I’m in the midst of one of my periodic clear-outs. I find it both satisfying and interesting to go through all my ‘stuff’ and get rid of things I no longer want.
It’s satisfying because it means cupboards, wardrobes, drawers etc. get cleaned and tidied and decluttered – and I find some of those things that get lost or buried – you know what I mean: the other earring, sock, the cheese knife, the favourite pen!
The interesting aspect is seeing what I can part with this time. Of course, there are some things we keep because they’re just useful: the vacuum cleaner, the washing up bowl, the tools we have to help us with our everyday tasks. However, most of us have a lot of stuff that doesn’t fit into that category. And years ago I realised that logic doesn’t help me to de-clutter everything else. Throwing things out because I haven’t used them for a year doesn’t work for me. What does work is a simple question: ‘does it still make my heart sing?’
In the first place, this question helped me to get rid of heaps of stuff that didn’t fit with my story any more. I let go of those things we have because someone gave them to us, and the things that were part of my past rather than my present, and the things I had because people like me are supposed to have them.
Nowadays, the answer to: ‘Does it still make my heart sing?’ shows me how my story is changing, what I’ve grown out of, so to speak. The process helps me to clarify who I am now, and at the same time ensures that the stuff I have makes me happy, makes me smile, reflects me back to myself.
And much of what I get rid of can go to the charity shop, and find another home, be in someone else’s story for a while. I also use freecycle, where you email in what you have on offer, and if someone wants it, they can contact you and you give it to them. I love finding someone who really wants those odd things you’d prefer not to just throw away!
If you haven’t looked through your stuff for a while, why not give it a go? Just do a bit of a check: does it make your heart sing? And if it doesn’t, let it go to a new home. And if it does make your heart sing, appreciate it, enjoy it fully.