Two years ago I ransacked our house and decluttered.
Top to bottom.
Broken Barbies were smuggled out in the dark of night (hell hath no fury like a seven year old whose fractured toys are tossed away).
Kitchen gadgets Id “hoped” to learn to use, but which were still encased in boxes were re-homed.
Clothing Id held onto since the *last* time it was in style (hello prairie blouses!) was donated (and, I’m confident, later purchased for Halloween costumes).
I created a six pronged approach and emptied the house of unnecessary stuff.
pink shoes+plastic flowers=necessity!
I thought I’d done a great job eliminating the “not needed” and the “not regularly used.”
Now that I’m faced with packing again—I realize I didn’t do as well as I’d thought.
travel hoop to POP ART this all made the trip.
This time I wanna give *everything* away.
Admittedly my feeling initially stemmed from not wanting to unpack/find places for all our stuff post-move—yet the more I considered my feelings the more I realized it was bigger than that.
It was two-fold.
First, I ‘love’ many of my possessions yet simply don’t use as often as Id like to think I do.
The happiness I only imagine might be realized by someone else (time to give away!).
Next, and an extension of the first reason, many of my possessions don’t bring me joy even if they were procured with an eye to doing so.
I wasn’t able to put this second piece into words until I stumbled upon the ever articulate Leo Babauta‘s post on the subject.
Leo challenged his readers:
If life were an empty container, with limited space, what would you put in it?
I realized he was speaking metaphorically/challenging us to live our priorities, yet right now I’m mired in the literal place of decluttering.
Regardless of intent, his words have framed my packing process and facilitated my making the trek to Texas as a much lighter-me.
I’ve shifted from being overwhelmed by the stuff we’ve somehow added the past 2 years to distilling it down to a singular question I ask myself with each item I encounter:
Is this one of my container items? If my life consisted of limited space would I add this object in?
This elimination process has been easier than I could have imagined.
It’s become intuitive (if I had limited life-space would keeping ___ increase my joy?).
It’s allowed me to step back and see how something which may not belong in my container—could still be a prioritized item in a friend/loved one’s container.
Id only *hoped* Id sit in. A friend WILL sit in.
- My container is small because I’m choosing for it to be small.
- My container is small because the physical things which bring me true, unmitigated joy are few.
- My container is small because I’ve realized liking something or having fond memories about something is different from it currently bringing me joy.
- Moving or not have you joined the minimalist movement?
- Are you able to hold on to only items which truly bring you joy?