It’s easy to throw things out and think I solved the problem. But it’s harder to commit to what’s mine and not constantly chase the new. I am at that stage – I have cleansed enough and I need to use what I have. My last batch for a while, is currently in a cardboard box and leaving my home. My best advice to myself at this stage : don’t throw things for the sake of throwing them or for a count. But ask myself : do I need this ? do I use this ? Can someone else better benefit from it given my current usage ? Will keeping it really save me resources in the long run ? I have an Evernote list of everything that left / came into my apartment in the last two years. It was a very helpful exercise to record : item name + condition + price + reason for purchase + reason for discard. I learnt a lot about the mistakes I made and hopefully will not make again. Its sometimes even heart breaking when I see this list. I am trying to understand why I made the mistakes. I highly recommend anyone doing a declutter to take their time and ponder. Decluttering done too fast and without lessons learnt may lead to a relapse. Old things gone and replaced by new things that will one day need to be purged. That being said, I would like to share my current list :
*Maanasa and I in our Frye Carson ballet slippers
1. My burgundy nail polish and acetone remover. I am going clean going forward. I can no longer tolerate the awful chemicals that touch my body or get washed into the planet.
2. White leather sneakers by Frye : Too much of a love hate for me. I wore them 5 times in 2015. I decided it will benefit someone else who might appreciate them better. I couldn’t sell them and hence donated them. #fashionVictim.
3. Extra tights and acrylic Socks : My sock draw always un-grounds me and makes me feel like I am drowning in clutter. I could have kept them and used them for years. But I don’t really use them and they are rotting in my closet. I live in a tiny home and can use the extra space.
4. A black pleated skirt : I don’t want to go to the dry cleaners to get this washed. And making pleats actually look like pleats after a wash, is way way too much work.
5. The floppy red winter felt hat that never gets worn : In theory, good. In practice, naa. It made my friend who inherited it really happy though.
6. Restaurant menus, paper memories from our travels : Now that I look at them, I don’t remember why I kept them. Yes, they are from Austria and other places but I forgot the significance of them. I shouldn’t have lugged them all the way on my back(pack) in the first place. #noteForTheFuture
7. Spare yoga mat : I had two and mom needed one.
* One of the 50 books I am reading
8. Zara striped tops that came apart at seams : Not worth getting them fixed by a tailor but I did sew them up before I donated them. I didn’t want them to go straight to the landfill although my dirty thread work won’t be earning them any points. Also, polyester clothing that I purchased 5 years ago feels like punishment to me now and this is the very last of it. When I started to wear my clothes in heavy rotation, the ones from Zara wore out really quick – no surprise there.
9. All the extra hangers left over after I decluttered my closet : I don’t need to see the possibility of hanging more stuff than I own.
10. A Splendid jersey navy blue blouse: Jersey is drapey and soft – something I liked during my younger days. Now, with every wash, it’s becoming more and more clingy. Not appropriate for outerwear. Sorry Coco Chanel ! but I don’t like jersey.
* street lamp reflections look beautiful after it rains
While this will no longer be a monthly ritual, I also realize this will not end for me for another year. I am moving into a smaller place by the end of the year. I will continue to fill my donate box till my move and perhaps do another round when I move. I am happy that my outgoing is way more than the incoming. I used to do one item-in-one item-out for the first year. But I realized it’s still an easy consumption pattern. Then, I started doing one-in-four-out for year two. It made me think for days before making a purchase. Now, I am at the place I envisioned myself to be, when I first got started. I can let go more but I am at peace. It took me two years to get here. And it has been such a happy process. I don’t foresee big purges and will let decluttering happen more organically in the future.