In the spirit of optimism I was anticipating a jump in Australian readers today due to my live-to-air radio gig on Nightlife with Tony Delroy on ABC radio last night. If that is the case I would like to extend a hearty…
…to those new readers and I hope you will find my blog informative, helpful, friendly and at times maybe even a little entertaining.
Aspirational clutter is any items that you aspire to using one day but one day never seems to come or items you used to use and “intend” to use again, but that never seems to happen. This could include…
- Craft/hobby supplies that you used to enjoy using but haven’t touched in ages.
- Bits and pieces of things that you swear you are going to make something out of. For example computer parts.
- The broken down old car in the back yard that has been sitting there for years.
- A shelf full of cookbooks that are only gathering dust while you cook the same old favourites that you know the family loves and you could make with your eyes shut.
- Books piled up on shelves that you read years ago and keep for the day you are inspired to read them again.
- That boat in the shed that has been rotting away while waiting for you to retire by the lake.
- Sporting equipment for a sport you think you might want to take up again when you have more time.
- Clothes you will fit into again when you lose that 20lbs you gain when 5 year old Johny was born.
…all of which are likely to be one or all of the following ~ out of date, out of fashion, perishing, collecting dust, wasting space and worst of all causing you angst.
When these items come into your field of vision they usually make you cringe either because of the money you have wasted on them, the disappointment in yourself for not living up to your own expectations or frustration from not having the time or energy to devote to them and knowing that you probably never will. In some cases these items represent an interest that although you had an idea to dabble in you really didn’t have the aptitude for.
My first advice is don’t be too hard on yourself and also don’t ever let this situation deter you from aspiring to other dreams in the future. My second piece of advice is to make a calculated choice as to what unsettles you the most, the thought of decluttering these items or thought of continuing to live with them cluttering up your home. What is greater, the chance that you are never going to use them or the chance that you are going to regret getting rid of them? Can you perhaps downsize your collection and see how you feel about that rather than getting rid of it all in one fell swoop.
If you find yourself on the fence, so to speak, not able to make a decision one way of the other perhaps it’s time to enlist the opinion of those close to you. Your wife may have been biting her tongue for months/years waiting for you to remove that eyesore from the back yard. You husband is secretly delighted that you might finally declutter your craft supplies and free up some space so he can reconfigure his well used office area. The kids will be so relieved that all that junk is out of the garage and they can get in and out of the car without worrying about scratching the paint on the doors. The thought that one choice could bring pleasure to someone you love may just make the decision a whole lot easier.
Finally, if you do decide to declutter don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t dwell on guilt, regret or disappointment. Rejoice in the fact the you have added tranquility to your surroundings, relief from unfulfilled aspirations and the freedom to open your mind up to new pursuits. With a little effort you may be able to find a new owner for you stuff who will immediately use and enjoy the gifts you bestow on them.
The lesson for the future is to try before you buy next time. Make sure you are ready, willing and able to enjoy the next pursuit you aspire to before equipping yourself for it. And even when you are sure, make certain to only take on enough supplies/equipment to enjoy the pastime without it taking over your life and space.
Today’s Declutter Item
Some of these old records have been with me for thirty plus years and most of them haven’t been played for about twenty years. I am not sure why I have hung on to them for so long. I am sure most of them are available on CD or can be downloaded to iPod and lets face it we decluttered the record player back on day 150 of my challenge back on May 30 last year.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
Although I am writing this post in advance I know that today I am going to be grateful and relieved that my live-to-air radio experience is now in my past and that anxiety is out of the way for now. I hope that I have proved to myself I can handle a situation like that just in case I am called upon to do it again in the future.