When I arrived in Denver in June 2007, it was in “style” in my 2003 four-door Pontiac Grand Am, which not only transported me but basically all of my possessions. Fast forward eight years and those possessions have grown significantly — to fill a three-bedroom (albeit, pretty small) house.
While it’s not surprising I had to purchase a few mandatory things upon moving here, the list continued to grow with each new residence I took. It began with a bedroom set while I was rooming with someone and then expanded to items needed to furnish my own apartment and then, later, my house.
And, while I do take pride in the fact that I’m super anti knick-knacks and other nonfunctional stuff and try to keep a neat and tidy house, which requires the lack of a lot of extra things, I have found in the past year that I’m uncomfortable with the amount of things I’ve acquired in the last eight years. As a result, I began my quest to downsize in January by creating a plan to audit and organize each room and remove any superfluous items. The result was four carloads of donations and a few sold items. But, even after all of that, I couldn’t shake the feeling that my house was still too full.
When I visited Paris last month, I was further inspired to start reducing further after listening to Paris to Go blogger Ariana Schwarz explain her minimalistic lifestyle. I also realized that my petty attempt to declutter, while effective and rewarding at the time, was not enough. I was too easy on myself, talking myself out of getting rid of some items based on the fact that I may “someday” need them. And, to make matters worse, I continued to buy new items that I didn’t really need.
While I’ll never be at the level of minimalism commitment that Schwarz and her husband have adopted, I’d like to think I could at least get closer to the peripherie.
In the the life-changing magic of tidying up, author Marie Kondo asks a simple questions to readers who are contemplating whether to keep or toss an item, “Does it emit joy?” And, while admittedly many of Konko’s tactics drive me a bit bonkers, this is one for which I can wholeheartedly get on board.
So, I’m starting over my attempts to rid, declutter, tidy up and get rid of my too much shit — beginning with an audit of everything I own. While this step may seem a bit arduous, it’s been a good reminder for me of just how much stuff I really have and also provides an opportunity to create some measurable goals. Instead of “get rid of some things,” I’m striving for an overall 30% reduction focusing on those items that do not spark joy.
Wish me luck! And, come back next week for my attempt at cleaning up my online clutter, which is much easier said than done. Believe me.