Didja find fifty things?
I petered out at about 46, myself. Got hijacked by a powernap and then by processing about four billion pounds of peppers and tomatoes. (Which is awesome, but also created something of a typhoon of Mess for a day or so.)
Still, even if there were only five things leaving your care, it’s five less things than you had to deal with before.
If you didn’t get to the weekend challenge, stop reading and take a look around your desk. I bet you can find five things within an arm’s length, even.
I know, especially if you have a slight acquisition issue (ahem), that it seems a little daunting to get through. Like you’d never be able to get to an actual decluttered space. (Or you’ve got no interest in ever being a minimalist anyway.)
You kind of have to look at the whole process as just that…a process. You’ll find what works for you — because despite what all the self-help books and websites and experts like to say, your tolerance for crap is going to be a lot different than anyone else’s. Maybe you like having stacks of things sitting around (within reason). Or maybe it drives you batshit insane when there’s three pieces of paper on the desk.
There’s nothing wrong with either way…provided that it’s reasonable for you, your finances, your health, and your comfort level.
See, that’s what the experts get wrong.
That whole one-size-fits-most thing is based on their own ideas of what’s reasonable. Just because I’m needing to have fewer “treasures” to care for (and dust, and insure, and play with) doesn’t mean that you do, too.
“Sane” is one of those concepts that’s way too subjective. A sane amount of paper for me would be way too much for someone who doesn’t bind books or keep art journals. (Though, I admit, a basket full of Moleskines may be going a bit overboard.) A sane number of jars for someone who makes jellies or whatever might be a full shelf’s worth, whereas my mom’s cabinet full of them is way excessive. (She’s never canned a thing in her life.) A semi-truck’s worth of yarn might seem crazypants to most people…unless the person has an online store, or teaches kids to crochet blankets.
The thing is: It’s excessive only if it’s not being used.
Unused Stuff is just clutter. Even if it’s still good. Even if you got it from your mom. Even if you meant to use it someday and never did get around to it.
So my personal insanity may be the stack of fabric I still keep, despite the fact that I can injure innocent bystanders with a needle and thread. (No, really. There has been at least one Sewing Machine Incident involving someone else’s eye. I’m largely untalented in that arena.) Is it pretty? Yes. But if it’s just sitting there, it’s holding potential energy. And that’s expensive, when you think about the mental cost of sighing every time you see it.
So today, figure out what’s actually sane, and what’s actually used.
It might take you a few days, especially since, once unused things are in your house for a while, they get a wee bit invisible. They’re using up a brain cell somewhere, most likely, where you’re pretty sure you’ll take that stuff and do something amazing with it, but it’s become unconscious and rote.
You have to get a little bit honest, here. What do you really use? What do you have time to use, even though you want to do everything? What have you been saying you’re going to use forever, but still haven’t?
No expert can give you the answers to those questions.
And while it’s work, for sure, with a capital W…it’s worth it in the end.
Just be ready for the process.
And go throw out five obvious things right now to prime the well, while you’re at it.