Simple is fine by me. After all, my first home was a tiny house.
I have a habit of moving. So do a lot of people. Anyone who has gone off to school, taken their career to a different city or moved for the sake of love, knows what it’s like to pilfer through their belongings to determine what they would want and need the most to make their next chapter a seamless page turn.
Turning over a new leaf
Just this week I combined households with my husband-to-be. Not only are there stacks and piles of stuff in his garage now… but bits and pieces of my life once lived alone are trailing into his foyer and bedrooms. It’s a terrible sight.
I’ve been told there’s a place for everything, but it doesn’t seem to be the case right now. It’s daunting. Not only am I taking the step towards marriage — but towards cohabitation with a very neat and tidy man. I’m putting my life and things in a place that’s already been established as his own nest and anything that doesn’t seem to fit both our needs and lifestyles has to go (the same can be said for some of his crap e.g., baseball cards, superhero artwork and a counter top kegerator !?!).
Just yesterday I called Area Disposal. It’s the go-to for all things trash pick up in central Illinois. Soon, a garbage bin big enough to fit a dozen bodies will be in our driveway. I’m about to embark on a purge so big — I hope to be forever changed by it.
I know Marie Kondo – her story and her method. However I’ve come up with my own method and I’m hoping to put it into play over the coming weeks.
Fast and simple rules for ridding your life of junk:
- Trash the trash. Don’t donate stuff to a non-profit most people would consider crap. We all have ideas that our stuff is topnotch and that someone could find a use for it, but really half the stuff I see lining thrift store shelves is out of style or missing pieces. Think long and hard before you immediately jump to the conclusion that someone will value what you’re dishing out.
- Make it easy. Get a dumpster if you think you’ll get too lazy to take trips to a drop-off site for donations (I am oh’ so guilty of this). The empty dumpster and what you’ll pay per dump should motivate you to get a move on cleaning out your space. You’ll be glad you coughed up some dough for a touch of motivation.
- Keep what really matters. We all have boxes of nostalgic things hidden in our closets. If something really special is tucked away in one of these rando boxes, ask yourself, “How much do I truly care about the contents?” Why not create a new box just for these sorts of items. Combine forces and put all the sentimental into one set place. Overtime what we care about changes. So, year to year – comb through “the special box” and eliminate items that are no longer significant.
- Give stuff to loved ones. Not everyone will treasure your “treasures,” but if there’s something you have and no longer want/need but think someone else might actually use or value in some form — then maybe hold that item back. Give it to them as soon as possible, but don’t pressure on them to keep it. If they say right then and there, “I like it, but I won’t use it,” take the hint and take the item back to where it came from and pitch it.
- Six months is long enough. Sometimes I’ll go for months and months without seeing something or even thinking about it. When I do come across said item, I then feel a sort of sadness about all the lost time we missed out on. Newly found items can often feel, “new” again. Truth is, if I go that long without caring about an item — it really can’t mean that much to me anyway. Don’t associate an item with feelings of guilt or emotion. Appreciate what you do have and don’t take your things for granted, and certainly don’t feel bad when you no longer have a purpose for it.
Moving forward, live simply
After you’ve cleared the clutter, rethink the items you’re purchasing week to week, or even come up with a way of categorizing them based on need.
Try using a 1-2-3 prioritization system. Assign numbers to things in various categories and then plan and budget appropriately in order to reach your goals.
Items you need to purchase right now (groceries, gas, oil change, etc.)
Items you need and would like to update, but not immediately (new bedding, coat, etc.)
Items you don’t absolutely need in order to live a happy life, but would like to have ( e.g., a new television, tablet, home décor, etc.)
By considering how we spend our dollars and what we bring into our homes, we can find a sense of control and peace within our lives. We can create an environment with limited conflict and greater purpose, leaving more room for relaxation, growth and development.
If you’d like to follow more of my thoughts, see me @cheapgirlsaves on Twitter. Leave other ideas in the comment section below. I want to know what you have to say and what tips you might have to offer.
Peace and much love.