Home Forums Unclutter Your Life in One Week Your story I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

This topic contains 10 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  boxroom 6 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #158222


    First, I’m not affiliated with the site. I’ve read it since post 4? 5?

    Here’s a brief summary:
    • Moved from a large 3 bedroom house to a one bedroom apt. (graduate school), to big 3 bedroom duplex, to tiny two bedroom, to big 3 bedroom house again.

    • We’ve settled in my job finally, and all the “some day we’ll use this” is meeting the road in that this year, anything we don’t use for Christmas is OUT.

    • The most important observation: It’s ALL, ALL mental.
    Techniques are great, but how they apply mentally is everything. Erin’s posts have helped ENORMOUSLY to enable me to view my possessions differently. The absolute truth is, the stuff I use every day is a few articles of clothing and a bowl of things – cell phone, keys, wallet.

    I used to have a multiple THOUSAND item toy collection, comics, basically a nostalgia addiction. I still enjoy toys, but I’ve shed so many. Now I’m within spitting distance of being what I consider completely uncluttered. (Yes, I’ll post pictures eventually).

    I’m enjoying so much of the reduced stuff, because as much as the annoyance of stuff is mental, the peace of the absence of stuff is mental too. It’s all head space. I feel 100% better, but the mental adjustments have taken four years. I guess if I had to make one big reflection, it’s that physically uncluttering could have been done in a week – but the mental work took me four years. That said, I’m so glad I found this place.

  • #160760


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    Well done! I’ve literally just found this place and signed up today so I have a long way to go. It is the inspiration of posts like yours that will nudge me into action . . . thank you!

  • #160761


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    i am so jealous

  • #216486


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    This is an interesting question: what are your reflections on what you’ve learned about decluttering?many of us have written about this on other threads too.

    Here are a few things at the top of my head:

    My mentality has shifted from a spirit of poverty (look at all the things I want and don’t have!) to a spirit of abundance (look at everything I have! And all this stuff I don’t need/use/want anymore!)

    The ATAD thread has given me lots of inspiration as I see what others are getting rid of, and that somehow has given me “permission” to get rid of things I thought I was somehow supposed to keep (things that are generally considered sentimental, gifts, etc.)

    It’s sometimes better not to tell people IRL that I am thinking of getting rid of something, because there is an invariable chorus of “noooooooooooooo, you can’t get rid of that!”

    It is especially important not to tell DH what I plan to get rid of! He wants to keep everything, even if it’s solely mine, even if he has never used it, or never seen it before lol! I would never touch his personal things, of course, although I do organise his side of the
    closet so I will haul out items that are showing wear and ask him if he still wants them.
    It took me a while to realise that he doesn’t actually care, but will do the man thing of needing to give an firm opinion when asked, which I then felt bound to. This leads into my next reflection, which is:

    I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my decision-making abilities. I don’t know who said it first on this forum, but “exercising the uncluttering muscle” is a great way to express the idea of improving decision-making.

    A couple of truths gleaned from this forum:
    -you can’t organise clutter
    -bandicoot said recently that hidden clutter is still clutter, and has the same mental effect, so true! Sometimes that is even worse for me

    So, your turn!

  • #216493


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    things i have learned:
    it is easier to just let it go, than to justify keeping it, then the ongoing effort of cleaning it, organising it, maintaining it, insuring it, storing it.
    the work starts in your head.
    buying cheap stuff is a waste of everyone’s time and and everyone’s energy and everyone’s planet.
    well-made things with a patina of age/wear/tear are my favourite things.
    the more i declutter, the more i declutter.
    it is possible for me to travel the world with two, black, layered outfits.
    short hair is the best thing since sliced bread.

  • #216497


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    I’ve learned:

    I can get rid of an item that seemed so important at one time, and after it’s gone, never think about it again.

    Less to clean and care for and some empty space is good.

    If I don’t have a stockpile of light bulbs, tp, shampoo, etc. it’s okay.

    Decluttering my ‘fantasy self’ was very freeing when I realized I had accumulated a lot of stuff I had been told I needed just-in-case. If the day ever comes that I have a big dinner party or cocktail party (ha!ha!… not!) I can rent what I need.

  • #216499


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    Thanks djk for a great item to bump.

