I am starting this process officially, consciously, now but really this started years ago when I first made the steps to get rid.
Despite owning so much I have never been afraid to clear out. I am someone who enjoys spontaneity and change so from a young age I have often taken it upon myself to do a massive spring clean. So, fear of letting go has not exactly been a huge hindrance for me. Inevitably though stuff creeps back in to the empty spaces and so it is more an issue of consumerism and desire to own things that haunts me.
I always envied those people I knew who had very little. One of my best friends moved to New Zealand for two years and when she came back she had one box of possessions in her mother’s attic. All the clothes she owned were in her backpack and this box. That was amazing to me. A box and a backpack would only house a quarter of my clothes! How amazing it would be to know that your belongings can be carried around on your back! So, as the years have gone on I have become more and more ruthless in reducing what I own. Every house move has been an opportunity to clear out.
I went travelling two years ago and made this an opportunity to be ruthless in removing things from my life. I got rid of more stuff than I ever have and it felt great. But the fact was, even though I left on a one way ticket, I knew that my roots were still firmly planted at home. Specifically, in boxes in my parent’s attic. I still had so much. I couldn’t see the justification in getting rid of useful things that I’d need on my return. And true, I don’t want to buy a new tent every time I go camping. Or to buy a new sewing machine every time something needs repairing. But do I really need scraps of paper? Books I have had on the shelf for years and never read? Are CDS and DVDs even ever going to be used again?
The build up to the official beginning of my decluttering plan involves starting to question why I still own what I own. I have started clearing out already. I am questioning the use of so many things.
I have put on eBay a beautiful vintage ball gown I have carried around for years and only worn once. It’s far too big and I now realise that the money is far more useful than the possibility that it might ever fit me (or the cost of tailoring). I have eBayed a jacket I got with one of my first full-time paychecks. It seemed so sophisticated at the time. Something an adult would buy with an adult salary… how many time shave I worn it? Hmm, maybe a few? In over a decade!
I’m laughing at myself now for not having done this before! But this is the easy stuff and I know that I am going to have to ask some deeper questions along the way.