I’ve been steadily working my way though the process of discarding a bunch of stuff in order to live a more minimal life. It blows my mind when I think about how many car loads of belongings have been carted out of here…yet there is still so much left. It’s both a motivating and disheartening realization. There is still so much work to do.
As with any new goal, once the “newness” wears off it’s hard to keep going. I love to read, but by the time I reach the middle of nearly every book I pick up, I get bored and distracted by the promise of a new book and I put down the old one…never to return. This year I made a goal to actually finish 24 books so I’ve been powering through the middle-of-the-book slump, but the same can be said for other goals I’ve made both now and in the past.
Ever set a resolution to lose weight, eat right and exercise only to find by March you’ve given up? Ever started a week out with the best of intentions to cook every night, then by Wednesday you’re scanning the take-out menus? Yeah, me too.
I’m reaching my “March” the less exciting phase. The phase where the new idea of minimizing and the promise of the freedom that will follow have wained to the actual work of getting the job done (and the long road ahead).
So, I took some time to seek inspiration outside of my own head. Below are three ideas I’ve found that have helped renew my motivation.
- Take everything out. I was working room to room, drawer by drawer, closet by closet, etc. This is a great start and I got rid of tons of stuff doing this, but it doesn’t tackle the whole problem. Take your living room, for example, and move everything out (besides the big stuff that you’re for sure keeping). Doing this helps you see the room for what it truly is and what it truly needs. Then, simply put only the things you love or find useful back. What’s left is either stuff you don’t really need or want, or stuff that belongs somewhere else.
- Let go of the guilt. Feel guilty for getting rid of something? For me, some of the hardest things to dispose of were toys I bought my kids. There are such sweet memories attached to some of these toys that have been sitting, neglected in the bottom of the toy box. But, when I really thought about it the toys had served their purpose for our family. Stuff is only stuff, the happiness I felt choosing and giving them this gift wasn’t because of the toy it was because of them; and I still have them. The gift served its purpose it was not a waste, what is wasteful is letting it sit unused and unneeded…time for that toy to be a blessing to another family.
- Sell it. Hard to part with some stuff because it was expensive and barely used? Yep. Try selling it instead. Getting some money in return can help ease the sting of seeing some of your stuff go. This couldn’t be easier these days. I’m too busy and frankly uninterested in hosting a good ol’ fashioned garage sale (though this is a great way to rid yourself of stuff) so I took to Facebook marketplace. This was so ridiculously easy. I posted my stuff, set a price and within minutes had buyers who that same afternoon handed me cash for the stuff that was taking up space in my garage. This seriously has been so fun. As an added bonus, they came and got it from me! I didn’t even have to break my back lugging it to Goodwill. Just remember to be responsive and friendly!
For more decluttering inspiration…check out these books! There a quick read and can get you on the right track to tackling the extra stuff in your life.