This process of decluttering has been at times very easy and at times very difficult, but it’s getting easier. Let me explain.
In the beginning, it was simple to toss out old makeup, to rinse out mostly used-up containers and throw them in the recycle bin. It’s why I started with the easy stuff. What’s difficult is getting rid of items that no longer have a use or purpose but were gifts, or have sentimental value. I’ve written this before: no one is obligated to toss out anything! And when an item has a special meaning, it’s perfectly understandable why you want to hold on to it. Back when we began to clear out my father-in-law’s house last September, I had to step back and allow my husband to decide what to keep, what to toss, what to recycle or repurpose. His father, his choice. To his credit, Jim didn’t bring much back, and whatever is important to him should stay in the house.
But we’ve arrived at the point where we try not to buy each other things anymore. For the nearly twenty-four years that we’ve married, each birthday, each anniversary, each Valentine’s Day was an opportunity to buy a gift. And we did. Books, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, perfume, accessories, trinkets. Stuff.
Now we gift experiences – dinner at a new place, maybe a getaway if we can swing it, a concert. I don’t want things. And the things I have? I’m letting go, but very gently.
My friend and co-worker Jaritza recently returned from a vacation in Paris (lucky!). She remembered that I’m on this quest to live more minimally. How thoughtful was she to bring me – – – a bookmark! I love it.