Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Letting Go: Less is More

As I prepare to move (for the umpteenth time), I find myself amazed again at how much stuff I have acquired over the years. Since I’m moving from a townhouse with a roommate to a quaint carriage house alone, I can’t afford the extra things to clutter my personal space.

And in my quest to live a more organized, I’ve been browsing through my files (Pinterest boards count as files, right?), for ideas, tips, and trips to decorate a small space, I’m pointed time and time again to de-cluttering. You see, I’m a sentimentalist. I keep everything. That beautiful Calvin Klein dress I’ve never worn? Well, I might someday—it stays. Birthday cards from my 21st birthday (too many years ago)? I may want to remember these one day—it stays. The random jump drive, earring missing its mate, three pairs of iPod earbuds—they all stay. And I’m not the only one who does this, I know.
What. is. the. deal?

I think what we’re all most scared of here is, obviously, needing something one day that we’ve thrown away. But, isn’t part of living a beautiful life living in the present, now? Then, why would we worry about what we’ll need tomorrow? Because, hello, don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself (Mat. 6:34). Hello cleaning, purging, and donating—it’s about time we meet.
A few tips for de-cluttering and living better with less that I’ve found to be particularly helpful this week as I pack up:

  1. Unless you have an extensive library room (don’t we all wish?), get rid of your books. Hang on to the particularly inspiring, beautifully made for decorating purposes, or faithful favorites for a rainy day. Get rid of the rest. Donate. Pass along. Sell—whatever you do with them, they are sure to get more purpose from their second home. And if you’re a bookworm like me, you’re only going to acquire more.
  2. Tackle.Your. Closet. I know every single girl in the world always has the best intentions to clean out her closet. So, I won’t harp on it. But seriously—you’ve worn those shoes once this year. And that dress? You bought it five years ago and you can tell. And do you really think that maxi skirt goes with the minimal-and-chic look you’re evolving towards? Nope. Donate. Give away. Sell. As you do this, keep in mind what your personal style is evolving towards, and only keep the things that enhance that.
  3. And speaking of tackling, do that to your drawers. Most likely, you can throw away everything in your junk drawer. Just go through it. Sort it out. Keep important documents, and throw away the extra envelopes, batteries, and dead pens. Your underwear drawer—throw away the old stuff girlfriend. Trust me. Makeup drawer, too—nope, there is no reason to keep that blush compact even though you have a new one and there is still another use or two in the current one. Most makeup expires sooner than you think. Throw it all away. 
  4. Even though we live in the digital age, there’s no reason to keep the Kodak camera cord even though that camera broke ages ago and you now use a Canon. If you ever get a Kodak again, it will come with a cord. Go through your “electronic extras” and get rid of everything except the things you use.
  5. Not necessarily the gourmet chef, my kitchen is a bit lacking in many things. However, I found more than enough when beginning to pack my culinary acquisitions. And most of it, I didn’t need nor saw myself needing anytime soon. You have three wine bottle openers? Great, your neighbor needs a new one (though I don’t see a problem in keeping two, justincase.) Those plastic restaurant cups we all hoard... I bet you’ll acquire some new ones in the next month. Trust me—purge the kitchen. It will be so much easier to cook and prepare when you can navigate your cabinets.
They may not be revolutionary ideas, but it’s a good start to living better with less in 2013. Now, on to tackling the challenge of decorating a very small space...


Sarah Eaton DeClerk said...

These are great tips.. Seriously- I NEED to do all of this.. said...

The boxes are so adorable! By the way, thanks for the tips. I’d like to add something about documents. It’s very important to shred them first before throwing them out. They might have important information on it that someone can use to hide their own illegal activities.

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