If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I often share my minimalism journey….and also that I haven’t posted about it in a little while. That’s not to say that I’ve stopped decluttering…I just took a break after a really big purge of my outdoor garage. I think I felt so relieved to get that task completed, that I rested on my laurels for a while. Simply content that the task was finally done, the decluttering was put on hold as plans were forged on what to do with all the extra lovely space.
This week, I’ve resumed my decluttering and started thinking about when my decluttering journey will end. Will it ever end? Will I ever get where I want to be? Does that happen? I can see from images, like those that Fumio Sasaki shared (book review here) that it’s possible. But such an extreme minimalist lifestyle isn’t really me….I do love some things around me, so instead, I’m probably going to aim for the middle ground. This is what I’ve been thinking about this week…
Decluttering happens in waves – Some closets or drawers or cupboards I’m going to need to declutter more than once. Some things might escape the first or second purge, but not the third. In other words, it’s going to take a while (and that’s okay).
Similarly… some things will linger – maybe that means I need to keep them. Put them on display, cherish them. Frame that photograph that always brings back memories, wear those earrings that cost a small fortune and buy some ink cartridges for that favourite ink pen that writes so beautifully.
Some places just need to be organised over and over – we all have a junk drawer, don’t we? Well, I have a lift up coffee table with a hidden compartment underneath. That is our “junk drawer”. I revisited it again this week – and just to let you know you’re not alone if you’re struggling with your journey – I had to hoover it. Yep. It contained not only books and junk mail, but excess pens and pencils, two more rolls of sellotape (I swear this stuff multiplies in our home) and crumbs. The remnants of a take away, on a night when we were tired, and I tasked the kids with clearing up afterwards. It was soon cleaned….and it’ll probably be the same next week. But if it’s one place then I’m sure I can handle that.
Motivation is important – if I visualise what I’ll do with that extra space..and that extra time (when I don’t need to organise/clean) then it gets a whole lot easier. If I think of the new things I want to learn and how when I don’t need to do chores on a Sunday I can just enjoy chilling out with a book instead, then I realise that I don’t really need to hang on to those games we never play/those clothes we never wear or those shoes the kids have outgrown. Thinking about that just makes it a whole lot simpler.
Some rooms will constantly evolve – here I’m thinking kids rooms. They’ll keep changing with their needs as they grow. If I’m lucky, they should be able (with a bit of encouragement) to take care of this themselves as they grow up. My daughter is great at this, my son less so. I’m accepting of that.
The wonderful thing about decluttering is it spreads…..that cupboard and those shelves are tidy? Great, now there’s a place to keep the laptop. No more books on the floor? Great, hoovering will be a breeze. Guests coming over? It’ll take half an hour to tidy instead of being thrown into a state of panic! Enjoy the calming atmosphere in your home as it grows with you.
Decluttering is the beginning – then the clutter needs to leave the house. I had nice piles of things – those I wanted to keep, trash, recycle, donate. give to friends/family or sell. The last one was the toughest….it takes so much time. Too much time. In the end, to speed things up, I donated almost everything to the charity store/ school collections etc. I knew if I held on to things, it would just take too long and really hold me back. Make sure to do whatever works for you.
So to answer the question – when decluttering ends – the answer is probably that it won’t. Not for me – or at least not yet. And that’s ok. How about you? Are you at a similar life stage or does independence allow you to create your home exactly how you want it to be? I’d love to hear your tips, motivations and stories in the comments section below.