Growing up I went to a Catholic school and we always celebrated Lent. Every year we would come up with one or two things that we would be giving up during the 40 days before Easter. I continued that practice as an adult. Some years it may be a certain type of food. Some years I give up certain activities. But every year the goal is to deprive myself of something I enjoy doing or eating.
This year as I thought about what I wanted to do for Lent, I decided to do something different. I decided to declutter. During Lent I made up my mind to not only declutter my home, but to also declutter my life. I am getting rid of stuff. But I love my stuff. I hold on to my stuff. I always think I might have a use for my stuff at another time. Just like I have stuff that no longer serves me, there are also activities that no longer serve me.
For starters I made up my mind to only shop when it was absolutely necessary. Next, I decided that every day I would pick out five items to give away. This includes clothes that I don’t wear, books I don’t read, dishes I don’t use. You get the picture. I have a bag by the door to put things that I am giving away. My new attitude is everything must have a place. If it does not, then it has to go.
Getting rid of the things in our life can be hard. We have formed a relationship with them. It can become overwhelming because we often don’t know where to start. We really don’t know if we should keep it or give it away. To help me with this process I ask myself three questions.
- Does it look good on me?
- Have I worn it recently?
- Have I used it recently?
This helps me to let go of the item. I have found that the more stuff I have, the more time and money I waste. I waste time when I have to search for something in all my stuff and I waste money because when I can’t find it, I often buy it again.
Like me, you probably have a lot of reasons why you have accumulated and keep your stuff. But remember this, just because an item still has use, it does not mean that you have to be the person to use it. If it no longer brings you pleasure or is no longer useful, then give it away to someone who will get pleasure from it right now.