Sunday, June 16, 2013

Decluttering: Use It or Lose It.

Day 16 of 100 Days of Blogging

Moving is a motivator and opportunity to de-clutter. When you move, you have to look at everything you own or at the very least you look at the boxes you may not have unpacked since the last time you moved. How many times do you want to move the same boxes of stuff?

I remember moving from my first rented house with my husband and his brother saying to me, this is the same box I moved two years ago and you haven't even opened it. I refuse to move this again!

Since 2009, I have de-cluttered and released a ton of physical stuff.  Selling my 3-story house and most of my personal belongings. Living on the road. Living in smaller spaces. I continue to let go of more and more.

Two weeks ago, I moved into a 3 bedroom house with seven adults. Everyone is sharing rooms and space. So once again, I looked at my personal belongings which now fit into a 6 x 6 storage space. And once again I am inspired or maybe compelled to release more.

I have made the decision to go through a few boxes every week and look at what resources I have been hoarding and saving and use them or give them away. The first thing I found was a picnic basket with napkins and bamboo plates, forks, knives and spoons and a cutting board and knife that I have been saving since my daughter, Mary and her husband, Jesse got married over three years ago. It reminds me of that special week leading up to the wedding. I was lucky enough to be part of a crew of friends and family who were hanging out in the NYC apartment, preparing food, laughing, singing and dancing. Great memories!

I decided to use everything in the basket. To stop saving for a "special occasion." Last Saturday, I made a spinach lentil soup and served it with olive bread and butter. I told my housemates about the story of the cooking and the wedding and the picnic baskets. A special memory. Sharing it in a new space with a few of my housemates. The memory is with me forever. And now I am using the plates and utensils and the cutting board. No more hoarding. Enjoying them and using them until one day, they are old and worn and thrown away. Remembering the good times and making new good times every day.

How about you? Any unopened boxes? Any hoarding of items that you could begin to use and enjoy now?

Post in the comments and tell us about it.


  1. This is a pertinent post for me - thank you for the great reminder! I have been living in a shared space for the past year, and although I have the 'important' things with me, I also have a 5 x 10 storage space a couple of miles away that I pay for every month to store the rest of my things. Last month I got rid of a pieces of furniture, that I hadn't wanted to move there in the first place. It's harder for me to let some other things go, though, since I feel I will need them at the next place I go - like many kitchen things since the kitchen here has everything imaginable.
    Still, there is always room to de-clutter, and each time I go to storage to look for something, my goal is to take a few things out of there and either use them or give them away. :)

  2. It is a powerful practice for sure!