I heard somewhere recently that it only take two weeks to start breaking out of old habits. The idea being, if you can persevere and ignore the cravings to continue in your old habit for two weeks, you will start to notice physically and mentally the change in your behaviour at this point and start to realise you can cope with the changes.
Hoarding is a bad habit that most of us have an addiction to to some degree. A bad habit that for the sake of a neat and clutter free environment we need to break.
According to the two week rule mentioned above once we set our mind to de-cluttering instead of hoarding we should be able to break the habit in a very short time. So ignore the craving to collect and push ahead with the process of ridding your home of unnecessary stuff and before you know it you will be cured.
I must say after 87 days of my resolution to de-clutter I am surely cured and can’t wait to find the next thing in my home to give away, throw away or sell off.
Just to prove my point today I have sorted through my scrapbook magazines with a little more ruthlessness this time and found another pile I am willing to part with that I wasn’t so sure of only two days ago.
Just found your blog today. Love the short pithy entries. I spent this last weekend seeing if I could remove 100 items from my bedroom. I made it to about 85, but was astounded that I found myself hesitating over shorts I rarely wear and turtlenecks I’ve maybe used once or twice a year. One thing per day sounds like a gentler approach. I did at least find myself balking at buying new pens when I realized I have tons of pens around my house that I rarely use. Now to keep it up! Thanks for the inspiration.
Colleen Madsen says
Hi Terrie and welcome to 365 Less Things. I see you have started reading from the beginning. I hate to inform you that the posts don’t continue being short for long. Hopefully they are informative enough to keep you interested though. It is crazy the things we hang on to sometimes. I have been saying to my husband lately and he agrees that I have been wearing some of my clothing items for way too long. They are getting shabby and unflattering. It is good to make the most of things but it isn’t necessarily good to start looking like you are from the poorhouse. This is however what I would call maintenance decluttering where you send things on their way as soon as you are done with them and not months after they have stopped being used. I will however be very mindful about replacing the items.
The pen thing I can really relate to. I have often mentioned that I think someone in my house was a pen kleptomaniac at one stage. We had so many that I have donated lots and still have a healthy supply. I actually concentrate on using one at a time and it is amazing how long it takes to run one out.
I’m trying to ease myself into a “lending library” approach to clothes shopping: Go to Goodwill and see what they have that is fun and flattering (if anything) and then replace one corresponding item in my closet with it.
At Goodwill prices, you can afford to do this without guilt, and if you’re careful about quality, you can wear really cute clothes this way, and can easily get rid of things when they get a stain or a rip or stop working for you.
It also seems easier to find good stuff at thrift shops if you aren’t looking for anything particular. (I once picked up by chance two pairs of dress pants in beautiful shape that fit like they were custom made for me — but just try going to look for dress pants at a thrift store when you need them — forget it! Murphy’s law ensures all that will do is stress you out.) With this method, you can ‘keep an eye out.’
Plus, it also frees up the clothes budget to pick up the things new that never seem to show up in a style you like at thrift stores. (I can almost always find shirts and often pants, but generally not sweaters. Formal dresses, but not much in the way of semi-casual skirts, etc.)
Of course, the temptation is to just stuff that one more item into the closet! So, this can be a bad approach unless you really commit to the willpower necessary.
Colleen Madsen says
I like your way of clothes shopping, swapping things over when they become boring for other secondhand items sounds like a fresh and environmentally friendly approach to fashion. I try to find time to check the racks every time I go to do my shift at the thrift shop each week. I have found a nice pair of capris and a dress. I donated back a skirt, a dress and a pair of capris. I am glad to say I never feel inclined to add to the mix without decluttering something in its place.