It’s spring and although for me it means time for allergies, it also means time to declutter.
This season I was looking to introduce new micro habits into my life to bring about balance, less stress, and less stuff. I joined a 10-day challenge and each day we were introduced and asked to incorporate a new micro habit into our day. One of the micro-habits was how to declutter.
“Decluttering is removing unnecessary items from an untidy or overcrowded space.”
During my decluttering process, I stumbled across a set of magazines I had been collecting since I was a teenager. These magazines were my guide to being a teen and making it out alive. Recently though I have come to an age where I am less dependent on these magazines and should finally let them go. My dilemma is I can’t seem to say goodbye. These magazines would move from one corner of my room to the next. I would make every excuse of why I should keep them around, from they have sentimental value to I need them as research for a blog or an article.
Because of my mini dilemma, I decided to do some research and find others with similar challenges. Finally, I thought I would put together a few tips on how to declutter and finally let go.
Say Thank you
If you have followed the decluttering ways of Marie Kondo, you know she is one to keep and treasure items that bring you joy, but what if your item that brings joy doesn’t fit into your new world. It is okay to outgrow things and, saying goodbye isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
Luckily Marie also asks you to sincerely thank your items for taking care of you before letting them go. This way, you can give your items the respect it deserves and you can let go without the feeling of guilt.
Create a memory Journal
Items have a way of attaching themselves to our lives, leaving us with a spiral of excuses of why we should keep them. Creating a memory journal allows us to take each ‘excuse’ and write them in the journal. For example, I assumed my magazines help me with article topics so, before I parted with them, I noted all the possible articles and added them in my memory journal. This way, I still have a part of my magazines without having each one piled up across my bedroom.
Pass it down
Another way to let go and make sure your items are valued is to donate them to someone who would use them in their lives. There are plenty of libraries, donation bins, and second-hand stores that would love to take your items and share them with others.
Desensitize the nostalgia
Okay, so this might be the harshest way to let go but if you made your way through the list and you’re still sitting with your items, then it might be time to bring out the intervention worthy.
Desensitizing nostalgia means purposefully making the items you hold dear to you irritate you so much that you have to get rid of them. Place the items in a place where you have to see it every day, a space that’s beyond inconvenient. Your positive emotion towards that item is what keeps you from letting go.
Find the new
Like a dog or an addict, another way to let go of something is to replace it with something else. If you aim to declutter, then maybe something new could be a tub of your favorite ice-cream or dancing around to your favorite song. Psychologically we respond well to positive reinforcement. So if all else fails, try rewarding yourself after saying goodbye.
If you made it through this list and you still haven’t been able to say goodbye, then maybe you should sit back and ask yourself why. Is it the money you spent, the memories attached, or the dreams it represents? Remember no matter the reason, if it no longer brings you joy, you will only be filling that item with negative energy and everything around it will suffer as a result, so in the end, it’s better and healthier to let go. If this isn’t the case, you still find joy, you feel your journey with your item isn’t over then find a proper space for your item to stay with you.