Saturday, August 09, 2008

Lightening Up...

I realize as I go through this de-cluttering thing that so much I possess doesn't reflect ME. Most of my possessions are as such: a cute top that was on sale, a gift someone gave me, shoes that happened to be at the right price, right time.

To see me as I see myself you would have to disregard a few things or search through my closets to find ME. What happened to the individual I was in college who bought things she loved that rarely anyone else did? Having no money wasn't a good excuse back then either.

A while ago I made the decision not to bring things (or people, for that matter) into my life that don't fit in, but what do I do with the "stuff" that's already here?!

Every 6 months or so, I have pledged to declutter but I'm still having a really hard time doing it. Well, I read a great article in the April 2007 Real Simple magazine by life coach Gail Blanke about getting rid of 50 things*. You use this technique to not only get rid of stuff but also to get rid of any negative thoughts in your head that are holding you back. Obviously, if I still have all this stuff despite constantly saying I don't want it in my life then there may be something else involved. In the article, Gail mentions something that her mother taught her; " 'If you don’t know what to do with it, or where to put it, or why you ever bought it in the first place, or if looking at it depresses you, throw it out,' she’d say. 'Never keep anything that makes you feel heavy or weighs you down.' "

Apparently, I'm not the only person thinking about this, just a few days ago I noticed that Ana of Rearranged Design, is getting rid of five things a week and has even started a Flickr group for others who want to join in.

So, I'm going to do the "50 things". I just wish I had a separate space to put everything I'm discarding; otherwise, it's just me, making another unsightly pile in my home.

When I dropped off my rent, I inquired about our elevator that's been broken for three weeks. It turns out it may take a LOT longer (thanks for telling us!) being an older model. What all this means is that taking the accumulated things to the trash, or just to my car will be more complicated unless I can rope in some help. Oh, well, no excuses.

My 1st go at it:
  • A nubby green basket weave blanket by Martha Stewart from K-Mart that has holes, dangling threads, and has not been unfolded for two years.
  • A marble tray that I didn't know I still had.
  • Four books, one I picked up at a library's "Please take one" table; a design book I didn't connect with (a gift); the DAR handbook (I used to work for them); and a Dilbert book I never look at anymore (another gift).

* According to Gail's rules, a group of magazines and/or catalogs only count as ONE thing. Darn!

6 comments:

Gene said...

A great way to get rid of stuff is freecycle.org. I've gotten rid of a bunch of stuff on my local freecycle. Of course, I've also gotten a futon, some river rocks for the yard, and some drywall for the dining room and kitchen, so the net change may be close to zero...

day-lab Blog said...

What a great idea. I have been needing to do a lot of de-cluttering myself..maybe I should start this week. :)

Why S? said...

Gifts! Gifts! Please, no more gifts! Did you know that in German, the word 'gift' means 'poison?' Interesting.

The Shopping Sherpa said...

You make me feel better about the fact I'm counting down the days until I start the next round of Seven Things Spring/ Summer...

(http://theshoppingsherpa.blogspot.com/2007/09/seven-things-spring-season-starts.html)

Ana said...

I'm so glad you're doing this!

I think everyone should, when we moved last year from a 2 bedroom to a studio we got rid of SO much and it felt so good.

iloveupstate.com said...

Books - give to local hospital or nursing home. I already got my royalty on them, it's OK. :)
Old blanket - pet shelter.