It’s been a year since our decluttering “journey” started. We’ve gotten rid of no less than half of the possessions in our house, probably closer to 3/4. As I look back, I evaluate what we have learned and ask myself some questions.
Was it worth it?
A most emphatic yes! I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner!
Do I ever miss something I got rid of?
Every once in a while I will think of something that I could have used that I got rid of, but honestly its such a passing thought. I’d be hard pressed to name anything right now that I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of.
Do I feel deprived because I don’t have a lot of things?
Not really. I actually feel relieved when I look at a near empty closet instead of overwhelmed when it was too full.
Does my family regret what we’ve done?
Nope! Everyone’s been happy with the change.
What about the kids?
They seem relieved too. We involved them in decluttering their toys and such and they were able to make choices about what they wanted to keep. They don’t seem to be as overwhelmed when they have to pick up anymore and they keep their room picked up so much better now!
Funny story – I was going through some papers and came across a magazine article I had cut out years ago about living in a small house. My oldest son (6 1/2 years) saw it and commented that he liked all the pictures except one. I sat there looking at it and wondering why he didn’t like the one picture, so we talked about it. It turns out that in all the pictures everything was very simple, clean and clutter free. In the one picture they had a couple of shelves that had picture frames with family pictures stacked on them, overlapping and such. He didn’t like the visual noise of the jumble of pictures. Kids are affected by clutter too!
What do I like best about having my home decluttered?
The peace. There is a visual peace when I look around my home, my eye doesn’t have to struggle to decide what to look at. Everything is very simple and clean with a few areas that I’ve decorated that your eye tends to gravitate to. There is also peace in being able to find what I am looking for in a hurry. There is peace in not having to move or pick through things to get to what you need. There is even peace in being able to invite people over unexpectedly and not have to worry about picking up the house – a quick wipe of the bathroom and vacuum and we’re ready to entertain!
What have I learned in this process?
I have learned that I don’t need half the things I think I do or that society tells me I do. I have learned that more things don’t make me happy. I have learned that I want to place my values on relationships, not possessions. I have learned that I would rather spend a little more money on something I really like or that works better for me than 5 of them that aren’t quite right.
Best tip for decluttering?
My best tip is what Marie Kondo focus’ her book on – look at what you are keeping, not what you are getting rid of.
My favorite example of something that was made possible by decluttering is….
I was running late for church and literally grabbed a maxi skirt and a t-shirt that matched and walked out the door. I was complemented a couple times at church about what I was wearing. Later that day I had to stop in Costco and one of the workers there stopped me and told me that I “looked like I had stepped out of a magazine spread. Very well put together.” “Me?!!” I stammered. I had literally thrown my clothes on that morning! If my closet were still full of clothes that didn’t fit, didn’t look good and didn’t work well together I never would have been able to put an outfit like that together as I was walking out the door.
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