Letting go is becoming easier, but today is day 21 of the #minsgame and let me tell you it is becoming tough. The struggle to find objects to either discard or donate is real. Yet, this last round (third time doing The Minimalist’s Minimalism Challenge & not sure if I will make it to day 30) of the #minsgame has come with invaluable lessons.
Below a snap of The Minimalists (https://www.google.ca/amp/www.theminimalists.com/game/amp/)
There are items I missed during the last two rounds which I am wondering why I didn’t get rid of the first time or second time around. I know many of these material possessions were being kept because of fear. Fear? Yes, I felt great angst with letting go of a silly stuffed lamb toy I purchased in Ireland as it was a souvenir with a memory attached to it, but when I think about how some kid out there is going to have this remarkable stuffed animal from Ireland, I feel better.
I am not sure why I felt so much trepidation in letting go of a toy when the idea of keeping it shoved aside in a box or closet gave me anxiety. Should I keep it or let it go was a familiar strife I encountered with many objects and when I would finally decide to let something go, I felt peace. When I experienced that zen feeling I knew it was the right decision.
If I didn’t feel peace, I would keep whatever it was. For example, I have this turquoise blue dress which I love, it is adorable, but it is presently too small, I did wear it this past summer, but I looked a bit like ten pounds of sugar stuffed into a five pound bag, you catch my drift? However, I am trying to lose weight, and initially when I purchased the dress it was a charming little number, so I do plan to lose the weight I gained and wear this dress in the summer of 2017.
I had a blue taffeta dress I tried on, and I couldn’t zip it up at all, so the reality of me being able to fit into this dress anytime soon is unlikely, so I gave this dress away. Toggling back and forth with questions around my reasoning for keeping stuff.
Another lesson I attained from the Minimalism Challenge is reflecting on why I purchased something in the first place. It can be a bit daunting to analyze the whys, but sadly frequent purchases were mindless and influenced by a sale.
Even now, when I see a sign for a sale my instincts are to look and see, as I love a bargain, but if I don’t have a need for whatever it is on sale, how am I saving money, if I wouldn’t buy it full price?
And since I am still paying off debt…
It is pretty neat to see how it is becoming easier to let go of “stuff” and how I am becoming more honest with myself when I question my motivation behind a purchase.
Below are some questions I ask myself when decluttering and playing the #minsgame to determine whether I should keep something, discard or donate to charity.
Using & needs:
- Is this something I use or need?
- Will I need this or do I see myself using this in the future? Honestly? Often enough the answer ends up being no.
When I don’t need something, but still have a desire to keep it:
- Why do I want to keep this?
- If something has sentimental value: what value does this add to my life by keeping it?
- Am I keeping this out of guilt, could someone else use this and actually enjoy this?
When I have multiples:
- Do I need all of these duplicates?
- Is it likely I will use all of these?
- What is reasonable to keep, and what is reasonable to give away?
As I am letting go of more stuff, I am feeling more at ease, and less stressed. I am enjoying the additional drawer space and how it is becoming easier to find the stuff I love & use. The things I kept which were functional, but not my favorite items to use are now gone. Clothing and accessories I kept because I felt I should wear it in the future or keep it in case someone asked about it, but not really wanting to wearing it, I have donated to local charities which someone else may love or need!
The biggest challenge I have faced in my ability to purge effectively is the “sentimental factor” such as a gift my Mom gave me, and a memory attached to the gift. I still have the memory, but if I am not using something anymore, because it is no longer my style, why keep it? I am grateful for the memory and the love attached to the gift I used, but I no longer have a use for it. Someone else who has very little can now enjoy the item, and create new memories.
I find great solace in those harder to let go of possessions to think about the joy, warmth or function of something being in someone else’s hands. A much better situation than an item taking up space and adding clutter to my space and anxiety to my mind. It is one less thing I have to worry about taking care of, and to me that is liberating.
Peace and Love – Rachel