Oftentimes when we think about decluttering and getting rid of things we might get scared that a) we might need that thing one day or b) our home will be an empty joyless place without all this stuff or c) we convince ourselves that we actually can't get rid of any of it. But if you think about what you gain from having less, you'll realize that you actually end up with much, much more:
Our recent foray into Week 2 of the Cure had us cleaning out the kitchen. Our goal was to rid the kitchen of old/expired food, mismatched or broken dishes and in general anything we don't use, love or need. We sort of scoffed at the idea. We only moved into this apartment in February and we let go of a lot back then since our new kitchen was much smaller. So we kind of figured that there was nothing to be done about our packed cupboards, but we started anyhow. And boy were we surprised. Out went the 9 month old open pasta boxes, out (to a shelter) went those 6 cans of garbanzo beans we're just never going to use, out went the take out menus that we were saving for someday. We consolidated half empty tea boxes and in general really took look at what we use and need. Since we did just move in February, it was easy to see what we haven't even touched in 8 months. Out it went! We managed to clear out enough space that now when we look into the cupboards we can see everything on the shelf, instead of things needing to be double and triple deep.
So we made a pumpkin pie to welcome in the Fall. Really.
And here's what that whole Saturday night taught us: When we're willing to do this work for our homes and ourselves and willing to let go of what doesn't work (the stuff and the ideas) we not only get space (without having to move to a bigger place) but we get freedom to make our homes exactly what we want them to be. This freedom isn't anything we can point to, it's the feeling we got from engaging in the process of letting go of what isn't helping us. It shows us that we have choices about the way we live and what we tolerate. And when we know that this freedom is what's on the other side of letting go of clutter, it makes it that much easier.
Imge from Ben's Mid Century Mecca who has this to say about stuff:
"When I moved in, I told myself that I would only allow things in the door that I really liked. If I didn't like it, then I wouldn't have it. So it took me about 3 months till I had my first light and about 3 years to get my first planter. My friends got me a little addicted to "architectural pottery," the pottery originally designed to go along with a lot of the first Case Study Houses."