The Joy of Less
(Entry below was written sometime in 2009)
In total I have recently gotten rid of about 230 things, and every time it gets easier and feels better. Two bags full of clothes donated, two bags of other miscellaneous stuff donated, a big box of jewelry gone, pile of books and pile of CDs donated to the library, (and more to go) my hallway closet almost completely empty except for some scarves and 2 party dresses, and I’m still discarding.
For some reason, the idea of discarding one thing a day really clicked with me, and made decluttering something easy that I can do in small steps that really add up. I believe I first read about this tip in Francine Jay’s book, The Joy of Less. I took to committing to discarding one thing a day, and ended up discarding about 10-15 things each day over a period of a few weeks. Writing them down in a list was also helpful.
I want to have a minimal wardrobe, but that’s been hard for me. So what I have been doing is discarding a lot of lounge clothes and pajamas, which I really had in abundance. I got rid of a lot of things from my regular wardrobe, but I was weak and ended up replacing some of it.
I have been good about doing the ‘one new item in, one old item out’ rule though. That has been great for clearing space in my closet and dresser drawers. If you look at it as just getting rid of or donating one thing a day, it doesn’t seem so daunting to tackle a whole apartment.
It’s funny how being at work and having a physical separation from my things, make me think of more things I can let go of easily. It helps when I have them just in mind, and can’t see or hold something which I will then talk myself into keeping.
There is really very little that we need, and I am even starting to see some things that used to be vital to me as possible clutter, and thinking what would be the worst thing to happen if I just got rid of them.
It’s amazing how none of the decluttering books have motivated me as much as the minimalism books/blogs and online communities have. Especially the pictures of their minimal spaces and closets/wardrobes! The best decluttering book I’ve read is Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston, which kind of cemented this (living lightly) philosophy in my brain. I’m happy that I read it in my teens.
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