One of the gifts I received for my birthday was a selection of new books. One of them, this. I had heard so much about it, and I have to say that just by owning it, I’ve been inspired to get rid of my clutter. I’ve read about half way through it, and these are the two things that stood out to me so far. 1. Does this item spark joy? If not, get rid of it. 2. Don’t feel guilty to get rid of stuff. That Christmas card you received 2 years ago? It’s fulfilled its purpose in making you feel thought of and special in the moment you received it. That was the purpose of the card, not to sit in your drawer for many years to come. Same with that gift you received and never used. It was supposed to make you feel something in the moment you received it, and no gift giver would want you to keep something out of a sense of obligation, even though you have no use for it.
Living in a Brooklyn apartment, we have very limited space to store things, and come to think of it, to live in. So we constantly re-evaulate what we keep and use, but not enough.
Yesterday we didn’t have any plans, and after a morning of playing and errand running with the boys, I got busy. I started with our bedroom and sorted through our closet and drawers. The first thing I did was to get rid off every single wire hanger. During that process I handled so many items and got rid of so much. A giant garbage bag filled with clothes to give away. I re-folded everything.
Then I moved on to the kids’ art, puzzle and game cabinets. I went through all the art supplies and discarded dried up markers and stuff I bought or was given and never used. The thing is, if you haven’t used it until now, you never will. It’s such a liberating thing to get rid of stuff.
And then, for the grand finale of the day, I went through a cabinet of “Frauke stuff.” Old letters, photos, Christmas cards, thank you cards to my children from friends they no longer remember, lots of old bank statements and paper, paper, and more paper. Two giant bags full of paper things. It was so freeing. And I was so happy to find quite a few gems. Such as this! Did this spark joy when I saw it? Definitely yes. It’s a keeper.
Anyway, this is probably a boring read for anyone who isn’t me, but it was such a freeing and empowering process, and I am not done yet. There are more projects to tackle and more stuff to get rid off. Maybe 2016 will be the year of living clutter-free?