Sometimes in our homes we have items that on first inspection seem to be either beautiful, useful or truly sentimental to us or a combination of those values. These items have either gone under the radar or passed the clutter inspection and survived previous culls.
However as we continue on our declutter journey we tend to become more ruthless causing us to be more selective about what really is useful, beautiful or of sentimental value to us. Having experienced how good simplicity feels, our desire to continue on that path can easily eclipse old feelings of sentimentality or opinions of beauty or usefulness. This creates thought patterns that allow us to part with things that once upon a time we would possibly not have considered letting go. We question these items each time we encounter them, testing through a process of enquiry as to whether they will stay or go.
This strategy works the same whether you are not far along on your decluttering journey or almost at the end of it. It simply boils down to whether something really warrants a space in your home. And some items don’t pass this close scrutiny. Here are some examples of the scrutinising process below.
- I have a throw rug that my mother gave me. It has survived the cut so far because it is pretty and it performes the, not so important, task of tying the colour scheme of my living area together, and because it was made for me. What it hasn’t done is perform the task it was made for, that is keeping me warm on cold evenings. You see it makes me itch and sneeze so I can’t use it. My son did use it when he lived he but he has since left home. It got in the way when anyone wanted to sit in the chair that it was draped over. It often slipped off onto the floor. And I have plenty of other throw rugs. In the end all I am really keeping it for is because my mother made it for me and that isn’t enough of a reason. Result:~ I have offered the rug to my children. One had more than enough rugs already and the other had the same itch problem with it that I did so I have decided to donate it to the thrift shop.
- I had a flour sifter that used to belong to my grandmother. It did the task that it was made for and it had sentimental value for me. But the reality was that I hardly ever baked anymore and, for the occasions when I did, I could use one of the other two more versatile sieves that I had in my kitchen. I also didn’t need this item to remind me of my grandmother, I think of her often anyway. I decluttered the sieve and haven’t missed it.
- I have a big cooking pot. It is actually a pasta pot which included a slotted insert and also a colander. For years I have kept this set together simply because it came as a set and because it took up no more room whether I declutter parts of it or not. I can’t remember if I ever used it to cook pasta so the slotted insert was almost never if ever used. Also the colander was badly designed with a handle that if held while straining anything hot would result in some painful scalding of ones hand. Sanity prevailed some time ago when I finally broke up the set and donated the parts, I didn’t use, to the thrift shop. Perhaps I should have asked myself these questions sooner ~ Do I use all the parts? Are they even well designed? Would I miss any of the useless-to-me items if I broke up the set? and Is it likely that I am suddenly going to change my cooking habits and wish I had kept these items? The answers were no no no and doubtful, once I finally did ask them of myself. Now when we use it we don’t have to remove all those useless-to-us parts that once nested inside of it.
- I have a camphor wood chest that I have owned since I was 15 years old. It holds our spare blankets and duvets and some sentimental items from when my children were small (that also come under scrutiny periodically). It is hand carved and the rich warm wood colour suits our décor and I like it. Here are the questions I ask myself about this chest. ~ Is it useful to me? Yes. Could I do without it? Yes, there is plenty of room in the closets to store the items in it. Will it fit in a smaller dwelling should we finally make that move? Possibly not. Am I going to declutter it? Not now, I like it, I feel good about it and it is serving a purpose for now.
Use these examples to help you ask question of your stuff. Don’t be afraid to put your items under scrutiny, be honest with yourself over this and make the right decision for you in the moment. There will always be an opportunity to revisit your decisions again later if you feel you want to continue simplifying.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter some wall art. I have a set of eight canvases with photos attached from trips we have made to Europe. We have more than enough wall art so I offered these to my daughter last week and she said she would take them. She is coming to dinner tonight so now is as good a time as any to take them down off the wall and give them to her.
Eco Tip for the Day
Why not engage your eco friendly habits in your work place. Scout around to find ways to save water and electricity while at work. Suggest changes to you boss and coworkers. Don’t be deterred if your ideas are met with rejection just do what you can do and hopefully others might follow suit in their own time.
For a full list of my eco tips so far click here
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow