Welcome to Day 21!
We’ve now arrived at the final category:
– sentimental items –
These items aren’t waste to me!
I would wholeheartedly agree. The focus of today is not so much getting rid of stuff, but choosing what to keep. The hope is that having decluttered all the riff raff from your home that was just getting in the way, now you will have the opportunity to see and use the special things that are truly beloved. What items are important to you now, and what items do you feel that you are ready to let go?
*A word of advice from Marie Kondo*
don’t send these items back to your parents’ house. This goes for everything on the list – you can’t really say you’ve properly de-cluttered if you’ve just shifted them into storage space at your family’s home, nor is it fair on them. Unless it’s in a scheduled holding pattern while it awaits pick up, those items should not be leaving your home on anything other than a one way ticket outta there.
I have so many photos..where do I begin?
It might be a really nice opportunity to get together with family and go through them together. As per usual, gather all the photos together and make a timeline – this is where it’s useful to have other people on board that might remember details you had forgotten. You could then divvy up the photos between you and decide which ones stay or go. It’s also fun to get kids involved too – they could make collages from all the photos destined for the bin or picture frames for the ones you want to keep.
But such-and-such gave me that…surely I should keep it?
Once the act of giving is over, you have the freedom to decide if you want to hold onto it or not. I used to keep things for years, certain that if I didn’t my friends were going to come looking for that vase they gave me for my 25th birthday. I thought that right up until I went to help a friend sort out her stuff for a garage sale and found a gift I’d given her unopened in a box. We had a laugh about it, and I realised that it wasn’t really a big deal. If someone gives you something that doesn’t suit your tastes, it’s more instructional for them if you don’t have it on display so that they don’t continue to give you things that really aren’t your scene. Not only was it liberating to let go of things I’d kept for ages out of guilt and freed up so much more space, having donated the items means giving someone else the chance to use and appreciate them, which means less items that need to be manufactured and purchased, which saves the embodied energy of the resources produced to create the very item that you don’t even want in the first place!
As we come to the end of the declutter challenge, you might find it’s easier now to identify what items have meaning and purpose in your life and what items you’re just holding onto out of habit or duty. Think about the person you are now and the space you want to come home to. Keep that vision in mind anytime you go to purchase anything, accept a hand-me-down or store a gift. The top tier in the 5Rs pyramid is Refuse, so when it comes to keeping waste out of your home, that’s your first port of call.