Lightening the Load
Have you read about pioneers on the westward trails that would leave belongings by the wayside so they could travel faster? In my quest to have more time for things I want to do, I’ve learned I enjoy having less “stuff” to slow me down. Sometimes I feel like a slave to my possessions, and that’s not a place I want to be.
I have found great freedom in decluttering in the past months. It’s so easy to let things build up, to hold onto things you no longer need or want. Our closets seem to fill up by default, don’t they? And suddenly we find that while we have “nothing to wear,” we also have no empty hangers left. Our bookshelves are overflowing, but half the books we don’t plan to read again. And don’t even get me started on the kitchen gadgets!
Since having my precious baby, Norah, my body has changed considerably. Even when I lose all my baby weight, there are many clothes that I won’t ever wear again. My body is just a different shape now! Recently I decided to get rid of anything I won’t wear in the next six months. The freedom I have felt in getting rid of the size 2 and 4 skirts that will never go over my post-baby hips is amazing! While I’m still striving to get in shape, it takes awhile, and I didn’t need that constant reminder of “look how tiny you once were…you’ll never be there again!” (I probably won’t! And that’s fine. I’m in another season now…I’m a mama!)
Another area is home decor. While I’m really enjoying repurposing a lot of things (thanks to inspiration from Pinterest and home decorating blogs), some things just aren’t working anymore. Maybe they were wedding gifts that aren’t my taste. Perhaps they were impulse buys (in my case, usually from a thrift store) that didn’t look right when I got home. Sometimes I’m just tired of things! If it’s tucked away in a closet because you don’t want to see it anymore, do yourself a favor and let it go. I’ve even donated items back to Goodwill that I bought there in the first place.
One more, and this one is a little different. It’s not exactly decluttering, but I’m trying to use my internet time wisely, and I’ve found it helpful to streamline things a bit. Two things that have helped me are using a feed reader to follow blogs (and fearlessly un-following blogs that are no longer helpful!), and changing my Facebook newsfeed settings. I’m sure I could give up Facebook, but it is a helpful tool for me since I live far away from all our relatives. And I have a lot of friends who want to see pictures of my baby! My husband manages his Facebook friends by putting people in groups, which allows him to quickly check updates from family, close friends, church members, etc. I should be so organized (hopefully soon!), but for now, I have started changing the settings for some people to “show only important updates.” As cute or funny as a lot of the pictures and quotes that go around are, I just don’t have time to read them all. Nor do I want to spend my limited time that way. Am I missing things? Sure I am. But I’m okay with that.
Letting go of things has been so freeing for me. I’d encourage you to give it a try. You might find that you have more time, more space, and less frustration. Remember, you can’t take it with you anyway!
Wonderful!! I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I live in a small house. And both me and my husband brought very little in there when we got married, though after two years of yard sale and thrift shopping I still don’t have a veggie peeler, but all of a sudden (or so it seems) I have a cluttered house! Great post!
Thanks so much for this post, Jeannie, I really enjoyed it and thought of a number of practical applications for my own life as I read! 🙂