Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Declutter my life - part 1

Decluttering

In the previous posts, I talked about how to declutter your life, material bonds with items, etc. I'm now going to tell you what I have done myself, to declutter my life.

The reason

Why did I suddenly feel the need to declutter my room? Well, over the course of many years, I gathered a lot of toys and gadgets that I wasn't using anyway. But I had a big room, and a small attic I could use to put most of that stuff. This was in our old house, however and we had to move because of renovations being done to the houses in my street. This meant that we had to move to a newer house.

That was good news, because our other house was getting old. But it also meant that I had to move to a room that was half the size of the room I had. Without getting rid of at least half of the items I had, it was impossible.

The first purging

It was a dreadful task. Just by gathering up everything I could review, I got discouraged by the sheer amount of toys I still had from when I was little. And the gadgets I never used or the junk no one ever uses... it was a discouraging sight to look at that big pile in the center of the room.

But it serves no purpose to just sit there, being discouraged. Nothing gets done by thinking alone. Action is the key to getting things done. So I just started getting rid of things I knew I never needed.

This made me invent the first method I explained, two posts ago. It was a rough version of it, but worked nonetheless. By getting rid of all the obvious things, I already got rid of 50% of what I had. Well, it wasn't gone yet. It was placed in a 'GET RID OF' pile.

After the first purging

When everything was reviewed, I still had too much items. But I first concentrated on getting rid of the 'GET RID OF' pile. That's a whole subject on it's own. There are many things you can try, to get rid of it: sell it, give it away to people you know, donate it to an orphanage, etc.

Selling it, is not an easy task. We put some items on the internet, but only certain items can be sold like that. There's also an indoor junkyard sale in our town, every wednesday and friday. It costs a bit money to stall your items there and unfortunately, you can't sell anything unless you ask for very little money. And the place is infested with foreigners, mostly Marrocans and Polish people.

So my solution is more mentally rewarding and satisfying: give it away. I've given toys and color pencils to a kindergarten teacher my mother knows. They have to buy that stuff if they don't have it. So I made her very happy, because she can definently use it. If someone is happy with something I don't use anyway, than the item in question is better of where it can make someone happy.

The second and third purging

I could not stop there, because I still had too much stuff lying around. A lot of items I had, where junk no one uses. That's easy to get rid of: you just throw it in the garbage. And I can guarantee you, I filled the garbage can many times. But slowly, I could see progress. I was gaining more space and loosing more junk. I was like a liberation.

I could feel my materially bonded mentality change to a more independent mindset. I loved the simplicity I gained and the freedom it gave me. Freedom in terms of space, but also emotional freedom. For every item you get rid of, you no longer have to think about what you should do with it. You no longer have to worry about possibly breaking it if you step on it or use it. You no longer have to worry about cleaning it. It can no longer make your room look messy. Getting rid of things became a real eye-opener. It showed me the benefits of living a simple life.

Conclusion

I purged my unused items 3 times already and it has changed my mental view on materialism.

Giving unused items to people who can use them, is a mentally rewarding way to get rid of things. Donating it, is an option I haven't tried yet.

But I still have too much items. The purging is not done yet. This just shows that the decluttering methods can be reused over and over, to make your clutter smaller and smaller.