At the end of every year, I clean and get rid of everything I can to make room for more good stuff. The first time I did it, was hard. As I looked at all my stuff, how could I know what to get rid of?
I could give things I didn’t need to people who could appreciate having them. That in itself is a good motivation to give things away. Do I really need 3 apatulas when someone may have none? My old sweater from high school could keep someone warm. I had lots of things that other people could use! I got busy going through my things.
As I pondered how to decide what could go, it hit me. I had to have a good reason to keep each item. Now I go through my apartment, drawer-by-drawer, closet by close, shelf by shelf, I pick up each thing and ask some of these important questions:
• Why do I have it?
• Did someone meaningful give it to me?
• Do I like it?
• Does it hold a good memory?
• What do I need it for?
Truthfully I was shocked to recognize how much I could easily get rid of. I had many things that had become like fixtures that I got used to seeing but didn’t have a use for. Did I really need to keep the decorative bowl my old neighbor brought me from her vacation? Or old lipsticks I never wore? I even looked through piles of photos, asking if needed 2 of the same people or ones of people who mean nothing to me. I didn’t need pictures that didn’t make me smile to look at them or ones of me that I hated. Many got thrown out.
Slowly I questioned my possessions, one at a time, and filled up trash bags and bags of things to give away. It was a relief to make space. Cleaning out your things is freeing and can help you feel in control. Starting the New Year with room or new goodies is a lovely ritual to develop. Make room for new stuff in 2014!
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