“Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris
While it is good to be blessed, some of those blessings that come in forms of “stuff” can become overwhelming! Sometimes a life event such as a birth of a child that you need to make room for, downsizing, or moving to a new house or even office; especially a long distance move, can force you to make some hard decisions about what to keep and what to take. Often this motivation is fueled by the cost to ship, move, or will it fit in the car or trailer. The point is, it may be easier to simplify and de-clutter along your life journey than later when someone accumulating has been in the same house for a long time, say 30 or more years.
A lesson on how to do this efficiently and within budget can probably be learned from our military families who often move frequently. Recently I learned about an intriguing idea that I personally have found useful, especially in letting go of sentimental items that I really do not need to keep any longer. This idea is from the work of Marie Kondo*, author and organizing consultant, who suggests asking yourself does the item bring you joy? If it does not, can you give it “gratitude” for serving you in the past and then let it go?
Yes, I thought “thanking” inanimate objects might seem kind of silly, but I have found it useful for those harder items that I felt I needed to hold onto throughout the years. I have also found that it is better to save sorting through the sentimental items, pictures, and paper files for another day all its own when you are especially ready, time-wise and emotionally to do this. Saving the harder items for another day will not impede your progress “today” when you are really wanting to get some noticeable de-cluttering done. Remember, the goal is to bring you happiness and peace to your space! De-clutter and simplify until you reach your comfort zone.
Comfort zones are individual and may change depending on where we are in life.
Below is a check list to help you in your own goal of simplifying and de-cluttering.
“7 Simple Questions to Help You to De-clutter Your Space”
1. What is it’s purpose in your life?
2. Do you use it? (When was the last time?)
3. Do you need it?
4. Do you really enjoy and appreciate it?
5. Does it have sentimental value?
6. Can you live without it?
7. Can you “Thank” it for serving its purpose and then re-home it? (Pass it on to an admirer of the object, sell, donate, throw it away)
Of course, I am not advocating that you go bare bones. Remember it depends on “your” comfort level. And let’s face it, there are some things that each of us have that we will probably never get rid of as they remind us of another time too precious to forget in our lives. I know for me two items that bring me joy are two tiny pottery treasures made by my sons little hands that continue to hold their place of honor on the mantle.
*Resource: (Gratitude and thanking the item)
Kondo, Marie (2014). The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of
de-cluttering and organizing. Ten Speed Press, Random House LLC., United States.