emotionally connected to many things, but I didn’t necessarily need to keep them. I took pictures of them. This turned out to be a wonderful way to keep the memory of the item near me without keeping many boxes of memorabilia.
How Many Duplicates Do I Need?
This is the question I ask myself when I’m decluttering an area I may have multiple of, like the kitchen.
This question is a quick, direct, non-emotional way to determine if I need duplicate items.
This question was asked many times to decide what items would come into the RV for our 18-month travels around the USA.
I laid out all of my utilities, and asked myself, “How many spatulas do I need? How many wooden spoons do I need.?” It was a wonderful process of elimination.
There is no magic number of items a minimalist is required to have. By being mindful of the number of items I NEEDED, I was comfortable knowing that I wasn’t going to throw away things that I used.
Is This Item ADDING Value?
For me, minimalism is not about depriving myself. Minimalism is having enough to fill my needs and not having excess. I rarely buy furniture. However, when I began using Zoom to meet with clients, the natural light from the window wasn’t sufficient. I fixed the problem with a simple lamp. The lamp is adding value because now my clients can see me.
When decluttering my bookshelf, this question comes in handy. homeschooling my daughter we needed many books for her education. After she had finished the book, we could donate it to the library because it was no longer adding value.
As you go through your belongings, notice if the item is adding value, or contributing to your home, work, or health.
Would I BUY it AGAIN?
While decluttering I would feel guilty about letting go of an expensive item.
Even if I never used it, it didn’t add value, and I didn’t even like it very much. I would be stuck between feeling buyer's remorse and guilt for donating it.
We aren’t perfect. Sometimes our purchases were not perfect decisions either. But keeping around a thing I didn’t even like out of feeling bad about buying it didn’t make sense.
I found a way that helped me act mindfully was to ask, “Would I buy this thing again?”
If I wouldn’t then I let it go. Because no matter how expensive the item was it was not serving me.
Honor where you are and how you are feeling today. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to live minimally. Your minimalist journey will be as unique as you are.