A Guest Post by Cecily Paterson
365 Less things has inspired Cecily to begin her own decluttering journey. She lives in a small town of 1500 people and last month started a column in her local monthly newspaper called 123 Out, all about getting rid of unneeded stuff. And this is her story…
When I first started on my decluttering journey I thought that it would be a simple matter of removing items from my house. I was wrong. Getting rid of things I don’t need or want has been an exercise in truth telling.
I had an idea that when I came to a pair of jeans that have been sitting in my cupboard for three years, unworn and a size too small, I might have to bite the bullet and admit that I am too large for them. When the little voice in my head reminded me that I might fit into them next year because I am thinking of getting fitter and losing a few kilos, I had to tell the little voice that the reality is that I don’t want to be fitter and I am not going to do the work to lose those few kilos.
I might think that being fit would be a good thing but the fact that I sit on the couch more than I get up to walk shows me pretty clearly my higher priorities. After I told the truth I could get rid of the jeans.
It was a little bit harder to deal with the urn in my pantry. I bought this three years ago with great intentions of inviting lots of people around and serving lots of cups of tea. Unfortunately it broke after its first use and it has been sitting in the bottom of the pantry ever since.
“I’m sure I can fix that,” I said to myself back then. “It would be a waste to get rid of it.” Three years later I still haven’t bought the glue with which to fix it. I have had to admit to being lazy and unconcerned. The image I like to carry around of myself of being someone who fixes things has had a slight denting. Still, now that I have told the truth I can get rid of the urn. (By the way, I am donating it to a charity shop with all its pieces. Hopefully someone with actions rather than just intentions might fix it and use it.)
Even more galling to my pride has been dealing with my craft cupboard. I have more unfinished craft items than I care to admit to. I have had to tell the truth about time and my use of it. It’s not good enough any more to say, “well, I’m planning to finish that when I get time.” The simple fact is that I use my time for other things and craft is coming low down the list of priorities right now. I can say now that I probably won’t ever finish some of these unfinished items, and just by saying that I have found the freedom to let them go.
The act of physical decluttering has made me do some work in emotional decluttering and telling the truth. It has been surprising but very worthwhile.
Today’s Mini Mission
Not too many people I know have an empty fridge/freezer front. There are usually photos and kids drawings, invitations and a notice board. Clear off everything that isn’t essential and try living with a clear fridge for a while.
Today’s Declutter Item
This seemed like a good idea at the time but in truth it tended to count two or mare steps for every step I took. I like things to be a little more precise than that. I think I used it for about a week before I was over it. Sadly I must admit that was about five years ago. The step it took was to the thrift store.