Every home has items that are never considered for decluttering. Mostly useful items that are in service continually but also beautiful items that are admired or sentimental items that you wouldn’t dream of letting go. These items never feel like a burden to the household because they are a valued part of everyday life. They are used and used again, used up and then replaced or on display somewhere where they can be admired or remind us of happy times, successes or loved ones.
Then there are those items that are only lingering because we haven’t got around to donating, selling or tossing them. Stuff we’d have no qualms about decluttering if we could face the prospect of weeding them out and dispatching them. These items are the easy ones to let go of when we finely decide enough is enough it is time to declutter. Parting with them is only a physical thing no a metal challenge. These are the items to concentrate on first when we begin our declutter journey.
And then there are the problem items, these are the ones which we have trouble letting go. You know the ones.
- Items you keep out of obligation, such as things that have been gifted to you by someone else and you feel obliged to keep them even though you don’t really want them.
- Aspirational items that your inner most being craves to make use out of but the right time or creative inspiration never seems to strike or has long ago left you. Memory tells you these items are useful and that you should hang on to them but all they do is linger and make you feel a that you have failed them in some way.
- Then there are the sentimental items whose lesser significance to the truly loved memorabilia merely relegates them to a box deep in the attic somewhere. Sure when you pull them out you oooh and aaarh over them remembering good time but then they get sent back to where they came from for another ten years.
- And lets not forget the I might need you one day items. Sure you may have a use for some of these items one day but to say you may need them could be stretching reality a little. Stop and think about the things you do use all the time, even some of those are things you could live without. So don’t allow the thought of future regret plague your decision to let go of stuff the isn’t being used and hasn’t for a long time.
This blog post was inspired by a segment in Gretchen Ruben’s new book ~ Happier at Home. She talks about engaging with the items that you haven’t used or appreciated in a while. If you are having trouble deciding whether to keep them or to let items go try putting them into service ~ use them, bring them out and put them on display for a while. Give them one last chance to redeem themselves and if you still aren’t loving them or finding them particularly useful then just liberate them to someone who may find them more useful that you do.
This process can be applied to a few items at a time so you can focus your attention on them for enough time to assess their worth. This can be done while you continue to declutter the items that you are happy to remove immediately. With the slow and steady approach both processes can go on simultaneously so no time is wasted.
I have done this with many items over the last three years of my possession downsize. Some things I have used up and not replace. Some things I have put into use but not found them useful while others I discovered a newfound appreciation for. Things I have kept out of obligation have been viewed with a new neutral mindset and have either past muster or been added to the donation pile. Either way I have been satisfied that I am making the right decision for me and my home at this time and followed through on that decision.
So if in doubt give the item one last chance, in other words either use it or lose it.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter a pair of shoes that you no longer wear. Perhaps ones that are pretty but a torture to wear. Ones that are old favourites but are really so shabby you never, or shouldn’t, choose to wear them anymore. Or maybe a pair that are so ugly you wonder why you ever bought them in the first place.
Eco Tip for the Day
Add a few one pot meal to your weekly menu. Cooking everything at once saves on electricity and your precious time. I often also cook the meat portion of my meals separately but cook all my vegetable together one way or another. A slow cooker or a set of steamer saucepans come in handy for this method of cooking.
For a full list of my eco tips so far click here