organization, Self Growth

5 Reasons Letting Go Is So Damn Difficult!

Wanting a more simple life starts with letting go of what no longer serves us. Easier said than done am I right? I feel like I say this, but always end up saving tons of questionable items. Why is it so hard to let go in the first place? I wish I could just turn my feelings off for one second.

Recently, I helped my husband downsize his childhood belongings from six large storage containers to only one. It was quite the project but one we both knew was something to tackle. It got me thinking about why we hold onto certain things & also why it can be so hard to finally let go. It’s almost like the longer you own something, you start to believe whatever that something is, must be special & worth holding onto. And we discovered even though he forgot most of what was in these containers, the memories started flooding back. And this is why sentimental item can be the MOST difficult to let go. But any type of belongings, if we place too much meaning on said item can become difficult to throw away. Here are 5 reasons why letting go can be so damn difficult.

You Are Still Living in the Past

Nostalgia can be a precious thing. Whether it’s a smell, an object or even a single thought , these things tie us to what we once were. We almost hold onto things for the sole purpose of trying to preserve our memories.

Especially with physical objects, we almost keep these things with the fear of forgetting. We must remember the most powerful aspect of our memories are ourselves. We must let go of said fear & trust we will remember things in our minds. Again, don’t let your objects hold so much credit. You are far more than what you own.

I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but sentimental items are very difficult for me to declutter. I have been biting the bullet though & challenging myself to go through these items brutally. And through this process, I’ve learned a lot about myself & the things I hold near & dear to my heart. In my 5 Things To Keep In Mind When Decluttering Sentimental Items, I pinpointed key factors that helped me downsize my keepsakes in half!

I felt like I was holding onto too many past memories that ultimately made me feel stuck & less likely to move forward in my life. Although I still have plenty of sentimental items to look back on & cherish, I allowed myself to be rid of the pointless emotional baggage that was taking up space in my home. You need to remember life is constantly moving & you will have far more memories & keepsakes ahead. Make room for the future by narrowing down your past.

You Feel Guilty Giving It Up

Maybe you have a pit in your stomach for purchasing something so expensive you never use. Or perhaps you were gifted something & although the gesture is always sweet, you just don’t use it. These feelings of guilt should not become a burden to your mind.

If you feel guilty over whether you should get rid of something, you should always be rid of that item. That mental turmoil will only make matters worse. I always believe it is better to let go of something you don’t use so it can be treasured by someone else.

And if you are having difficulty letting go an item because it was either passed down to you by a family member or given to you as a gift, ideally the person shouldn’t be upset if you no longer want something. Either return it to the sender or give it to someone who would better appreciate it. Material items should rarely have such pressures of value. And if they do hold lots of value, finds ways to use it or display it. Otherwise, let it go.

Fear of Needing it in the Future

This concept reminds me of everyone buying tons of toilet paper in the beginning of the pandemic. Fear & consumerism when tied together, create chaos. You can’t go walking around with the mindset of the world is ending or “I’ll never be able to find this again.” That’s when hoarding develops. And we really don’t want that. In today’s world, it is rather easy to find certain items online. If at any point you are missing an item or need it again, you can always repurchase it later.

This is why when shopping I don’t purchase just incase items or bulk items. To me, it just seems like a waste of space, money & product. Save some for the rest of us please. I think a lot of people have this notion that if you hold onto something for those just in case moments, it saves them money in the long run. I have noticed this is a wrong way of thinking.

Rarely do I feel grateful for having kept certain things for those just in case items. For example, I’ve had this Christmas sweater I wore one time but have held onto it JUST IN CASE we have an ugly christmas sweater party to go to. The future is always questionable & who truly new we wouldn’t be having large get togethers with friends for a year. By the time we actually have a party, I’m going to want a brand new outfit!

What Will People Think?

Repeat after me, stop caring what people think of you! If a person truly cares if you get rid of something, maybe you should gift it to them. This is your life to live so if you feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your home, don’t waste anymore time.

I’ll be honest, I probably still own plenty of things other people told us we HAD to have when owning a home. But slowly I will even downsize these items because most MUST HAVE items are useless in my opinion. And if there comes a time we truly need something, we will buy it. Simple as that.

