Last week I had the opportunity to help someone close to me start her tidying process. She and her husband own a cute bungalow with a finished basement. As we talked about her goals for the home, we decided to focus on a basement spare bedroom to start. She had intentions of making that room into a beautiful spare room but things just kept being piled in there and eventually it was more like a storage space than a room. What they wanted was a usable area; a gym room and small office space.
We got to work and started by removing everything (except the largest items – bed frame, dresser, and filing cabinet) out into the main living area. We then started organizing everything into categories i.e blankets, home decor, electronics, and business files. As we started going through everything, she really amazed me at her confidence. She was ready to let go. There were items that were easier for her to let go, but there were also some sentimental things that I could tell held meaningful value. I was there to support and guide her, and she made her choices. She chose what was important enough in her heart to have a place in her home.
In the end, we had a trash pile that sat all around us in the middle of the living room. We took a moment to reflect on how easily we let things take up valuable realty in our homes.
My golden rule is never to allow the donate, trash, or recycle items sit in your home for even a day longer. Take it to the bin or put it in your car to take for donation/recycling. Far too often I see people having put forth all the effort to get rid of bags full of things and put the bags by the door, only to have their partner or kids rummage through and remove items they suddenly need to keep. This can be a major setback. So we gathered up her things and took them away. We filled both of our cars and drove to the nearest donation drop-off. ADIOS! They weren’t even my things and I felt a huge relief. (Imagine how she felt!?) In total we removed 18 garbage bags -9 bags for recycling, 3 bags for trash, and 6 bags for donation. So proud of you!
Society tries to convince us that if we cant fit our things in our house, we need a bigger house – or storage units. They endorse the philosophy that MORE=BETTER. But the freedom we experience when we let go – well you’ll see. Make the effort to simplify instead of buy. If you have to buy, buy items of high quality that will continue to bring you joy and maintain their value to you earning a place in your home.