I can’t ignore the signs of the universe pointing me toward clearing out some of the physical clutter in my life.
- Had lunch with an aunt last week who is a minimalist and encouraged me to keep memories, not stuff (She’s very wise and her words hit home for me)
- Consistent posts (like 2 a day) week in my feed about reducing clutter, cleaning out your life, not becoming a hoarder
- Featured picture showed up in my Facebook feed last night….twice
I wanted to throw my hands in the air at that point and say “I get it and I’m working on it!”
I really am working on it pretty aggressively this week. I’m managing to curb some of my hoarding tendencies and be a bit more realistic with myself. I think part of it is motivated by the nearer than ever possibility of downsizing, going from a 2 bedroom with tons of storage (outdoor storage, large storage closet, pantry, walk-in closet, yeah, I’m pretty spoiled here) to a 1 bedroom or maybe even a studio. I also get to pay about $200 more for the lack of space. Welcome to living in/near a major city.
Some of the things I’ve been hanging onto I know most people would be like, “Why are you keeping that?”
I’ve been asking myself that question more this week and not listening to what I previously perceived as rational excuses.
Magazines are a big one. I make collages and also like to keep old magazines that feature celebrities I like but the collection was getting out of hand. I made myself sit down, pick the ones I really wanted to keep, then I flipped through the rest tearing out pictures I wanted to keep and putting them in a sheet protectors in a binder. The amount of space saved is amazing.
When I was taking online classes I would print out all my text books because I hate reading too much on the computer so I had about 25 binders sitting in my office. Why was I saving all of these binders of books? In case I ever needed to reference them for something….I had a realization yesterday that I have all these books saved in a digital file, which takes up less room and is just as easy to access. All the pages were piled in a box to be taken to the recycling center and I’m going to try to sell the binders because they’re all still in great shape.
I went through my closet, creating a donation pile, throw away pile, and sell pile. If the clothes don’t sell they go to donation but figured it’s worth it to see if I can get $5-10 off some of my old stuff. I even found some full body lotions and sprays to sell and I can definitely use the money.
On the subject of selling old stuff. I try to avoid Craigslist because my experiences have been just lots of people e-mailing but no one follows up and some of the e-mails I don’t even respond to because they seem like a scam. I’ve found a few great local resources to sell things online.
I found a community group on VarageSale plus a few classified sites on Facebook. Check your county or city. These are great because you don’t have to worry about shipping. You can either have people swing by your place or meet someplace nearby. The only thing to watch with these sites (if you’re like me) is to avoid browsing too much because you will be tempted to buy because there are some good deals. I keep feeling tempted by cheap picture frames, clothes, books, etc.
I’m starting to learn though a good deal is only a good deal if you’re actually in need of something.
In some ways the cleaning is creating more of a mess mostly in the dining room area, which is where I’ve been piling up my donations and recycling but once that stuff is loaded into the car and dropped off I’ll feel so happy.
I’ve found even the little things are helping me to feel better. Today I opened up the pantry and for the first time in months I could see empty areas on the shelves (should have done some before and after pics but I’ll do that with the closet today). One of the things I’m finding as I clean is that I’m creating designated homes for things, so instead of having craft paint or glue in 5 different spots I created a craft box for those items.
Basically I’m not just getting rid of everything but also organizing along the way. It’s quite the project but I feel really motivated right now so it’s the best time to get it done. Today I’m tackling the large closet….think I’m gonna go extreme and actually pull everything out so I can also sweep and mop in there because I don’t know if that’s been done in there since I moved in….so it’s probably time.
It’s challenging for me because my natural tendencies are to hoard, keep everything for that “someday” moment when I might need it, but I’m trying to be more realistic with myself. I’m trying to accept that if I haven’t used something or worn something in over a year I’m probably not going to ever use it or wear it, so why not sell or give my stuff to someone who could actually put it to use?
Definitely makes more sense to me.