You know you should declutter, but you love your things and your stuff. They’re YOUR things and YOUR stuff. They have a story or a memory attached to them. If you declutter and recycle or donate them to charity, then you’re giving away your memory, right? Eh, not quite and the truth is, that’s not news to you. You know that. But you still can’t part with your things because it’s hard and you don’t want to. Knowing those things are in your house bring you comfort. It’s not just a memory, it’s a tangible memory. You can hold it and feel it and smell it.
The thing is, to be a minimalist doesn’t mean you have to be a cold, heartless person. You are allowed to hold onto a few things that are tangible memories. Just … not all of them. Eventually, you’re going to kick off and whoever is closest to you will be left with the stuff. And it’s not important to them, so guess what? They’re going to junk EVERYTHING.
A better bet? Limit your stuff and tell your friends and family that these select items are important to you and your history. Everything else can go. Now, once you have delegated the important items, it’ll be easier to donate or recycle the rest. Here’s an easy guide:
- Start with the small stuff. Once you part with random clutter, you’ll see how easy it is, but you’ll also see how roomier and brighter your home feels. It’s also easier to clean and keep clean.
- In considering the bigger items in your house, put a sticky note on it with today’s date. Wait a year. That’s right, an entire. Fucking. Year. It’s all about baby steps; I’m not going to pressure you into becoming a minimalist overnight. At any point during the year, if you use that item or fond memories are evoked, go ahead and remove the sticky note. At the end of the year, anything with a sticky note on it is something you haven’t looked at, used, OR thought about. Do you need it if you haven’t thought about it the entire year?
- Donate the item. Using the phrase, “Throw it away” doesn’t ease your feels if you’re emotionally attached. Throwing away your old dog collar after Sparky died is like throwing away his entire existence. Donate his collar and dog bed and toys to a vet hospital.
- If you absolutely cannot part with the item, that’s okay. You’re allowed to have things.