For long years, I used to declutter my household by the “calendar” method. What is it about? In a nutshell: we need to say goodbye for 1-2-3…items, depending on the day of the month. On the 1st, it is one piece to be sorted, on the 2nd should be farewell for two objects. As we arrive to 27th, 28th… it is getting more and more difficult to find enough clothes (gadgets, accessories, non-used-cosmetics…) to let go. No surprise, my decluttering period usually was February.
Even using the shortest month of the year, I could lighten up my home with 420 pieces and surprisingly, the change was not even a drastic one. Of course, I felt guilty that I had so many unnecessary things laying around, using my resources in a way, that was neither smart nor sustainable. However, this shame normally evaporated and surely was not enough to trigger a real change in my habits.
The breakthrough came last year. As part of my Style Coaching study with the International Style Coaching Institute, I went down the “tough” path, decluttering my wardrobe straight off, only in a few hours.
What is the difference between the two approaches and why did I totally fall for the “radical” method?
As the radical process happens at once, I needed to reflect on the whole wardrobe – not just cherry-picking a few definitely unnecessary items and tick the box. The real “aha” feeling came when I reviewed the big pile of garments, those I haven’t used for minimum a year. Why do I still feed my closet if I have so many stuff? Why can’t I let my ancient “treasures” go?
Damn difficult, but these were the moments of truth, unmask my excuses and what laid behind them.
“I will slim into them by the summer” or “It was a gift and I’d feel guilty if I didn’t keep it” or “Oh, such a nice memory, I was wearing this dress, when…” and even more “It costed so much when I bought it and I feel ashamed just giving away”.
To overcome the internal barriers, most of the cases I needed to:
Accept myself, my actual situation
I will never be able to go back in time and it’s not needed. Dresses, items which used to be fantastic matches so years ago, are outdated by now. Just let them go, acknowledging that they used to solve their purpose well.
Sure, I bought items by pure impulse, some of them even costed painfully lot. Just to keep them hidden in my attic to forgot about the guilty purchase will not change the fact that I made a mistake. If I reflect, I can most probably avoid the same mistake next time
Acknowledge that a gift is not a chain
Yes, I do hide presents from beloved family members and friends in the depth of my drawers for years. If I let the given present go, I still love and respect the presenter.
After recognising my patterns, to find a good solution is already easy.
I often give away my dresses, either to friends or to charity. As my dresses and bags are either timeless or in good condition, knowing that soon someone else will be happy with them already ease up my pain of letting them go.
As an alternative solution, lately I have explored sellpy, an easy- to- manage online second hand surface and sold a couple of my non-used garments. Hopefully, they will find their new owner soon and my “income” goes for donation.
How do you declutter?
Is it a purge of a pain for you? Are you a collector or you can let your relics go easily?
In case you need help with your decluttering, I am happy to support.