Why Decluttering is the New Shopping
The holiday season is always all about spending money on new things. This year, I have decided that decluttering is the new shopping for me. Why declutter, you might ask? Decluttering makes us mindful and helps us appreciate the things we already own more.
Decluttering is never over, it is something you have to do consistently because our lives change and so do our possessions. Here is how and what I am mindfully decluttering this year.
Am I still getting value out of this?
My living room is one big open space, and we deliberately chose to have everything out and open so we can see and enjoy all of our favorite things. Since we do not have a TV, I wanted books and music to be our main entertainment.
However, over time it became pretty clear which books and vinyls I read and listened to over and over again and which ones were just there collecting dust. For example, I am not getting the same value out of the philosophy books from my college days anymore.
When letting go of items, I like to think that others could be enjoying and getting value out of this, just like I once did. It makes the letting go process just a little bit easier for me.
When did I use this last?
The kitchen is our most used room in the house, and it is probably the most cluttered space. There are kitchen tools I no longer use, borrowed Tupperware that never found its way home, and plenty of other irrelevant things.
Since it can start to feel overwhelming, I like only to dedicate about 30 minutes or an hour to get rid of as much as possible within that time. Setting the timer really helps me to go through each item pretty quickly, instead of going down memory lane or contemplating each item for too long.
This is the chance to open up all the cabinets, and all the drawers, clean all the surfaces and organize everything.
As you put them back, ask yourself, when was the last time I used this? I think a good rule of thumb is if you have not touched it in six months, you probably will not be needing it anytime sooner.
Do I have duplicates?
Ideally, we only keep products we use daily in our bathrooms, but we cannot get rid of the medicine, toiletries, or cleaning supplies that we need from time to time.
I think a good place to start decluttering in the bathroom is by looking for duplicates in your bathroom products and makeup. How many lotions, soaps, and brownish-pink lipsticks do I really need?
I love certain products or brands, so when I am not careful, I will always buy duplicates without noticing them. Once I minimize, I plan to keep an inventory of all the things I have and, of course, be more mindful of what I bring into my home moving forward.
How does this fit into my life?
For most of my life, I dress for my fantasy self. The problem is, I have more than just one. The fantasy self is an idealized image of who we want to be. And while this can be a fun way to experiment with style, it can also lead us to buy too many clothes that are out of touch with our reality.
When I go through my clothes, I try to picture what my day actually looks like. I work from home, walk the dogs, exercise, attend family gatherings, and occasionally go out for lunch and dinner.
This requires mostly trustworthy basics that I can mix and match, comfortable activewear, and a couple of going-out outfits that I will not get tired of.
Ideally, I want to build a capsule wardrobe that would truly reflect my personal style and my lifestyle. I feel like I am slowly getting there.
What does this mean to me?
What is your most treasured item? Mine is probably a Jasmine music box from a Disney store in Paris.
Every time I listen to the melody, it takes me back to that hot summer day, roaming around the city with my mom, dad, and sister. It is not old and faded, but my love for it will always remain.
There are things I am willing to let go of, like things I have outgrown. At the same time, other things I will always keep others, even if they take up space.
The biggest mistake I made when I first started decluttering was getting rid of too many sentimental items that I now cannot get back.
Yes, it is good to minimize, and of course, I can take a picture of it and keep it digitally, but it will not be the same feeling as holding it in my hand and taking that moment to relive a little moment of my past.
I do not attach too much meaning to physical things, but I also know I do not want to live completely bare and sterile. This is why decluttering is not just an act of getting rid of things. Instead, it is actually about finding the right balance and getting to know ourselves.
In the process, we must decide what brings value to our lives and what does not anymore. I think it is challenging because nobody else other than ourselves can tell us this.
Try looking into your home, and I am sure you will find that you already have everything you need. Moreover, you might find that it is time to pass along the thing that you love to the person that you love, which can be the greatest gift to both of you.
I hope that this article has given you some food for thought and helped you at the beginning of your decluttering journey. Why do you declutter your home? What principles did you find useful while decluttering? Please share in the comments!