Tag Archives: #12months12changes

12months12changes: Decluttering
May
9th

It’s been a couple months since I did my last 12months12changes update. April’s goal was to establish the habit of eating more fruit. I have to say it was a success! My strawberry oatmeal played a major role, plus bananas and clementines for snacks. Now I just have to keep it up (as a reminder, I’m trying to make all 12 changes throughout the year by tackling them one at a time).

May’s goal is decluttering. I chose May for this goal specifically because we are moving, which is always a great time to clean house.

someecards.com - You are one stack of shit away from an episode of hoarders.Ok yes, I have something of a hoarding problem.

This is the result of several factors: 1) my parents are hoarders (we all tease them about it all the time), 2) I am extremely emotional so I become emotionally invested in objects within seconds, 3) the environmental side of me has a deep, visceral reaction to waste, and getting rid of things is like admitting that I wasted something.

There’s nothing I can do about the first one, but the others I can work with. In an example of truly perfect timing, Amy just posted about this the other day and shared this profound piece of advice: “just because you get rid of your stuff doesn’t mean you’re getting rid of the memories associated with that stuff.” This is seriously going to be my mantra as I did in to my more emotional hoarder piles. And it’s the truth! I keep so many things that I forget I even have, but you know what I don’t forget? The memories that go with them.

In the meantime, I focusing on the not so emotional things that I keep for no reason other than my hate for wasting. If you’re looking to declutter yourself, here are a few great things to start with.

  • Books
  • Clothes
  • Movies/electronics
  • Makeup and bath products (You know you have a mountain of expired makeup, lotions, and hair products you never use. Oh, just me? Awkward…)
  • Office supplies (I have like four boxes of staples and I staple, like, two things a year at home)
  • Kitchen (remember that gadget you HAD to have but never use?)

To help overcome my waste issues, here’s what I’m staying focused on.

It’s not waste if it can go to someone else.

I will do almost anything to keep my stuff out of landfills, and I will do even more to reuse where I can. Books, for example, can go to the library:

IMG_6592 (no, this is not even close to all of them)

Clothes can be sold (I’m selling my Zumba stuff, for example, and you can take them to a consignment store for credit if they are in good condition) or donated. Larger items can be sold on craigslist. Movies, video games, and other household items (not pictured) can go to Goodwill.

IMG_6660If it’s just sitting in your house, it’s already waste.

This has been my biggest reality check. Throwing something away may force me to face the fact that resources were wasted because I made an impulse buy, but the reality is, if I’m not using it, and it can’t go to someone else, then those things are already going to waste! So they just have to go.

IMG_6659

I’m really hoping I can bring myself to purge a lot of the stuff that I’ve moved from home to home just to bury in closets or, in some cases, without ever taking out of boxes. There are lots of amazing benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle, and I’d like to think I can get there someday. With only a week left to pack, I need to get moving. Want to come over and help? 🙂

Questions: Are you a hoarder, a minimalist, or somewhere in between? If you’re a hoarder, what drives you to hold on to things? If you’re a minimalist, how has it benefited you and, more importantly, how do you do it?!

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