I’ve been thinking a lot about stuff. When I say stuff, I mean the stuff I physically own. Initially, I was inspired by this post by The Realistic Organizer, which is a challenge to remove 60 items from your home in 60 days. As early as the third or fourth day, I realized that there was so much more that I could remove from my home. I’m not a hoarder or even a pack rat, but it seemed there were extra items everywhere from my closet to my kitchen. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going minimal, but for now I’m ready to take the next 40 days to pare down my belongings.
Don’t Declutter, De-Own
Whenever I have spent a fair amount of time decluttering, I have found that it was to make room for new stuff. I declutter my closet when I have a new Stitch Fix box coming. I declutter my box of markers when I’ve found some new colors to add to my collection. So you see how that goes, right? The boxes go out and more boxes come in. I realized that my usual system of decluttering hadn’t been working. I haven’t really gotten rid of anything because I continued to replace each item with new items. This time, I am not trying to declutter, I am trying to de-own. Instead of making room for new stuff, I am going to just make room. How would you feel about gaining some empty space in your home? I think it sounds pretty awesome too.
What Would You Move?
I moved into my current home only two years ago. At the time, we just about doubled our space. I remember thinking that we would have so much extra room! Fast forward to our current situation and there is no sign of extra space anywhere. I remember packing the boxes in my condo as we prepared to move and getting rid of so many things because I didn’t think they were “worth it” to pack. I realized that if I were moving today, I would probably get rid of quite a few things. Take some time and think about this. If you had to pack your home up today, are there items you would be willing to part with? Start there.
Get Rid of the “Back Ups”
You know that drawer you have with extra workout pants? Or the drawer with the t-shirts you have collected from those 5K runs? Yeah, I have them too. You see, I always have a backup of everything from tank tops to serving spoons. As I started to think about all of my “back up” items, I wondered if I really needed these items at all. I mean lets be honest, having an extra of something is great, but just how many extras do we really need? Can you imagine what kind of clothing emergency would necessitate 10 extra pairs of workout pants? Neither can I. Time to get rid of those “back ups” times ten.
Why 40 Days?
Lent is an important time for our family as we reflect on all of the ways we have been blessed and to prepare for Easter (more on our traditions here). It’s the perfect time to take the extras in our lives and donate them to those who can really appreciate them. Who needs a box full of stuff in their closet when it can be given to someone who can actually use the items inside? Giving items away can be beneficial to both parties. Got bags of clothing? Donate them to a friend in need. Got extra furniture or household items? Have the Vietnam Vets pick them up (so easy to coordinate). Short on cash? Take to your local tag sale on Facebook and list them for a few dollars. Do you have to fill 40 garbage bags? Maybe not, but consider making your goal to fill a bag of some sort. It doesn’t matter whether you give away 40 items or 400, so long as you make your space more pleasing and less stressful. Happy bagging!