You are probably wondering how does security fit into the clutter equation, and of course I am going to give you my answer to that. Sometimes we keep our clutter because we want to be secure in the fact that it will be there just in case we do need it one day. We may think we will need it to remind us of loved ones or good times and don’t want those memories to slip through our grasp. We may think we need it because it may actually come in useful one day. And in extreme case we may think we need it to stave off some impending disaster that might befall us.
Either way we keep things for the secure feeling they offer us.
But tell me this, will you really forget the ones you love or have loved in your life just because you rid yourself of a trinket that you are tired of dusting. In some cases this can be an object the you don’t even like and never have but for the memories it holds. I can assure you that the thing holds nothing, it is you that holds those memories. If, by some unfortunate fate, your memories fade, the knowledge of what that thing represents will probably fade with it.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with holding on to things that hold significants for you but do you need to cling to twenty objects that represent the same significance? Would not one of two or your favourites suffice? When I first began my 365 less things challenge I owned numerous items that were given to me after my Grandmother died. I have since reduce those item to two. The cup I used at her home when I was little and the Crucifix that stood on her coffin during the church service. I still use the cup and the Crucifix stands on my bedside cabinet. But even without those items I know my memories of her would still be strong and clear.
As for the “I might need it some day” clutter. My husband has a tool in the garage for bleeding the brakes on his motorbike. It is something that he uses very infrequently, doesn’t take up much room, can’t be substituted by anything else and saves us money. Therefore it would be silly to get rid of it. However, I have a rotary grater in my kitchen that I only use for one recipe, a sharp knife could perform the same task, it is kind of bulky, and I have several other graters, so I think it is about time I got rid of this item.
Ask yourself the following question when it comes to these kinds of items…
- Have I used it in the last three months?
- If I am not using it now what are the chances that I am going to use it in the future.
- Could I get by without it even if I eventually did started doing the thing that it is useful for?
- Could something else I own perform the same task?
- Do I use it often enough to warrant the space it takes up?
- Could I borrow one from a friend or family member should I “need” one in the future?
The fact of the matter is that you have come to my blog for a reason. You have most likely already decided that you have got to a stage where you would rather a life without your clutter than to keep it. You and only you can decide what stays and what goes. Begin with the easy things and let momentum drive you forward. Once you start to see the difference your steady decluttering is making, you may just become more ruthless with the things you once thought you couldn’t live without.
Then there is the extreme case. Maybe you have got to the stage where you feel you need to hoard all kinds of things that aren’t being used because you would feel insecure without them present. In this case perhaps it is time to do the Clutter Image Rating Scale to determine the extent of your clutter and whether you need to seek professional help. Hoarding is an illness not a life choice so please if you think you are in too deep seek help.
Today’s Declutter Item
We sold this chest of drawers for $30 through the community message board at my husband’s workplace.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
I am grateful that four and a half years ago we chose the townhouse we are now living in as our new home. We wanted to live in this area but there were no houses available so we settled for this townhouse. Little did I know how much happier I would be in a smaller home. Isn’t it amazing how one can change their mindset from being envious of their neighbours for their bigger homes to being grateful that those big homes aren’t mine to clean and care for. If it wasn’t for this choice I dare say I would still be swimming in clutter. Thank you hand of fate.