Want to declutter your life in 2018? You have to let go of your excuses.
When I first started decluttering, I was full of excuses for why I had been holding onto certain items. The excuses flowed so freely, one might have wondered if I really even wanted to get rid of the clutter. It was as if every item I pulled off the dusty shelf was there for a reason. And while I’d just found it after years of not knowing it was there, my hoarder-logic told me EXACTLY why it was still in my life – and why it must remain.
A Rediscovery Process
The problem with going through boxes or dusty basement shelves is that there’s a rediscovery process. It’s why I don’t fully agree with the KonMari “spark joy” Method of minimizing, because sometimes when you rediscover something, you may mistake the nostalgic feeling for joy. But let’s be real, half the time we don’t know what we’re going to find when we start decluttering! It can be a rather exciting process going through your stuff! Unfortunately, it can also be completely unproductive if you’re not mentally prepared for the challenge.
By that, I mean you have to be ready to truly let go, and it’s easier said than done. Letting go doesn’t just refer to physical items, it refers to mental attachments as well.
Last weekend, I chatted with a couple about their desire to declutter a walkout basement. They said they couldn’t make a dent, no matter how many items were removed from their home. When I asked why they felt that way, the response was:
“You have to understand, we grew up with parents who lived through the depression… We were taught to keep everything!”
This is an excuse. It’s totally valid, but it’s still an excuse. If you want to declutter and live more minimally when it comes to your stuff, you have to stop living in the past. Your excuses won’t propel you forward, they are roadblocks. No one is making you declutter, it’s a choice you made because you wanted to change. So change.
Decluttering excuses come in many forms:
I still have this _______ because…
- “I might need it one day”
- “I’m planning to fix it”
- “It was a gift”
- “It was my grandmothers”
- “I used to love it”
- “It’s still perfectly good”
- “It’s a waste to get rid of it”
- “I paid a lot of it”
You get the idea. I’ve said each one of these excuses more times than I can count. All they did for me was prolong the change I so desperately was seeking. So if you also want change in your life – to live more meaningfully and more minimally… Then make no more excuses. No more justifications about why you have something. If you don’t need it, don’t love it, and don’t use it, then it’s time to let it go.
So what’s your excuse?