Yesterday’s post about my move to Baltimore and continued downsizing prompted some great comments and emails about how, exactly, to get started in creating a life with less stuff (and maybe more experiences instead).
We do this exercise as part of the 31 Days to Reset Your Life Challenge, but if you don’t plan on joining us for that program, the parameters below can be helpful to do when you have a free weekend or day off.
How to Decide What to Get Rid Of
If you’re feeling like you have too much stuff or there’s too much clutter in your living space, it’s a good sign that you need to start getting rid of some things. Your stuff might be holding you back from going after what you really want. My sister just moved to a big expensive apartment because she “needed” enough room to hold all of her furniture. So having a lot of stuff can also cost you money as it often comes at a price to store it either in your apartment, house or a storage facility.
Go through your living space and look around at all the things you own. Ask yourself if you really need or really love everything you’ve got sitting in your house, room or apartment. Go through closets, bedrooms, shelves, storage rooms, even your home office. For each item, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I really need this?
- Do I really love/want this?
Be honest with your answers. If the answer for any item is yes, keep it and keep loving it. If the answer for any item is no, kick it to the curb by throwing it away, giving it away or recycling it. The idea is to get rid of ALL the stuff you don’t need or love. If you don’t need it or love it, it’s gotta go. Every single bit of it. If you have a roommate, live-in partner, spouse or kids, you can also ask them to do the same.
Things You Might Want to Get Rid Of
- Clothes (most of us have only a few outfits that we wear over and over any way)
- Shoes (many of us have shoes we only wear once a year with one specific outfit – why let them keep taking up space?)
- Old newspapers and magazines (if you haven’t read it by now…)
- Knick-knacks (and the curio cabinet they’re sitting in)
- Dishes (do you really need 16 coffee cups?)
- Old photos and gifts you never look at or use (sentimentality can be expensive)
- Rarely used or broken appliances/electronics (get them fixed or get rid of them)
- Anything you haven’t used or worn in six months (you probably never will)
- Things you’ve never used or worn (let it go already)
- Clothes with the price tags still on them from a month ago (return them or give them away)