Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year Tips for Letting Go of Stuff

New Year Tips for Letting Go of Stuff

Since I have no desire to end up on an episode of “Hoarders”, I’m making progress on identifying tangible items that no longer serve my needs, letting go, and either tossing, donating, or putting at the end of the driveway for picking.

There are any number of professional organizers, magazine writers and bloggers that offer tips on purging closets, kitchens, offices and basements of clutter; but I have just two rules when making the decision whether something stays or goes:

1.              Do I love it?
2.              Would I pay someone to move it if I were changing house?

While sometimes I can be wishy/washy on the first question, the 2nd question makes a decision easy. My sister actually gave me the 2nd tip before I moved from Maryland to Virginia 8 ½ years ago. Emotional attachment disintegrated at the thought of the additional $$$$ it would cost to move (and for a time store) a multitude of items. My tax deduction for the 2005 filing year was fabulous!

In a typical year, I tend to accumulate clothing, accessories and paper. Paper is easy. It just takes time to rummage through files and stacks as well as a commercial capacity shredder. But, my closet does cause a bit of angst. I try to abide by my rule of purging one item for every new thing I buy. I am a bit of a compulsive shopper and my tastes change with the moon.  But I do my best to listen to my heart and question number one when doing a closet purge. I don’t use the 6 month or 2 year rule. Instead, it is the LOVE rule. To be true to my current self, I do not want to harbor fugitive pieces of clothing that do not celebrate my current style, wherever it has morphed from season to season.

My life is ever evolving. Since I work remotely from my home office more than 75% of the time, my current wardrobe requires few items that constitute business wear. Instead, I live in jeans & sweaters or leggings and tunics with loafers, or my Tieks ballet flats or boots during the colder months and capris with a tank or an easy knit dress in the warmer months. My former professional self has little need of the suits that filled my wardrobe in the past. Even when I attend settlement conferences and mediations I tend to wear separates or an easy to pack dress of a fabric that refuses to wrinkle under the dastardliest conditions. So out with the clothes that no longer serve me.  But I must LOVE what I wear everyday. I must love the color, pattern, the feel, the fit, and the sumptuousness of the fabric.  I want to love the color, shape, feel, and design of a handbag or wallet.  My earrings must make my heart sing. So-so isn’t good enough. Maybe doesn’t cut it.  Uncomfortable – into the bag. And I mean everything. If I put on jeans, a shirt, shoes, underwear, a sweater or a scarf in the morning and it doesn’t say YES, it goes into the large black plastic garbage bag for donations immediately.  If I don’t LOVE it or wouldn’t pay to move it, it does not deserve space in my environment.

And remember what statistics reveal ~ we only wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Donate the 80% and make somebody else’s day better. It will make you feel lighter, free, accomplished, and happy.


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