gratitude · minimalism · simplify

Simplifying Part 1: Kicking Stuff Out

My husband and I just relocated to a city an hour west of Baltimore. This is the fourth consecutive year that I have changed living situations! Each time I move I try to get rid of excess stuff. Stacks of school papers and old books to the recycling bin, clothes, jewelry, furniture, kitchen wares, knick knacks and home decorations, even unopened toiletries and make up- all donated or sent to the trash.

Here is the conundrum though. No matter how much stuff I get rid off, there’s still so much stuff left!

This time, my husband and I were ruthless about getting rid of stuff. Right before we moved, we loaded up a truck full of furniture, clothes and other household items and drove it over to Good Will.  Since then, we have taken two more loads of clothes, furniture, books and other items over to Good Will. Lucky for us the GW is 5 minutes away from our apartment!

Pictures of the stuff we got rid of after the move- clothes, books, furniture and household items. We got rid of even more stuff before the move, but I don’t have pictures of it. This is about half of what we actually got rid of.

 

Have you ever held onto something because you felt like you might be losing a little bit of your identity if you gave it away? Maybe a dress that you don’t really feel comfortable wearing anymore, or a book that you used to love but are never going to read again? Have you ever felt like you had to keep something forever because of the person who gave it to you, even though you didn’t really like it? Have you ever held onto something “just in case” you might need it?

Packing and unpacking the same items over and over again has forced me to question the value of holding on to each book, piece of clothing, gadget, “keepsake” etc. What is the point of dragging anything around if it doesn’t add value to your life? If you’re not using or enjoying something, why keep it?

I’ve found that the more I let go and get rid of stuff, the more I enjoy the things I decide to keep. I got rid of three quarters of my jewelry and about half my clothes. I truly enjoy and am grateful for the clothing and jewelry I kept.

We used to have two bookshelves full of books. Now we have one bookshelf that is 2/3 full. The crazy thing is that, since we got rid of most of our books, I find myself actually reading more!

This time around, I decided to leave a bunch of unessential boxes unpacked in our second bedroom. This past weekend, my husband and I went through the room together.  Rather than dispersing the items throughout the rest of the apartment, we recycled or donated most of them.

Our second bedroom in the new apartment before the clean out….

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And After the clean out…

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I can honestly say, I don’t miss any of the stuff we gave away. Instead, I feel more grateful for what I have.

To be continued…

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