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Just Get Rid Of It!

Do you have stuff, that you haven’t used in years, cluttering up your home and you haven’t yet come to terms with getting rid of it, so you keep putting it off? Me too!

All my containers of sewing stuff on the right. Stuff for donation on the table. photo by me

I was in a cleaning mood yesterday, and we have a guest staying with us next week, so I wanted to tidy up some of the junk in our spare room. I’m productive when I get in these moods which I love!

I have a lot of sewing equipment in plastic containers. I have kept fabric for twenty years with intentions of making something out of it. I have kept old projects from when I was in fashion design school, also about twenty years ago. I have partially completed garments that inspire feelings of disappointment, failure, regret and guilt every time I look at them. I think of how great they would look finished, but my interest and inspiration to sew has waned. Maybe my interest will return, I think to myself, so I put it back in the container and store it away once more. I’ve done that many times, but after twenty years, maybe I should take the hint already!

I started reorganizing my containers of my stuff, downsizing two containers into one. Then I remembered books I’ve read by ‘The Minimalists’ and Joshua Becker saying that reorganizing all our stuff that we don’t use takes time out of our lives. If we eliminate the stuff then we create more time for more important things.

“The easiest way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it” The Minimalists

I’ve reorganized my sewing stuff more times than I can remember and I still never used it, so I started throwing it out and boxing it up for donation. I emptied four containers, created a bunch of space in our spare room and it felt great! I like to go in the room just to look at how tidy and roomy it is. It really is a weight off!

Why do we do that to ourselves? Keep stuff we don’t use, and every time we look at it, we feel shitty. Get rid of the stuff, and thus, get rid of the shitty feelings!

That piece of clothing that you love, but can’t wear because you’ve gained a few pounds, and every time you look at it you feel crappy because you haven’t lost the weight… Just get rid of it!

That really nice leather jacket you bought, but only wore it a handful of times, and it’s not your style anymore…. get rid of it!

The projects you’ve started, with no desire to finish them in the foreseeable future… get rid of it!

The wedding dress that you bought for that one special day, and was a style that you could wear again but never have. Take a picture of it and then get rid of it!

When you look at your stuff that is stored away, that you no longer use, how does it make you feel? If your story is similar to mine, you would likely benefit by getting rid of it.

You might have some things that inspire happy memories, but negative feelings typically follow. Like that activity that you once loved, but haven’t done for years, sparks feelings of happiness, then regret and/or guilt because you gave it up. Then you spend the rest of the day beating yourself up for quitting said activity. Is keeping your stuff worth the anguish?

Think of the positive things about getting rid of your unused stuff. Other than creating space and ridding yourself of negative thoughts, other people could use it, some more than others, like single moms or those who have less.

Animal shelters are always in need of blankets and towels If you need to lighten the linen closet. Unwanted fabrics like fleece and flannel are acceptable too. Plus, It feels good to help a dog, cat or furry friend have a nice place to sleep.

When you have stuff that could be thrown out or donated, it’s easy. Gather it up, and either, throw it out or put it in a box for donation. An added bonus is to put it in your car so it’s out of your house and out of sight. You get the satisfaction of the newly created space in your home, and when it’s out of sight, it eliminates the temptation to open the box and go through it because you’re having second thoughts.

If you’re unsure about getting rid of some things, box the questionable items up and put it where you can’t see it, wait up to one month. Can you even remember what is in the box? If not, that’s a confirmation that you can do without it’s contents.

Sentimental items can be captured in a photo to inspire your fond memories without the item taking up space in storage.

I know what you’re thinking… It’s not the same!

You don’t have to keep things to inspire memories. How often do you look at the things you have in storage anyways?

Paired down and tidied up! The donation stuff is in my car, sewing stuff under the table, on the right is my winter clothes, felting equipment, and yoga props. The felting stuff is next to go out, but i’m hoping to use it. photo by me.

I used to have a lot of stuff and it was hard to part with so much of it. Once I started, it became something that I wanted to keep doing, looking for something else I could get rid of. I feel energized and lighter after a purge, and my house is tidy.

It’s worth a try. If you’re hesitant, start off slowly, one box at a time, or one item at a time. The items in boxes, in your garage or spare room that you forgot about are good things to start with. Pack them up and get them out of sight. If you forgot about them before, you will forget about them again. Donate it so someone can else can use it and appreciate it as much as you once did.