Deciding to try to minimalist approach to life is HARD. Mostly it's hard to get started, but sometimes even when you're in a good groove, you'll hit a road block. Things like "But my grandmother gave this to me", and "If I get rid of it, I might find that I need it later and have to buy it again", or "This is really cute, and it's in perfect condition!" We are in the beginning stages of minimalism, and I can promise you we will never be the true definition of minimalists, but we are going to do the best we can to achieve happiness, and freeing ourselves from our over abundance of belongings.
So, let me touch on those things that pop up into your mind when going through things. This is another thing I learned from Flylady. Start small. In one area of a room. Maybe pull out a box that you've been meaning to go through. You want to have 3 categories that you put things in. Put away, throw away, give away. I'll give examples on each categories, and those thoughts listed above. Here we go!
In our bathroom (this is the room I chose to deep clean and organize this week) I found some dog ear cleaner. One of our dogs is a breed that is known to have ear issues because they're floppy ears, and very very furry. When we got him over 3 years ago, we bought some to prepare ourselves. I found it in our bathroom 2 days ago and thought "Well, we got lucky and he has never had ear trouble, but I should probably hold onto it in case he does, so we don't have to buy it again" Seriously, Stacey? You've had it for more than 3 years, he hasn't needed it yet, and it's just getting moved around from one place to another, and from one house to another! We move a lot being a military family. Oh, and look, it's EXPIRED! So once that voice of reason came out, it was a pretty easy decision, after all. And, if one day we have to buy some more, we just will. Another way to avoid this, is don't buy things you think you MIGHT need.
So, that went in the trash. Next order of business. This is really cute, and it's in perfect condition! I had a very overflowing basket full of lotions and body sprays. Even as a woman, you won't use 10 bottles of body spray in a very quick amount of time. I had stuff in there that was full that I've had for FIVE years. I'm not even kidding. So, I went through and picked my favorites that I use constantly, and took the rest to the donate pile. OK, this is getting easier... Next!
This was in a different room, but this was one of THE hardest decisions I've made so far in my journey. My grandmother on my dads side passed away 2 days before my 5th birthday. I do remember her, but my memories are almost like photographs in my head. She was a very sweet lady, who loved to craft. She crocheted lots and lots of goodies for everyone in the family, and we have a BIG family. I had a blanket that was made by her that my mom passed down to me because she didn't want it anymore. The thing is, it's not something I honestly wanted, and it was being packed and stored and only taken out to look at once in a while.
Here's why I made the decision to let it go. My grandmother made it, yes. But holding onto that is not how I am choosing to remember and honor her. Keeping something that she made, and putting it in a box for decades is not doing it any justice. I know there is someone out there who could/would appreciate it the way it was meant to be, so I decided to donate it. I feel so much better about it having gone to the mission to raise money to feed the homeless, than it sitting in a dark box on a shelf.
And the things you love, but don't have a home. Find a home for them! Put them on display. If you can't think of a place for it that it will get some use, or be appreciated, maybe you don't love it as much as you thought you did?
Don't forget, once you get a box full of donations, put it in your car to take the next time you are out :)