Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Minimalism: Giving Myself Permission

I've been reading through this great book called The More of Less by Joshua Becker, and he has some great ideas for dealing with the stumbling blocks of getting rid of stuff.  He actually borrows a lot of these ideas from other minimalists who did different things to help deal with their struggles.  One of them he calls "leveling" basically it's this: If you are struggling to get rid of certain things, pack them up and put a date on the box along with the contents.  Place the items out of the way and let time pass.  Eventually you will stumble on the box and it will be easier to get rid of the things because you'll realize that you hadn't used the stuff in the box.

I've been doing this already without knowing what to call it.  My biggest issue is kitchen ware.  Believe it or not cooking is not my thing so having a lot of gadgets around is not my issue.  My husband doesn't really cook so there isn't that issue either. My problem is having multiples.

For example, just how many pots and pans do I really need?  For a while I was holding onto cook ware that wasn't really functioning well.  Non stick pans that stuff stuck too.  Pots that I never really used.  You get the idea.  So I removed a bunch of them from the kitchen and put them in my bedroom to see how long I could go without actually needing to pull them back.

Turns out that I didn't need them at all.

I am now the proud owner of : 1 small non-stick skillet, 1 large stainless steel skillet, 1 small non stick pot, 1 large stainless steel pot, and 1 soup pot.

That's it.  I only needed those five things.

I also got rid of a cookie sheet and a pizza sheet which were in such bad shape and replaced them with one large half sheet.  I'm still not done down sizing bake ware, but it's a work in progress.  I will probably end up taking some of the bake ware out and putting it in another place to see if I actually use it.  The best time to do this will be starting this month until the end of January or as I like to think of it holiday/birthday baking season.  If I don't end up using it then, then I wasn't really going to use it ever.

I'm going to especially enjoy moving (closing day is rapidly approaching November 10th).  This will give me a chance to pull stuff out from every nock and cranny and giving myself permission to chuck stuff that I never ended up using from last move or putting it in another "do I really need these items" box.

So if you are finding yourself overwhelmed by all the constant washing of dishes and trying to put things back into places, consider putting everything from a particular area into a box and pulling out only those things that you actually use.  After a fashion you may realize that you had too much stuff and you'll be able to give yourself permission to let those items go.  Or you may realize that you actually do use those things and need to find a better home for them while removing other things.

It's also a great idea to do with other people's things.  After you get their permission, have them put their particular grouping of possessions in a box.  Maybe it's toys for your children.  If they want something in particular they can ask for it.  It comes out of the box and stays in their possession.  If they never ask for particular things within a time frame (Becker uses 29 days but it could be one you agree upon), then you have their permission to donate/chuck/resell the item.  In this way they don't feel like you are getting rid of things they truly enjoy, but they understand that they are still participating in decluttering.

Happy minimizing!

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!