My husband and I spent a leisure day at the beach and ended up in more traffic than usual on our way home. We have family coming into town for the weekend and I still had not finished decluttering my pile to complete counting my personal possessions. Instead of going through my things relaxed, now I was under a limited time frame to complete the project.
I’ve been putting off decluttering and surprisingly adding to the pile simply because I was distracted. I’ve been focused more on other things. Yes all of those things need the attention that I’ve been giving them, yet that is no excuse to allow my pile to increase. I would add a notebook or two one day, or some new craft supplies still in their reusable shopping bag, or even put my dance bag right on top of the pile just because. I hadn’t attended to the area like I originally planned, and I was making it worse strictly out of procrastination.
Needless to say I sorted it out so that it wouldn’t be there, but I waited for weeks before getting to it. There is nothing minimalist about a pile of stuff even if it isn’t that big. Getting down to the specifics of every single item I own is a bit tedious. I’m not going to say that this process had been fun and filled with joy since that’s not the complete truth. It is only fun and filled with joy when you are not rushed and it’s finished. Sometimes you do need to put it aside and be okay with the mess for a short time, yet don’t take more time off then needed or it will continue to accumulate.
I am very clear that the minimalist lifestyle is a truly freeing way to live. I was able to tidy up the space, toss a bunch of things out, and make the place ready for company pretty easily only because I’ve been consistently downsizing. I don’t know why I waited so long to attend to the cluttered mess in the first place. I do think that leaving that pile alone for awhile made it even easier to get rid of more things once I came back to it. Here are a few things that do help with this process.
1. Toss out the obvious trash and junk mail right away.
I get rid of the envelopes of bills and paperwork that needs to be filed immediately. Going paperless is even better.
2. Consolidate the clutter to one area and go through it daily.
You will see the pile decrease every day, and be able to enjoy the organized areas of your home. Sometimes you just can’t get to it every day and that’s okay. The pile will still get smaller if you stick to downsizing as much as you can.
3. If the item that you are looking at has a proper place put it there.
It is usually miscellaneous items that create the most clutter.
4. Keep your shredder near by for moral support.
Creating a pile that needs to be shredded can make a bigger mess. Shred as you go through your paperwork instead.
5. Be honest about sentimental items and give them a time limit.
I still have a piece of artwork that I doubt that I will ever frame. If I don’t get a frame before the month is up I probably won’t. Someone else may enjoy having it on their wall instead.
The minimalist journey continues…
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)