While I am most certainly not “minimalist” yet, my history of decluttering began a long time ago. I saw a spider in my room, climbing out of a pile of various objects which I had cast thoughtlessly upon my bedroom chair.
Spiders are NOT allowed in my room.
The next three days were spent removing everything from my room, vacuuming every crack and crevice in my room (even the underside of my bookshelf). Only two thirds of my stuff made it back into my room. The next year, the spider scene repeated. The next, we replaced my carpet with laminate flooring. I’ve done my fair share of marathon decluttering.
I do NOT advise this approach under normal circumstances. Ever. If you have a situation where you MUST remove everything from a room, then feel free to be choosy about what makes it back in. However, setting out to completely declutter one room in one big marathon is a recipe for burnout.
Yes, I succeeded three years in a row under extenuating circumstances. Yes, I did in fact get rid of a lot of crap that I didn’t want anymore.
The fourth year I attempted it, I thought I would make a preemptive strike against the spiders and kick start my progress toward my minimalist goals.
Three previous successes should have given me some drive and confidence, right? No. I burned out a couple of hours in, and then had to somehow motivate myself to get everything back into my room. My solution was simple: All of my stuff moved back where it was.
That’s right, I didn’t get rid of anything at all.
It is much better to get rid of things consistently, a little bit at a time, focusing on one area at a time.
This week, I will be picking one area to declutter. I encourage you to do the same. Maybe you have a pile of books you’ve never read and probably never will. I know I do! It’s time to let them go. Start small with me, we’ll get there together. 🙂