I received the following comment from Whisper last week which I think holds an important lesson when it comes to decluttering. Whisper wrote…
“A month or so before my move, I tried a half-cull of my jewelry (suggested in The Minimalist Packrat) – getting rid of a piece for every piece I was keeping. I don’t think I managed to be completely 50/50, but it really helped me reduce to a more manageable level. This was after 3 or more less than productive culls where I just looked for things I didn’t want. It took the irritation of my unproductive attempts to try a new way. Another example of frustration ending up helping.”
…and here is my response…
“What you are saying about culling your jewellery by half rather than just choosing the pieces you really didn’t want makes sense to me too. I use a similar approach with many things in my home. Instead of considering what I don’t want I think about how much less I do want. The desire to minimise usually usurps the desire to keep certain things I still feel slightly attached to.”
Instead of focusing on the things you think you want to keep or don’t want to keep focus on what you want the ultimate outcome of your decluttering to be. Like Whisper, if you want to reduce a certain category by half focus on reducing by half and don’t allow half hearted interest in certain items to convince you to keep them.
Take my kitchen for example. I have revisited the decluttering task in my kitchen over and over again. My kitchen items probably take up only two thirds of the space they used to. I have chosen to keep several things in the past just because they are aesthetically pleasing, suit my tactile nature or just in case I need them one day. But what I really want is to reduce the items to at least half of the original quantity.
I don’t need three different sets of bowls that can perform the same task just because they are all lovely in there own special way. I also don’t need four casserole dishes that haven’t been used in twelve months. I could keep two just in case and declutter the rest. I know that I can always replace them guilt free by picking up secondhand ones at the thrift store in the unlikely event that I might someday have a need for them. Not that I think this will ever be necessary. Now that I think about it I believe most of the items I have mentioned came to me secondhand in the first place.
So to put this plan in a nut shell ~ Just choose your goal and only keep the items that you want, need or like the most to fit with that goal. If your desire to declutter is strong enough this really won’t be a challenge.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something that you keep in case of an emergency that never arises. Perhaps your first aid box needs decluttering or maybe you kept that pair of crutches from a previous injury like I have. Granted, I have used my pair on three separate occasions, but three times in seven years doesn’t justify keeping them.
Today’s Declutter Item
As per today’s mini mission here are the crutches I am decluttering today. Hopefully my optimistic attitude of not needing them again in the future will hold true to reality.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
I wasn’t looking forward to housecleaning yesterday but it feels so good now that it is done. I am grateful that the task is made easy by the fact that there is so much less to dust and shift after all my decluttering. I find time to deviate off the usual tasks to accomplish a few extras because if this.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast