Last year about this time, I did my first round of decluttering which is what today’s blogpost will be about. I was still a student at that time and I have moved out of my parent’s house to my student dorm room, but all my old things were still there.
Because I have a strong tendency to hoard and to keep things “that I might use someday” and I am also a person who likes to collect things, I have never thrown anything out really. So, in my parent’s house in my room, there were basically the things left from the past 20 years. I had my collection of Japanese comics, all the manga I have ever read and in addition to that a variety of small items that I “collected” as well. Also, I found it hard to throw away clothes – not the ones that are obviously damaged or have holes in them, that I found easy – but the ones that just don’t fit anymore or that don’t look that great on me or that have run out of fashion or the clothes that I wore when I was 15. I just couldn’t get rid of them.
So, exactly one year ago I did my first series of decluttering and I started with my old room at my parent’s house. A few years ago I moved out and I basically left everything as it was, which my parents didn’t like anymore because they wanted to start using the room for something else. Of course, I wanted to help them with that and so I stopped by their house and started.
My old room had so much stuff in it that represented my old life, my teenage life. A lot of things I liked back then, sentimental stuff, old clothes, things that I left and that didn’t find a place in my new life as an independent adult. In my new place I had all the things that I needed (and more), and I haven’t felt the need to use any of the items in my old room, so I decided to throw everything away.
And so a 12 hour marathon at my parent’s house began.
Apart from my collection of Japanese comics which I wanted to sell, everything that didn’t have a proper “cash” value (eg. Jewellery) landed in the trash. My old room was about 15 square metres big and in the end I had 25 plastic bags (the big ones, where you can fit in 120 litres) full of stuff for the garbage can. So much stuff! A neverending amount of stuff! But it was so freeing! The feeling to get rid of this old stuff was giving me a sense of freedom that was incredible. So much happiness, so much euphoria.
Content with having done the first step I stopped there and took the rest of my belongings to go home, just to be confronted with the same problem again: so much stuff! There was stuff everywhere! Now that I have started I became sensitive to clutter and I couldn’t bear it any longer.
I decided to also get rid of some items in my place. I began to throw out one thing per day, at the beginning quite unorganized, without any plan, just like that, anything goes. Sometimes more sometimes less, most of the time smaller items. And then I started with selling my collection. That was pretty exhausting because I have never sold anything before and had no experience and was pretty disorganized. So, learning by doing it was! And I learned a lot and I gained some very good experiences (and some bad, but that’s a different story).
To make a long story short: I couldn’t get rid of all of my collection, in the end I gave most of it to the local library and they were happy to have them. But I still had about 60 volumes of books at my parent’s place which I had to get rid of.
At the same time of giving away my collection of Japanese comics, I started giving away my books. I bought an ebook reader and with the money I got from Ebay I replaced every book I owned with a digital version for my ebook reader. Nevertheless, there are 15 volumes that are still with me and that I have to think about what to do with them.
Then I did a loooooong break of decluttering. I didn’t think about my stuff at all. I thought, now that I got rid of so many things, I will take a break, because there can’t be so much stuff left, can there? I lost my flow to throw things away and began to put the things I don’t need anymore in the basement of my parent’s house. Only after having moved again and being asked by my parent’s to tend to my things in the basement (because they wanted to use that as well for something else) I realized the full amount of things I still got left. My stuff filled the whole basement of my parent’s place!
I threw away that much and there is still so much left?! No way!
Becoming a little bit desperate about my situation, I decided to ignore the problem. The thing is, when you ignore something it has the tendency to come up again and bite you in the a**. So when I surfed the internet one day, I stumbled upon some fascinating blogs that were telling stories about a great lifestyle full of freedom and clarity, called “Minimalism”.
Like a moth drawn to light, I began to read everything about this! All the Blogs about the concepts of minimalism and the minimalist lifestyle and the things that are made possible by this kind of liefstyle.
What I took from that is that I want to reduce my belongings. I don’t know by how much, just as much as I feel comfortable doing. I want this feeling of freedom that I had last year when I decluttered, but I want more, I want to feel free permanently.
I came to this point and I started this blog to write about my way to become minimalist. Let’s see where my journey will take me.