At the start of 2016 I committed to getting rid of an item a day for the entire year (totally 366 items since it was a Leap Year)- I dubbed this my “decluttering project” in my year of simplify. I was unhappy with the quantity of stuff that I had, and wanted to see less when I walked into my house. I chose the word “simplify” for the year, and tried to get my brain on board.
Here are things that I did to help:
I listened to “The Minimalists” podcast and read “The Minimalists” blog each week. The two men who make up “The Minimalists” write a blog, which I’ve enjoyed in the past, and started a podcast this year. I have enjoyed listening to their thoughts on all sorts of topics including debt, gift giving, family dynamics, nutrition, finances, and how they have learned to live a simpler and more meaningful life. I love to listen to this podcast as I clean! One thing they consistently reinforce is that our things need to add value to our life. If things aren’t adding value, then they are adding stress or taking away something else of value.
I’ve gone back to the question “Does this add value or serve a purpose” quite often throughout my year of decluttering. This is what the minimalists reinforce in their podcasts, and it makes good sense to me! This guideline has helped as I’ve gotten rid of items.
I joined Joshua Becker’s “Uncluttered” Group. Not only do I enjoy the weekly emails and homework assignments that come through each week, but I’ve been challenged to think differently because of that. Once you join the Uncluttered course, you get to be part of the facebook group, which I love! People post articles, share what’s been working for them, and it keeps me going!
I’ve read a few books about living more simply: Joshua Becker’s The More of Less as well as his book Simplify. I also read the book “Essentialism” which talked about living more intentionally and mindfully with less, which I really enjoyed.
I learned to take more pictures of things and release the things itself. As an example, I’d been holding on to all the posters of the plays and musicals that I was in growing up. I enjoyed looking at them maybe twice in the past decade, so I obviously could release them. They didn’t really serve a purpose or add value, except that they were a memory. So, I took pictures of the posters and threw the posters away! I cleared up space, my stress in that corner of the room decreased, and I’m able to still look at those pictures if I want. Viola!
Posts I wrote about my year of living more simply and my decluttering project:
So where do I want to go for 2017?
Well, I have a number of goals for myself. I think I would love to try to get rid of an item every day for a year again this year- we’ll see how that goes! I want to continue to challenge myself by regularly listening to podcasts about minimalism, as well as reading blog posts about it. I have books I want to read, including the Minimalists book “Everything That Remains”.
I want to continue to challenge myself with holding onto items that serve a purpose or add value to my life, and not hold onto items that I just feel guilty about getting rid of.
I also have a bunch of pictures and family history things that I need to scan, so that’ll hopefully be something I get to in 2017.
I’m in a much better spot than I was at the start of 2016, but I’m not where I want to be yet, so I’m going to continue to build on what I’ve learned this coming year.