We have a lot of stuff. Slowly the last few years we’ve been cleaning out, but there is still too much.
What is it all? A lot of it is just memorabilia that we put aside because I scrapbook and I just haven’t had time to do it all yet. That gets cleared out as I use what I want and get rid of the rest.
Another big chunk is family stuff. Within 3 years we lost 3 of our 4 parents and acquired a lot of their stuff. There was plenty that was initially donated, but trying to get through years of more sentimental items was just too much at first so it got stored in the garage until we were ready to deal with it.
Of course, that just makes it easy to not deal with it because it wasn’t interfering with life. The cars still fit and it was out of the way, so it has sat there for too long. I’m not great at getting rid of sentimental clutter ever, but it definitely needs time to sit so everything doesn’t feel important. But, given the opportunity, I can always push it off to another day, week or year.
It also doesn’t help that we haven’t moved in years. We haven’t had to think about moving all of this stuff so it wasn’t a priority.
And then there is the rest. You know, the extra towels “just in case of a leak,” and the shoes that need the right occasion and the knickknacks that you stop seeing because they’ve just always been on the shelf. Appliance warranties that I would never find if I needed them and would look online anyway. Remotes from TVs that we don’t even own anymore that were stuck in a basket. Magnets that were sent with orders that get stuck on the refrigerator.
Most of that is the easy stuff. Yes, my ridiculously practical side warns me that I might need an extra few towels, beyond the reasonable extras that we already have, but I’m getting better at not thinking that way. I’m learning to figure out what I really need and let go of the rest.
So, I start with the easy stuff and then move to the harder things to let go. I remind myself that the memory isn’t attached to the item, but the event surrounding the item. I give myself permission to get rid of things given to me that weren’t ever really me to begin with.
We will never be minimalists. It’s not how we live or function. I have never asked an item if it sparks joy in me. I can’t live with 33 items of clothing/accessories/shoes total. But, I can clear away the old and make room for the new that we are embracing.
And each box of “clutter” that leaves the house? It means I have time for the things and people that are really important.