For at least 15 years I have gone through phases of clearing out lots of stuff, but then I have always bought more. This year feels different, in that I’ve started to feel really suffocated by the things I own. I very often feel like I want to get rid of things, even things which in the past I felt it would be difficult to get rid of.
In the last few weeks, I have sorted through the bookshelves and DVD shelves in the living room, and got rid of at least one small case full of books, and a small box full of DVDs. I used to find it quite painful to get rid of books and DVDs when I thought about what they’d originally cost me. Somehow I must have made the switch to thinking about them in terms of what they cost me now in space and wellbeing, rather than what they originally cost me in cash.
After that I sorted through the shelves of recipe books in the dining room and got rid of lots of them either by trading in (the smallest pile!), to the library, to the charity shop or recycling for free handouts from magazines and supermarkets.
I also sorted through my wardrobe and drawers, and filled a large suitcase full of clothes to go to the charity shop. I find clothes quite easy to get rid of, and clear them out regularly, but I have become a bit harsher in recent years.
Even though this wasn’t very long ago, I’m already looking at the same shelves and thinking that there is more stuff which could go. I suppose it’s good in a way, but also a bit concerning in that I don’t know why I’m much more ready to declutter now, and in the back of my mind I wonder if I’ll regret getting rid of all this stuff later.
I also have one major issue with decluttering, which is that my hoarder husband is unable to resist empty space. Therefore, if I do any decluttering of my things, I have to replace my items with things which he already has in the house. If I don’t do that, he will buy new things to put in the empty spaces, while ignoring the boxes full of items he already owns. Needless to say, the decluttering of any of his things is strictly forbidden!
Lately I have heard a couple of things about Dave Bruno’s 100 things challenge, and even though I feel like I have too much stuff, I feel like 100 things would not be enough to live with. If I just got rid of a suitcase full of clothes, then I probably have more than 100 items of clothing, before I count anything else. So this weekend I plan to start an inventory of what I own. I hope that seeing it all written down will give me some perspective and allow me to see clearly where some elements can be trimmed. I think I could fairly easily get rid of another 100 things right now, so maybe I’ll do that as well. My ultimate goal is to be able to fit everything of mine into a large suitcase so I can move easily if I need to.