    I have learned:
    That Justin Case does not live in my house, so I don’t need to keep stuff for him.

    I don’t have to find the best way to dispose of items, the charity bag is fine and for other things the recycling facilities and general refuse are good.

    I can meal plan and significantly reduce the ingredients kept for chaotic ‘look in fridge/freezer/cupboard’ to see what we can eat tonight.

    I was clinging onto many fantasy selves for absolutely no good reason, it was a huge relief to identify them.

    I’m not there yet but I am making progress, and even when I think I’m there I will have to do maintainance.

  • #216501


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    Interesting. I have learned that it is fine to be not quite where you want to be: progress and enjoying relaxing with what you have done is important, too. I have also found that the blitz method works and lasts for me but not for many others and that I have to be tolerant and accepting of all modes.
    I miss the deluttering craze but am also happy to be uncluttered.
    Most importantly I have learned from the blog that we are able to help and support each other despite physical difference, cultural variety, and a range of personal preferences. Communication over oceans and highways is enjoyable and enlightening.

  • #216507


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    What I’ve learned:

    Peace and comfort in my home are truly the two most important things to me. Getting rid of things that interfered with peace and comfort has been 100% rewarding and regret-free. These things have ranged from too many books, to kitchen gear I didn’t use, to a toxic job.

    Also: peace and comfort are physical, visual, and mental. Things of beauty may still interfere with peace and comfort if they are visually disruptive within the space we have, or if they get in the way of doing things we want to do.

    Unfinished business, even if it relates to work we value, is mentally disruptive. Procrastination is allowed only with regard to things of no true importance to our personal economy and our mutual goals.

    Also: peace and comfort NOW trump any imagined future state. Life is uncertain. Living in the present moment requires my full attention.

  • #225172


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    Cole, your story is so very inspiring. For years, I’ve had collections of clothes that I just could NOT let go of. Mentally, I couldn’t even get to a place to imagine those items gone. You’re right, changing one’s mind take years but it’ worth it.

  • #225189


    I'm almost there – reflections on what I've learned since this site opened.

    What I’ve learned:

    – I find decluttering liberating. I’m not losing things, I’m reclaiming space.

    – I don’t need to ask permission to declutter. I’m 22… anything my mum wanted from my childhood, she stowed away at the time. All the stuff in my room is mine to decide what I do with.

    – Very rarely do people even remember what they gave you years ago. Or if they do, they tend not to ask to see it.

    – Justin Case does not live here. I do not need to hold onto a load of books because they would be good for my brother to read. If he wants them, he’ll ask. Or borrow them from the library.

    – I’ve learnt to tell the difference between the item in the shop that I will use until it falls apart, and the novelty item which I’ll get bored of in about 5 minutes.

    – I do not miss items once I’ve chucked/donated them. If they’re not taking up my physical space, they’re not taking up mental space either.

    – Less stuff means less stuff to clean, sort, organise, store, dust, etc.

    – Like Liag, I’ve also found the blitz method works for me. I feel I get more done if I spend a whole Saturday decluttering. However, I know this doesn’t work for everyone.

    – Progress is progress, no matter how small. When I first started, I was thrilled to get just my window-sill cleared, in an otherwise heavily cluttered room. Just having that single length of wood uncluttered made such a difference to my mental state.

    – Decluttering, tidiness and suchlike should not make people feel unwelcome.
    Last year I stayed with some friends, when I went back up to Scotland to visit. Being students, I was of course sleeping on the sofa, which was fine. There was a small side-table in the corner, which I figured I could use for a couple of items while I was there – just my hairbrush and a couple of other small bits, nothing too much. I spent the day out visiting other friends in the city, and when I got back to the flat, my friend (who I’d forgotten is rather OCD) told me, “Oh, I’ve just tidied up, and put your stuff back in your suitcase for you.” Err, thanks. Way to make me feel comfortable.

    – I’ve learned I don’t actually like shopping. All the people, the crowds, the speed, the sensory overload… all for shops full of stuff I don’t actually want. I find it stressful and tiring.

    – The library holds my extended bookshelf.
    Also, my Kindle is good for classics.

    – I have a lot more space under the bed than I thought (it’s a cabin bed), now I’ve sorted half the clutter from under there. (Still got the other half to go, but hey. Progress!)

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