By Mildred Munjanganja | February 22, 2010
I like to throw stuff out. Yes I said it, and I meant it. Getting rid of things that are just hanging out and serving no greater purpose gives me relief. This applies to every category of my life. If I have a friendship that I think is not healthy for me after I have given everything in my power to make it work, I gracefully walk away from it. If I have stuff that are just building clutter in my life, I let them go.
I even get excited about it, you can’t just come to my place and leave things hanging around, you will find them trashed, and donated, recycled….something will happen to them [I will try to give them back first – promise].
I recently moved out of my place and I was pleased to find that I did not have a pile of things that I needed to get rid of because this is a process I do often. Don’t get me wrong, I never used to be like this, I used to hold on to everything! If I got a magazine, I would keep it for months because I always thought one day it would come in handy, I kept every single book I ever bought, old clothes, things I did not use because I just could not bring myself to throw things out or give them away. Then I read a book about purging, getting rid of the old to allow the new into your life. And that did it. I let go of the notion that I had to keep gifts from friends which I knew I would never use, or sentimentally hold on to old clothes, Christmas cards, books I had already read. Something in me just clicked – if I wanted to invite change in my life and allow improvement and new things to find a way to me – I had to become comfortable with letting things go. I am of the belief that somehow my life will always be for the better and everything I embrace or lose is for the greater good.
So how do you start? Just pick one area, for example, you can start with your closet or bathroom cabinets, or a cabinet in the kitchen or your computer desk area – it doesn’t really matter where you start, just start. Try to do this during a time when you have the least number of interruptions, when everyone else is sleeping or out of the house. Now grab 4 boxes and a trash-bag, each box should be labeled, Keep, Donate, Put Away, Recycle or any label that works for your purpose. The follow these steps:
1. Empty the entire space. Take every single thing out as if you were moving. This will allow you to clean the area anyway.
2. Sort items based on usage frequency. If you have never used it, then it probably needs to be donated or given to someone who will use it. If it’s something you use often, you need to keep it. Is it a beauty product that you have had for years? Then it may not be good for your skin anymore. It its completely worn out and you have been meaning to replace it, throw it out. This step involves being 100% honest with yourself and envisioning the future that you want rather than holding on to the past. Put everything in the box that you think it belongs in. Don’t think about it too long, just do what you initial gut instinct tells you.
3. Get rid of anything that you decided you would donate or trash or give away immediately. This is the only way to prevent yourself from heading back in the pile and changing your mind.
Now that you have done some purging, you can go about the business of organizing the things you plan on keeping, labeling them if need be and putting things exactly where they belong. You will feel a lot better about yourself; you will be far less cluttered and you have just created room in your life for change. Enjoy.