Moving to a new house and downsizing make for a perfect opportunity to declutter. I’m a fan of decluttering and have rarely regretted discarding anything. Now that I’m nearing grandparent age, that large tub of Lego, though, is one!
The Marie Kondo technique of holding an object to decide if it gives you joy, will help in the decision making. And her advice to turn the focus from what will I throw out? to what will I keep? is brilliant!
Sometimes you can pick something up and feel intuitively that it has no place in your life anymore. My stunning, velvet, classic line, pants have been sitting in the wardrobe for years, unworn. That’s because my lifestyle has changed. It’s a rarity to need to dress up so much and I have other choices. I love them but don’t need them. My rational self has been a meddler in the decision to get rid of them. Maybe I’ll need them one day. Well, that’s not good enough. Someone else can benefit from them now. Thinking of yourself as generous may help this process.
Clothes decisions can be difficult but they’re manageable when you mean business and just do it.
For me, the kitchen stuff will be easy. I’m not going to need ten microwave dishes or twelve overly tall champagne flutes anymore. Who wants to entertain on that level? Likewise, do I really need fifteen vases when I only like having a small posy on the kitchen bench?
The difficult objects are those with emotional value: family heirlooms, wedding gifts, memorabilia. However, the same ruthlessness should apply. What can be passed on? What will the kids want?
On a here and now basis, what about the gifts from good friends, that you don’t use? Some of these might be from Christmas twenty years ago. Some from last birthday. If it’s a knickknack in a cupboard, an accessory not really your style, or one of a thousand bracelets you don’t wear because you only wear your favourite five, it is time to move it on!
And here is the ethical dilemma! What do you do with them? The last thing you want to do is offend a friend. They love you and have given you something they love. So, do you fess up and offer it back to them, declaring that you really enjoyed your time with it but now there is no room? Or do you stay silent and pass it on to someone else you love? Or put it on eBay?
To coin a cliché, this is a first world problem. And one exacerbated by affluence. I don’t know what the answer is, but the cowardly approach is looking good.
I can live with that as long as I’m not a coward in the decluttering.
My lifestyle has changed. My house size is changing. I’m getting old. I don’t want the shackles of being tied to things anymore. Decluttering will make me lighter and freer. And therefore, it needs to stay!
To my friends (who read my blog):
I really have loved all the gifts I’ve received and I’m keeping many. So many, that I don’t want any more! Your presence is all I need to keep me happy on my birthday, and maybe, the occasional luxury hand-cream or chocolates. 😉
I liked this blog when I was reading about Marie Kondo’s advice in her book, ‘the life changing magic of tidying up.’