After beginning the 33 Days Declutter Project some emotions are definitely coming up for me, and I’m only on Day 5. I’ve made so much progress over these past years on my minimalist lifestyle journey. Yet today I am feeling frustrated that I am still decluttering and have been since the end of 2009.
One major positive is that I’ve had the opportunity to take this process slowly since I have not had extreme circumstances for example moving to another country. I honestly believe that my idea of what minimalism can represent for my life has evolved greatly over the years. This new realization is why I’m motivating myself to reach the next level.
Today I’ve been sorting through paperwork. I believe that paperwork and sentimental items can be the most difficult things to declutter. One of the conditions that I stated for doing the 33 Days Declutter Project was to only go through paperwork once a week. I get very anxious looking through documents and items that need shredding or reorganizing. I’m not sure if any of you feel similar looking through paperwork, but I’m not having that much fun doing it. After it’s over I always feel good though.
Sentimental items are also a big challenge. We associate memories with different items. One of the greatest ways to keep a memory is by photograph. Digital pictures are definitely less cumbersome, but I still love actual photographs. Sometimes taking a digital photograph of an item makes it easier to let it go because you will still have the picture. I have a rather large bin of photographs that I will be going through this month. I’ve gone through this bin of photos once before, but I never downsized as much as I could have. Scanning them will certainly lighten the load.
Scanning things like greeting cards are another way to hold on to a memory without actually keeping it. I have more than a few greeting cards that could use scanning. I always say that I will scrapbook some of them, yet I have never made the time to do so, and some reason don’t see myself making the time in the near future.
Releasing three items a day hasn’t felt too overwhelming yet, although today is only Day 5 of this project. I’m holding myself accountable to complete this decluttering project before the end of the year. I know that the rewards will outweigh whatever negative emotions that I am experiencing today in the process. Some days have been very easy, yet today not so much.
I will say that I no longer look at my possessions the same way I did before since this project began. I tend to gaze over my things now with a second agenda wondering if I really need it or not. If something doesn’t feel just right to give away today, I’m hoping that if it isn’t loved or currently used that I will have the grace to get rid of it in the next few days or even week if I need that much time. I’m not sure how working through this project will feel over the rest of this month, but I am so excited to enter the new year in a lighter frame of mind, and with less things hanging around my place too.
Today I’m recycling a large stack of papers and used packing supplies, tossing a stretched out bathing suit, and giving away a wallet.
What’s coming up for you on this project, and what are you decluttering today? Read more about this project here!
(Image by Dawn Michelle)