When I help people declutter their homes usually the place they get stuck or have stayed stuck for sometime is with items they are uncertain they should let go of. Uncertainty is like a brick wall. We don't know what direction to go or what to do, so we end up doing nothing. The question I hear most often is, "What if I need this later?" My reply is always the same, "Have you used it in the past six months?"
If they are still questioning getting rid of one thing or ten my advice is this, put the item or items in a box, label the box with the date, and put the box in a location where you won't see it all the time. If after six months you didn't need, use, or miss what was in the box you can let it go. It may be one item or the entire box. If you've forgotten what was in the box don't open it. I repeat don't open it! Donate it.
After that box is set free, start walking around your home with a discernful eye and start another box. The item that you're thinking you may use someday, but don't know if you'll miss it, put it in the box with the date on it. Once it has been six months if you haven't needed to run to the box to get out that someday item, take it to the thrift store. It may only take one month of it being out of your sight and you enjoying having that extra space in the bathroom, bedroom closet, desk, or kitchen cupboards that you are ready to set it free before the six month mark. Good for you! Out of sight out of mind. When you are faced with looking at it everyday that's where the questioning comes from, "Should I keep this or get rid of it?"
If it's not useful or doesn't spark joy, but you're unsure if you might need it, give it a rest in the box. Here is to living a little lighter and letting go of the uncertainty.
Real Life Minimalists: Jessica
By miss minimalist | Leave a comment
This week we hear from Jessica, who tells us how decluttering can lead to so many positive changes in life.
Hi, I’m Jessica. My favorite mantra is “less is more.” I am truly a minimalist at heart. If I don’t love it or it isn’t useful, then it doesn’t deserve to take up space in my home. Hello, Thrift Store. :)
I became a Life Coach to empower people and coach them to possibility and truth so they can create a life they love. Whether that is with their home, relationship, finances or goals. Clutter isn’t just physical stuff it’s also mental and emotional. The less “clutter” we have around us, the clearer and more deliberate we can be about living a life that supports who we were created to be. My passion is helping people gain the momentum to move forward and intentionally take action in their lives.
In 2006 I met my husband and started living the American dream; working more and spending more. When my daughter was born in 2011 I started to weigh the cost of owning so much stuff. A quote that struck me was, “money is replaceable, and time is lost forever.” I wanted to stay home with my daughter as children are little only so long. I wasn’t a reader at the time, but when I would get home from working as a nurse on the evening shift and I couldn’t sleep…I started to read. The first book I read was “The Joy of Less.” Thank you, Miss Minimalist! I then read everything I could get my hands on regarding simplifying, minimalism, downsizing, decluttering and owning less. As I read I acted. Each day I would go through drawers, closets and cupboards to decide what really mattered to me. If it didn’t serve a purpose or spark joy, I released it. With each trip to the thrift store, I felt lighter and had so much more energy and clarity.
When we clear away the clutter, we clear away limiting beliefs that keep us stuck year after year. I have seen the positive impact that clearing the clutter has had on so many areas of my life. Simplifying and downsizing doesn’t happen overnight. The great thing about that is when we do things slow and steady, they tend to last.
My husband and I started paying off one bill at a time and eventually sold my dream equestrian facility we had built. We became crystal clear with our goals to become financially free. Let’s just say material belongings and debt didn’t win. Yes, I loved my beautiful 20 acre farm, heated barn and indoor arena but I love my little farm so much more!
I’m not going to tell you I don’t like nice things, but I am a lot more conscious now about what I spend my money on and what I bring into my home. I don’t just buy things to buy. I will choose experiences over possessions any day. I’m so thankful for what my journey has taught me up to this point in my life, and I want to encourage you on your path. I highly recommend having a support system in place because people will question you on your new ideas and think you’re crazy. If you are new to this journey, it can be very discouraging and really set you back. I’m here to tell you to keep foraging ahead. Simplicity is about the path less traveled, and it might not always be easy, but it will be worth it. POWER UP!
Spring is one of my favorite times of year! The season to open the windows and breathe new life into our homes. The time of year to purge what no longer serves us or feels heavy. Spring is about lightness, renewal and letting go of the things you no longer need so new things can bloom in your life.
When a home is too full there isn't room for new energy to come in. Energy can get stuck if we fill every nook and cranny of our living space. That's the feeling that keeps us weighed down and tired. When we think of spring we think of the days getting longer and recharging ourselves from the inside out.
When you do your spring cleaning this year and dust off your book shelf or coffee table be selective on the items you put back. Pick a few treasures that make you smile and get rid of the rest. If there's something you are really up in the air about, put it in a box and label it. After three months, if you haven't missed what was in the box, donate it to the thrift store. This works well with anything from clothes, dishes, shoes, you name it. If you've forgotten what was in the box you probably don't need it. Set the item free and let it bring joy to someone else. Our taste for things change and spring is a great time of year to freshen up your nest. Spring decluttering is our chance to decide if we really need twelve coffee mugs when we only use four?
The three questions to ask yourself when decluttering:
1. Do I love it?
2. Do I use it often?
3. Do I need it?
You won't need to ask these questions with every item but with the items that trip you up these are helpful. If you don't answer yes to any of these questions let it go! Your home and energy will thank you. I love the simple phrase Marie Kondo uses with her clients. Does it spark joy ?
Maybe at one point you did love it but now you don't feel the same. That's okay. Give yourself permission to donate it. Think about the joy it will bring another person. In exchange for the extra space you created there's room for something more significant to come into your life. It may be a new job, relationship, healthier body or hobby.
When you create extra space, more energy will come into your life and it will be easier to take a breath instead of feeling like your stuff is suffocating you. Start with a drawer or cupboard and when you accomplish that you will be ready to simplify larger areas like your kitchen pantry or bedroom closet. Spring is precious and short so when you're doing your spring cleaning do some decluttering while you are at it. You will be amazed at what blooms before your eyes, just like the new buds blooming outside your window.