Hello, sunshine and warm weather! How gorgeous is this day?! Days like today make me want to open all of the windows and start that spring cleaning!
A couple of weeks ago one of my dear friends asked me a few questions on minimalism and decluttering. I realized that I haven’t posted much about it lately so I am taking this time today to come back to it!
Eric and I don’t hold onto anything. Almost in a bad way. We’re those parents that take one look at our son’s scribble art and throw it away as soon as he leaves the room. I have friends who keep all of their child’s school work in bins in their basement. Either way is fine, it’s all about how you choose to live your life. For me, I can’t handle storing things in bins unless it is Christmas decor. Bins stress me out. So what do you do when you have a lot of stuff in storage?! How do you decide what to keep and what to donate? That’s the million dollar question.
For us, we take a good look at our house about 3 times a year. We always ask a few questions and they go a little something like this:
- Have I used this in the past 4 months?
- Will I use this in the next 4 months?
- Why do I own this?
- Is this something that is useful or is this something that I am constantly moving around?
- Does this item serve a purpose?
The thing with storage bins is that while they can be extremely helpful for storing decor they can also be a place where we store things that we might, maybe, one day need to use. When trying to decide if I should keep something I like to use the 20/20 rule. When placing an item into a bin I will ask myself, can I replace this item for $20 or less? Can I replace this item in 20 minutes? If I can say yes to one of those questions then I will get rid of it. We live in a world where everything is accessible. Borrowing is totally acceptable and highly encouraged.
Let’s talk about those items that you are storing in your basement. Katie asked me what I think she should do with some of her childhood toys and old movie posters. I can’t tell you what I think you should do but I can tell you what I would do. If you feel like you would completely regret getting rid of your old dolls then keep them. But I will encourage you to ask yourself why do you want to keep them? Is it for the memories? If so, I would say that you are going to have those great memories with or without the physical item. I used to keep all of my childhood toys, I had a serious collection of porcelain dolls for a long time (remember those?!). I was keeping them because I had a pretty crappy childhood and those dolls were memories of some of the good times. When I got married I realized that those dolls didn’t bring me happiness (they actually got super creepy the older I got) so I got rid of them. I’m not going to lie, it was hard. I remember one doll in specific, Chloe (don’t judge me, they came with names). She had a gorgeous green dress and long, curly, red hair. She was my favorite. Being brutally honest here, I cried when I got rid of her. I remember the year my mom gave her to me. We didn’t have a lot of money and mom knew I really, really wanted her. I was so surprised when I did get her on Christmas because I knew my mom worked her ass off to get that doll for me. I loved her. Fast forward to years later, Chloe sat on a shelf in a barn collecting dust and probably mouse poop and I knew it was time to part. I looked at that doll for probably 10 minutes straight just rehashing the memories, Eric even walked away to give me time (and to probably convince himself that he didn’t marry a crazy person). Years later, I still have those memories and they still give me all the feels that I have always had with my porcelain dolls but now I don’t have to deal with the clutter of the boxes. Some might say, but Kari Jo, what if I wanted to give those childhood toys to my children? To that I say, ummmm… your kids don’t want your old toys. As a parent let me tell you, they seriously don’t want them. They won’t have the same sweet memories that you did. And here’s the thing, with Amazon and Ebay and garage sales I GUARANTEE that you can find a duplicate item for your kid if you absolutely have to. We’ve bought our son some old school toys before at kids sales around town thinking that he would love them like we did but he’s more into slime and power rangers. Whatevs.
To me, I think we hold onto those items because we are afraid that we will lose the memories of the good times we had. The truth is that those items don’t hold our memories, we hold our memories. When you let those items go, not only do you still hold those memories but you create mental clarity and freedom by removing that excess clutter from your life. This goes for anything that you are holding onto; toys, posters, extra towels in the closet that you never use, etc…
Clearing out clutter is liberating. Letting go of all of those old items can create a more peaceful home, and let’s be honest, there is nothing better than creating a space that you feel perfectly tranquil in.
If you must, you can give the bins of old toys to a relative or a parent to hold onto but if you do that just remember that if you are ready to give it to them you are ready to give it away. Also, don’t have them hold it for too long, you don’t want to make it their problem.
Spring cleaning is amazing and feels so good!
I LOVE when specific questions are asked about minimalism. I LOVE it. If you have any questions about how to declutter or downsize drop a comment below or send me an email! I’d love to hear from you!
Enjoy this day and enjoy your spring cleaning!
Love love love,