It Hints You Were Wrong

Whatever it may be, it’s ok to admit it wasn’t right & it’s healthy to finally let it go. Life is too short to be living with things & people that don’t serve you. And if anything else, these wrongdoings can be seen as lessons leading us to our correct path.

Admitting you were wrong about something can be a hard pill to swallow. But it’s also extremely human & liberating. Maybe you were wrong about a certain style of clothing working for you. Or in a more deep sense, maybe a certain person in your life is wrong for you. These mistakes & lessons are normal & a part of life.

I truly hope these tips help you have more clarity with the idea of having a clutter free life. Comment down below what holds you back from letting go.

-B

organization

10 Things You Can Declutter in Your Kitchen Today

In this next detox series post, I wanted to take our decluttering session to the kitchen. This kitchen is an area of the home that obtains a lot of foot traffic. With eating multiple times a day & some of us working from home indefinitely now – it’s a place that gets dirty & unorganized pretty easily. Since that’s the case, it’s important to keep this area clutter free & downsized as much as possible. Here are 10 Things You Can Declutter in Your Kitchen Today:

Excess Gadgets & Appliances

The easiest way to have a simple & easy to clean kitchen space is to have clear or semi-cleared countertops. The biggest culprit to clutter is huge appliances taking up precious food prep space. Minimize this issue by only keeping out the appliances you use regularly & store the rest.

Worn Out Dish Towels

We keep a few dish towels in a drawer & one over the stove for decor purposes. Be sure that any towels, especially ones on display aren’t damaged, worn out or stained. You can purchase a pack of these from Target for only $3, so they are relatively easy to replace when necessary. Another tip is to purchase dish towels or rags of darker shades so stains aren’t as easy to see.

Expired Foods

This might seem like an obvious one but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked in the back of the fridge or pantry & found some very questionable items. So, make sure you are cleaning through these areas regularly. This is another reason why I don’t like to over purchase or purchase items in bulk. Chances are they will sit in the pantry collecting dust.

Take Out Menus You Never Use

Now a days, you can find everything online, but I still like keeping around a few take out menus like our favorite local Chinese place. If there are any menus you never reach for, take this time to recycle those.

Cook Books

For some reason I love the ideas of cookbooks but realistically never really use since most things can be found online. Plus, they are rather bulky items. If you have no way to decoratively display them or never look through, maybe it’s time to finally donate them to someone else.

Mugs

For not being a coffee person, I sure do own quite a few mugs. I managed to let go of a few that had cheesy inspirational quotes on them or sayings. I’m leaning towards more solid colored mugs because I’m such a plain Jane now & I’m less likely to get sick of those styles.

Take Out Sauces Packets

In some ways, I can see how someone would find hoarding these packets useful [ especially Chick fil A sauce] but honestly – I’ve found they mostly just sit untouched & we eventually accumulate even more. Use them up or throw them away.

Coasters

We own 20 coasters. How this happened, I have no idea. I guess they are the quintessential house warming gift or something. But I managed to choose a small set that were are favorites & let go of the rest.

Excess Pots & Pans & Other Cooking Essentials

In general, you want to look through your collection of cooking tools & choose the favorites out of the bunch. You don’t need 10 different pots & skillets. We actually only own a full set – 5 items & it works for us. Granted it’s only a house hold of two at the moment, but still. Cutting back on these items will surely diminish excess clutter.

Manuals

All those wonderful gadgets you purchase all come with their own instructional manual. News flash, you actually don’t need to own these at all. Most manuals are found online anyway. So save some space by letting go of this paper clutter.

I hope this list gives you some inspiration when decluttering your own kitchens. What are some other things we all could declutter from our kitchens. Leave your suggestions in the comments.

-B

Fashion

95% of My Clothing Gone?! But I’m Still Decluttering! | Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe

When you think of a minimalist wardrobe, what do you consider it to look like? For some, it’s an x amount of items, usually sticking to smaller numbers. Or maybe, it’s an aesthetic filled with all neutral shades. In some cases, people swap out their clothing seasonally, also sticking to a strict number of items. One of the queens of capsule wardrobes, Courtney Carver – the creator of Project 333, allows 33 items within a 3 month span. I personally, live like Lizzie McQuire – an outfit repeater. Truthfully, there is no right or wrong to the minimalist lifestyle. All of these definitions are options. You just simply need to choose what works best for you & your lifestyle.

