Truth? I still have stuff in the attic from when I jammed it all up there two years ago. Seriously. My goal for this year is to deal with the rest of it. In strange spurts of “extreme minimalism” I have taken even more stuff up there. But over time, a little voice in my head reminds me that I’m not actually living with less if it’s all just hidden. I’m pretty sure it’s like telling my parents my room is clean when all I really did was throw it all in the closet. It’s a nice, temporary fix but overall, it’s out of integrity with what I want to present as my life.
My favorite thing about going up there and dragging down a box or two of stuff is how much easier it has gotten to just let go of stuff. Logic make itself heard as it reminds me that I haven’t used the stuff in two years!
As I’ve experimented with moving my junk from one place to another, I’ve learned to train my brain to look at my things in new ways. Here are some questions I ask myself when trying to decide if I should get rid of something:
1. Do I love this?
2. Is it useful?
3. Do I think it adds beauty to my life?
4. Is it easily replaced?
5. Would anyone know what it is/care about it after I’m gone?
6. How much time do I think is required to take care of this item?
7. If I keep it, where will I put it?
8. Do I already have one?
9. Would it someone else love to have it?
(I so wanted to have 10 questions but I’m working on reducing my perfectionism so there it is)
At first, I found it difficult to even think about these questions. But over time – a lot of time actually – it got easier to ask and answer them. When I’m feeling “funky” I like to go into a drawer and find things to get rid of because it’s soothing to me to lighten my load. I still struggle with sentimental items but I don’t feel so overwhelmed by the ones I’ve chosen to keep. Practice is the key. Repetition and pushing through the more difficult questions has helped me along.
It’s not all easy. But it is easier. I feel it. I know it. And I get to experience the joy of a life of less things and more time for the people I love. Every time I put something into my “give away” box that feeling comes to me. The more I do it, the more I feel it.
That’s my encouragement to you today, dear reader/friend. The more you get rid of your things, the easier it gets. Not right away and not for all things. But it does get easier. If you are on your own quest for simplicity, don’t give up. You’ll get stronger if you keep going.
As always, I thank you from the bottom of my little heart that you take the time to read this. Whoever you are. Wherever you are.. :o)