Before my husband and I were married I was sure that it was time for us to move after the wedding. This had been our first place together and I still couldn’t get it as neat and organized as my previous home. I was extremely frustrated.
Just the thought of our space annoyed me, and I seldom invited friends over because the energy just wasn’t right. Two months after our honeymoon I decided to do something about it and stop complaining.
The main thing that I realized is that it was I who had consumed more than I’d honestly like to admit since we had lived in this apartment. It had been easier to point my finger at my husband. The truth is that I shopped more than him.
I began decluttering as much as I was able to each week and sometimes daily if I could fit in some time. I started with my closet and began purging everything that I didn’t like. If I wasn’t sure about the item, I wore it the next day to see how I felt in it. If I didn’t feel absolutely amazing, it was sold or taken to Goodwill.
Next I began paring down on towels and linens. We had just received new bamboo bed linens and a gorgeous set of organic cotton chocolate colored towels as wedding gifts. I then purged all of our other towels except our beach towels, and kept only one other set of bed linens. I then moved onto cosmetics, paperwork, decorations, and anything else I could get my hands on and free myself of.
The more I cleared out, the easier it became! I finally took my power back and no longer felt overwhelmed and unhappy with our living space.
Over the months of decluttering I have found a new love for our apartment. It is more welcoming than it has ever been, and I no longer feel the need to look for a new place as I am more content than I’ve ever been right here. Our once disorderly and deranged space had opened up in ways I never thought it could.
The process hasn’t stopped because our apartment looks beautiful and open though. I have found more nonsense in my organizational bins and containers than I thought possible. The decluttering is now at a place where I can truly nitpick and take it to a higher level.
This past Saturday I filled the middle of the living room floor with all the rest of the items that I never look at or go through during the week. Now mind you I’ve been decluttering since December 2009. Some of the bins I put in the center of the room were filled with art supplies, paperwork, and then more things that I had no idea I even owned. I couldn’t believe that I found the hand held sewing machine that I bought when I lived in Brooklyn in 2002! That immediately went in the bag for Goodwill since I have an awesome sewing machine that I do use!
I dedicated much of the day going through everything off and on until it got late and I had to put what was left to the side for later. I was able to recycle two bags, toss one, and donate three with what I sorted out with the process I describe in my articles Be Clutter Free and Declutter Now–Minimalist Home Inspiration. I am in awe that no matter how I’ve gone through my possessions over the past months there is still more to look through. I am also in awe how much lighter our home feels and how much better everything looks each time I pare down. I feel lighter than ever and I’m loving the freedom of not “needing” as much as I thought I did. As the process continues the chi only gets better.
Cheers to lightening the load!
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)