A few years ago, Marie Kondo’s joyful house method was all the rage. Her advice was to go through your house and touch each item. If it brought you joy, you kept it, and if it didn’t, you tossed it. The concept was very simple and straightforward, and people worldwide were joining the minimalist train and discarding things that didn’t make them happy. While it decluttered many homes, it also resulted in tons of items being stored in attics or joining trash in landfills. Here are a few alternative suggestions to joining the minimalist movement without making rash choices.
An excellent way to sort through your clothes is to hang them all up with the hangers facing one direction. As you wear and wash them, hang them back up with the hanger facing the opposite way. After you’ve gone through wearing four full seasons of clothing, box up and donate any that are still in their original positions. If you didn’t use it last year, chances are you won’t this year! You can also take them to a consignment shop and trade them for new threads!
If you’re a bibliophile like me, the thought of tossing out your book collection has you nearly in tears. Please don’t feel pressured to rid yourself of all of them! Designate two nice bookshelves for your favorites and donate the rest to your local library. The trick here is to have big enough bookshelves to hold all of your favorites. They’ll look nice, be available, and add ambiance to your home. If you have boxes of books you haven’t looked at in years, don’t open them, just pass them along!
This is where the Joyful Method can make sense, but don’t feel like every item has to light a smile on your face. Whatever things you want to keep, keep! It’s okay! It’s your house! If you have some items you want to get rid of, I have a fun and friendly method that can give you a good laugh and baffle your friends. Each time you visit someone, take an item you no longer want and place it on their shelf at their house. They’ll have no idea how it got there! Only do one item at a time, though. You don’t want to show up with a box and shove it in their arms! Choose things you think your friends and family will like, too, so they don’t end up tossing them.
Now that you have a few ways to figure out what you should keep and what you should donate, commit to one category each month. Putting too much on your plate and trying to get it all done in one weekend will make you want to throw the towel in and give up! This is a slow process and should be fun!