“It’s easier to have what you have than to have something new.” I found this written on a piece of paper when cleaning out a drawer during my decluttering project. Originally, I had planned to take more time going through my apartment, but I’m taking a short trip and what better time to go through clothes when packing for a trip? Plus I kept thinking about those words. I want the “something new” and I know it won’t happen without effort.
I thought about Marie Kondo’s advice to take all your clothes and place them in a pile. She also makes a point of instructing people to use dressers. I have a dresser and two night stands but don’t really use them. I just throw things in them: loose pieces of paper, books, journals (I have SOOOO MANY JOURNALS!!!!), etc., so I started by emptying out those drawers in order to re-purpose them as functional pieces of furniture and not garbage dumps.
As I went through the drawers I asked myself “Have I ever used this?” “Will I use this soon?” “Why did I ever buy it and place it where I did?” Seriously. It was like I had 6 junk drawers in my two nightstands. I also reread my journals and felt a certain sense of horror. Emotionally I’ve come a long way, so found it painful to read past thoughts.
Once the drawers were empty I cleaned them. How did they get so dirty? Yikes! THEN I emptied out my closet and my dresser. As I piled more and more clothes on top of each other I asked myself with each item “Will this make me feel PHAT aka pretty hot and tempting?” Actually, I just wanted to know if I loved the item and if it loved me. When I saw the item did I smile? Did I feel lighter? Did I feel loved? Yes, clothes can make us feel loved.
I filled one 33 gallon garbage bag to the brim with clothes that made me feel fat or blah or that simply didn’t make me smile. I didn’t have any trouble at all. It felt soooooo freeing!!!! So light.
Then I started putting the clothes back in the closet. As I put each item back I observed again whether or not it made me smile, brought me joy. I could feel the happiness of the clothes themselves, for they now had more breathing space than before. They no longer have to live a crunched up lifestyle. I have a few princess type cocktail gowns!
Oh and I emptied out the closet shelves too; shelves filled with fascinators and purses I’m not sure I ever used, so I donated some of them too. As I placed the chosen hats and fascinators back on the shelves I realized I could see them. SEE THEM. Maybe then I’d start wearing them more. Actually this is true of all clothes having more breathing space!
I also placed tops in the dresser drawers, making use of space previously filled with items I never used because I didn’t know they existed or had simply forgotten them. In one of the nightstands next to I placed rolled undies (Kondo recommends rolling, and I do find it a more efficient way of resting clothes in drawers). When I arrange socks I will also place them in the drawer above the undies.
The more I delved into the process I started to feel a greater awareness of the clothes in my possession. Normally, I’d walk into my closet to seek out clothing; now I KNOW the clothes that reside in there and even if I didn’t I can now SEE them! SEE THEM!!!!
During this whole process I washed all my bedding so, at the end of the night, I could go to sleep in a fresh bed. Cleanly washed linens for a fresh start. Previously, I’d started leaving reading material or a clothing item or two on my bed, but no more. I cleaned out the hamper in my closet (filled with other things, mind you!) so I can easily place dirty clothes there and if I have ONE reading item or journal I go to bed with I can put it on the nightstand to put away in the morning or leave for the next night.
It’s so easy to allow THINGS to pile up around me, but I know that serves as a distraction for living my best life. I’m living those words, not just talking them. I’m going away for a few days, and plan to use the time on the plane to strategize the remainder of this project. The predominant mode of thought is to ask myself if it brings me joy, but I’m finding having a plan helps accomplish the task. As I finish each task I feel more eager to move onto the next one, but planning is essential. I’m looking forward to going away and coming home. Looking forward to carving fresh spaces in my life! I hope you create them in yours!
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