I’ve been on a massive decluttering binge this week, and it came out of the blue. My family and I have just arrived home from an amazing trip around the world, our last hurrah before the eldest starts school next month.
For four months we lived out of a large suitcase which contained a packing cube for each of us. We also had a daypack each and a bag for the baby stuff. All of this could be hauled on the collapsible stroller the baby refused to sit in 🙂
When we arrived home our amazing house sitters had the place looking cleaner than we have ever had it and we were so happy to get settled back in our tidy home. Until I started unpacking, that is.
Even though we downsized pretty dramatically a few years back, our small house is still quite full. I’m slowly becoming more minimalist in my way of thinking, but we still have loads of stuff which doesn’t meet the useful or beautiful (or my personal favourite goals) threshold. It’s a work in progress!
When I started to unpack the things we’d stored away so our house sitters would have room in our cupboards and wardrobes, I felt quite overwhelmed.
Not because I could envisage a huge decluttering task ahead, but because I realised that decluttering is never done.
But that’s OK, the important thing is I’m working at it. And this burst of inspiration was spawned by being away from home and living a clutter-free life.
So if there’s one thing I truly think everyone should do before they declutter it’s this: take a trip somewhere, away from home. You don’t need to go far. But go somewhere new. Have an experience you’ve always dreamed of. If you can afford it, tick something off your bucket list. Bring an overnight bag. Focus on the joy you get from a new experience, and how little of your things are with you. Compare that feeling to the one you get when you stare at an overstuffed cupboard in your house.
Set the bar for yourself, because until you’ve tried it, valuing experiences over things can sound like a load of new age waffle.
I cannot tell you how many times my husband and I were curled up on the couch of an Airbnb watching Netflix on the laptop whilst our babies slept and I thought to myself ‘this is all I need’. Right here. My people. My laptop. Some clothes and a book for reading when I go to bed.
Give it a try, you might just come home with a fresh set of eyes, ready to take on the mass of decluttering that awaits you. You could become slightly more ruthless, less emotional.
And if that doesn’t work for you (but I really think it will), did I ever tell you that decluttering and selling our stuff helped pay for many months of travel when we first started out? Well, it did. Do I miss the items we got rid of? No. Did I create awesome memories with my family? Yes, I did. Was it worth it? Without a doubt, yes!