Our family has moved many times over the last decade. Mostly it was for work, sometimes it was for financial benefit, and the last time it was to preserve our sanity. Moving is usually a wonderful opportunity to weed out the unneccessary objects that seem to cling to a growing family like moss. I love the ritual of cleaning out drawers and closets and shedding the excess. Over the years we have lived in some widely varying houses. They have ranged in size from 1100-2900 square feet and have been in vastly different climates. This somewhat nomadic lifestyle has provided us with lots of opportunities to shed but also lots of reasons to accumulate new things. Now that we have settled in to a more permanent home I am ready to do some serious shedding.
Our new home is considerably smaller than the last two homes and so space is at a premium. Usually, I would attempt to slim down our belongings prior to moving. This time that was not an option. We moved on December 26th. The decision to move was made on December 21st. There simply wasn’t time. This brings me to this week’s resolution. I want to collect and dispose of the excess. I am only attempting to get the low-lying fruit this week. I may not get every drawer or even look at the over stuffed shed out back but I want to get the big items and the easy ones.
My guidelines are simple. Instead of trying to find things to toss, I will focus on keeping what I love and get rid of what’s left. I find this is the easiest way to decide what to get rid of. If I look at my sweaters as a whole, I can think of a place to wear all of them, even the ones I don’t love. This makes me feel guilty or wasteful to consider getting rid of any. After all, they are all useful in their own way. Who wants to feel wasteful? If I am being honest with myself however, there are only a handful of sweaters that I love. The ones I reach for first and make me feel slender and pretty. Those I keep. The rest I shed. The great thing about this approach is that you can apply it to lots of things. The children and I dumped out all of stuffed animals they have. The pile was embarrassingly huge. They like all of them but there are some that are beloved friends and some that are just nice new stuffed animals. The friends are kept and the others passed. Now instead of a heaping pile that no one plays with, the beloved ones are rotated out more and enjoyed more. That is one of the beauties of the system. Sure you are getting rid of some of your things but everything you love remains. At the end of the week, the home will hopefully have less stuff and more treasures. When you weed out the fillers the good stuff is easier to spot. The same goes for board games and dishes, linens and toiletries. Sure I could probably use lots of the items in the donate pile but I don’t love any of them. A small thoughtful space full of the things the family loves is what I am seeking this week.