On a recent trip to the Rescue Mission drop off, I was thinking about all the stuff loaded in the back of my car. It occurred to me that there are common themes to the things I acquire and don’t end up using. In your own decluttering journey try reflecting on the items you discard to see if there is a lesson in there somewhere. Here are some of mine:
1. Stuff I got for free – The clothes and household items I’ve taken from someone else’s discard pile often go unused. The fact that I don’t have to pay for them apparently lowers my criteria for bringing them home. Before agreeing to take these things I try to ask myself “Would I pay for this?”
2. Stuff I got for a dollar – Is there any bigger contributor to modern-day clutter than the dollar store? While there are certainly some good items there, it is just too easy to add things to your cart that you really don’t need because of the low price tag. Try to only go to the dollar store for specific items that you need, and give yourself a (very low) budget for impulse purchases. If it’s too tempting, just stay away completely.
3. Stuff for hobbies – As a crafter I know the tendency when taking on a new hobby is to go buy all the things. Sometime later, when the initial excitement has worn off, you will be regretting your expensive stash of unused supplies. Try to start out slowly and develop your own process. Just because someone on YouTube has every tool doesn’t mean you need them.
4. Stuff I got as a gift – Even the most well-meaning people in your life don’t know you as well as you know yourself. Gifts often go unused, but we hang on to them out of guilt. If this is true for you, have a heart-to-heart with your loved ones. Let them know you truly appreciate what they give you, but you would prefer consumable gifts or shared experiences.
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