I have way too much stuff. We all do. I’ve been asking these questions of myself in recent weeks:
Why do I have a jewelry box full of jewelry I haven’t seen in years?
Why is half of my closet full of clothes I never wear?
Why do I still have boxes full of stuff from when we moved here two years ago, and even some boxes from when I moved out on my own over a decade ago?
Why am I holding on to so much stuff that I never look at or use?
Recently, I wrote about how I have been dreaming of minimalism after reading books and blogs and the Bible. In choosing to actually believe God on His view of earthly possessions and materialism, I began really evaluating what I have been keeping and why.
About a year ago, I did a serious purging of stuff that I no longer value, such as childhood collections, out-of-style clothes, et cetera. It felt great. We had a garage sale and turned a bunch of stuff that was needlessly crowding our home into capital that could be wisely invested. While I did get rid of a ton of stuff, I am recognizing a flaw in my approach to purging last time. All I asked myself was whether or not I liked or wanted each item I evaluated. This is a good place to start, but it’s incomplete.
Look back at my questions italicized above. My first one refers to my jewelry box. I didn’t get rid of any jewelry in my first purge. I like everything in my jewelry box; it’s all so pretty! So naturally, I didn’t even open it when I was looking for stuff to get rid of. Now, my jewelry box is where I have started.
I’m not even finished yet, but I have already identified 55 items to sell. Fifty-five!!! My questions to myself through this process have been:
- Do I wear this? If yes, keep it.
- If I don’t wear it, do I treasure it as an heirloom or for sentimental reasons? If yes, keep it.
- If I don’t wear it or treasure it, is there any compelling reason to keep it?
Generally, if I make it to question #3, the answer is no. There are lots of pretty items I’m getting rid of that I really like. There are pieces that I just might wear with one certain outfit for one yet unforeseen occasion in some future decade, but that’s not reason enough to keep it. I will still have plenty of versatile pieces left that are more than adequate for this purpose, and each of them will be pieces I really love and that really mean something to me.
And I mean really. Who needs jewelry anyway? Even if I had nothing but a wedding ring, it really wouldn’t matter at all. This was an easy and encouraging place to start moving toward minimalism!
Think about your home. If you were to embark on this journey, where do you think you would start?