My Personal Journey

Something to keep in mind with my own personal wardrobe is I stick to an all year round style closet. The weather can be pretty all over the place where I live. One day I could be in shorts & a tank top, when a few days later I could be rocking leggings & a sweatshirt. It’s easier to keep every season together in one area. The only pieces that aren’t stored in my closet are my ski / snow gear or holiday attire like Christmas sweaters [ which, yes – I still own ]. Not all minimalists are cookie cutter neutral lovers. Over the last few years, I’ve downsized my closet immensely – roughly 200 items worth. I’ve donated 10 bags of clothing to local shelters or The GoodWill & I’ve even sold a few items for some money back.

You May Also Like: I Tried Project 333 & This Is How It Went

After a year of wedding planning & our wedding in May, I returned from our honeymoon with an itch to declutter my wardrobe [ & entire home] once again. It’s amazing & a little bit frustrating how clutter just seemed to accumulate all of a sudden. I’ve also changed a lot personally, so I’ve been looking to “let go of the old & bring in the new.” Not only this, but the grieving process has caused me to evaluate my entire existence & shed what is no longer serving me.

Let It Go

The first point of action is to thin your wardrobe as much as possible. Marie Kondo suggests taking everything out & laying it on the floor or your bed to showcase the immense overflow. And I agree with this method. There’s something so eye opening to seeing your belongings in a mountainous pile. I’ve shared countless posts about decluttering your wardrobe, so if you are wondering what types of items you should let go of, venture over to one of or both of these blog posts: 30 Items You Don’t Need in Your Wardrobe & Listen Up: You Don’t Need These Things in Your Closet . By decluttering your wardrobe first, you will have a much easier time organizing said clothing in a way that is functional for your routines. In my most recent decluttering session, I went through my formal dresses & donated ten! I had so many dresses pushing 5 or even 10 years old & they just didn’t fit or look as nice as when I first purchased them. It was time to finally say goodbye & make space for some updated pieces that fit my current body & style.

Holding Onto The Past

There is something practical about keeping an item of clothing for 5 or even 10 years. You definitely have braggers rights that you’ve gotten your money’s worth. To this day, I hold so much sentimental value to clothing pieces. And I seriously need to quit it! I’ve had this red dress for nearly 15 years now because I remember feeling so confident in it at the age of 18. Although it still fits, the style is not as flattering & I feel like nobody really wears body con dresses anymore. I’ve had the hardest time letter that dress go. I would place it with all the donations, but it would miraculously end up in our spare closet. Plus, I haven’t worn it out in 5 years. It is literally collecting dust in my closet. I’m trying to be brutal & rip the bandaid “so to speak” & finally let these types of items go!

You May Also Like: 5 Things To Keep in Mind When Decluttering Sentimental Items

Needing To Shop

Here I go again with NEEDING things! But here me out. I sometimes feel like I hold onto items of clothing because I’m too lazy to find replacements. For example, I finally donated a pair of black ankle boots from 2017 that my mom would call my “witch shoes.” I would keep them because finding the perfect pair of ankle boots can be a job & in my mind, I found it easier to keep wearing said witch shoes instead of finding a more flattering pair. Another area I need replacements for are my shorts. I’ve had the same American Eagle denim shorts since 2012? And they just aren’t flattering anymore. I need to make a mental note to be on the look out for new ones. I bring up the need for shopping because I feel like when we declutter, we forget the importance of updating our wardrobes & styles. We aren’t meant to remain the same, so why should our clothing be? It’s a true balance of getting proper use out of a piece of clothing & not letting the same items keep you stuck.

As I write this, I’m still in the process of decluttering. I hope to transform my wardrobe to the person I am today & can’t wait to share a full look into each piece. If you’d be interested in seeing an inside look of my capsule wardrobe this fall, let me know in the comments. And until then, let me know if you’d consider a capsule wardrobe yourself? Is there any piece of clothing you need to declutter?

-B