Who of you are in the thick of it with me right now in this process of reduction? I have been saying goodbye to so much useless stuff around here lately. My journey towards intentional minimalism, if you want to call it that, or to being left with only the essentials, largely started nearly a year ago when I first delved into the capsule wardrobe project.
Once I had my collection of clothing pared down to just the essentials, I started noticing other categories of “stuff” that needed to be sorted through as well. Over the past year, I’ve gradually been working at eliminating the excess of material things in our home. I’ve done a lot of reading on minimalism and de-cluttering, and along the way have learned ways to help me decide what stays and what goes. I decided it was time to compose a list of the questions that I find helpful in determining what meets my criteria for things that get kept. These questions, altered slightly, can also be helpful in deciding when a new purchase is worthwhile.
- Have I used it in the last week/month/year?
- Will I definitely use it in the coming year?
- Does it spark joy? (This question is taken from Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.)
- Does it correlate with my values system? (Non-toxic, space-efficient, beautiful, high-quality, etc.)
- Do I have space to store it?
- Would I buy it again?
- Would I take it with me if I moved to a different home?
- Would I miss it if it were gone?
- Would I be happier with the money I could make by selling this, than with the item itself?
- If given the choice between this and something else, would I choose it?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, there’s a good chance I will be motivated to throw away, donate, or sell the item in question.
I find an incredible amount of joy in replacing junk with empty space. An organized, clean home is something I value highly, and the process of elimination is more conducive to that end than any other task. I continue to be amazed, each time I do a purge, at how content I can be with less than I used to believe. Prime example: there are 4 pairs of shoes in my summer capsule wardrobe. I’ve worn mostly just one of them, all summer long. And I used to be the girl who would take like, four pairs of shoes just on a weekend trip. 😉 How many people in the world wish for just one pair to call their own? I still have a long way to go.
What would you add to this list? How do you determine what is worth holding onto? I’d love to hear your thoughts!