Once again I find myself packing all my belongings and moving out from what has been my home for the past year. I have moved seven times in the past five years. And although I have become more detached from materialistic possesions and developed the art of letting go, I still manage to find myself with three huge suitcases impossible to lift. How did I manage to accumulate so much stuff in so little time? And I thought I was doing well!
I have definitely made an effort. While I was a compulsive buyer in my younger years, I now find myself more content with one new quality item of clothing than four average skirts on sale. Decluttering has become my favorite activity, one that I perform every season.
The rules I set myself are simple. Whatever I haven’t worn in the past year has to go. Books that I am unlikely to read have to be given away. Instruction manuals for various appliances will never be read, let’s face it. They go. Delivery menus can be read on the internet. They should not sit on the kitchen table for months and serve as place mats. CDs and DVDs with obscure contents are binned. First year law school notes written with a blue Stabilo 2.1, seriousness and dedication will never, never be revisited. Heart-breaking…but I let them go. Guilt and obligation should not dictate what I choose to keep or send away. What is of little value to me might improve someone else’s life or bring some joy to others. Things I ‘might’ need in the distant future do not add to my immediate happiness or well-being.
So why am I still walking around with so much weight on my shoulders when you can see me wearing the same pair of jeans every single day – except laundry day. Is it more difficult in practice than in theory? Why do we complicate our lives with useless ‘essentials’ that only waste our time, suck our energy and clutter our home? Why do I insist on hanging on to my stationary box containing 10 different shades of yellow post-its, tape, tip-ex, 5 different staplers (in case one breaks) when I haven’t used a pen in… so long that I cannot even remember. And if I were to use one, I don’t see what I could possibly write at my age with a pink glitter gel pen…
Shouldn’t we start by decluttering our minds first? By realising we actually need very little to look and feel good? By admitting that with less distractions around us, we can think, work and interact with our loved ones much better? The journey is definitely long but I am determined to adopt and maintain a minimalistic approach to hopefully one day travel light with sunglasses, lipstick, a handbag and a smile. ONLY. Ta-ta.