Lesson Learned: Declutter

I’ll move again in just over a week – it’s not the first time I am moving, but it is the first time in almost three years. And although I thought I got a good overview of what I bought and all, when I started packing I realised how much stuff there is in our apartment. Some clothes have been in the basement as I did not need them in my last job, such as blazers and suits, and I have not even thought about them once in the past years. And let’s face it: I just don’t want to take all that stuff with me for the move.

Why is decluttering so hard?

Some people say, decluttering is not hard at all, but to be honest, I think that is a small minority. Most people do not like decluttering and going through their stuff to get rid of it – not only because of memories, but mainly we bought it with an intention in the first place. When we got it, we had an idea and we spent money on it, so getting rid of it now does not necessarily feel good. And even with the best intentions, we sometimes just need to be honest to ourselves: we will never wear that jacket that has been in the closet for several months.

Lesson Learned – Declutter

When I moved to NYC, I could only take one suitcase. The rest has been put into boxes and was stored – until I came back to Europe. First, I thought, I would never have enough with only one suitcase, but it turned out really good. It was so easy to choose an outfit every morning, because there was not so much stuff in my closet! When I came back, I started decluttering: All clothes I did not think about for the past months would go into a box in the basement. After a few more months, I would give them away or sell them, because I obviously do not need them and would not even miss them.

For some reason, the boxes remained in the basement and got good company, too. We decluttered our closets, put the stuff in boxes and brought it to the basement. Only when we decided to move soon, I realised it was really time for a change. Because I am not willing to carry any boxes which will end up in another basement to rest there for the next 10 years or so. And it feels so good! Decluttering makes you feel lighter and just better – as if you got rid of some weight that has been on your back. Such a good feeling!

How to declutter when you don’t have a move planned ahead

It’s important to face how much you actually own – e.g. by throwing all your clothes on one big pile and then put it back into your closet very neatly. Another very important thing is to be honest with yourself. When you have not worn those jeans or that sweater for a few months or even longer, chances are you will never wear it. So: Put it into a box, put that box away for three months and then have a look. Did you miss anything from the box? Put it back into your closet. Did you not miss it? Get rid of it. It’s not only to have more space, but having less stuff makes getting dressed in the morning so much easier and quicker! Plus: When buying new stuff, I always make sure that the item I buy matches what I already own to be able to combine different outfits with whatever I bought. This saves loads of unnecessary buys!

What’s your tip for decluttering?

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