If you had to evacuate your home due to a nearby fire and could only take what would fit into your car in 15 minutes or less, what would you take? The reason I ask is that my husband and I used to live in Ventura County. The fires there took several of our friend’s homes and almost all of their belongings. If we still lived there, we too would have had to evacuate. Then, there were fires all around where we live now. One was so close that my husband and I realized that we had to get prepared.
This combined with the inability to freely walk in our side room in the garage launched us on another purging and organizing journey. I’m calling it decluttering your way to minimalism. We’ve been going through our “things” and spending time thinking about when we last looked at or used each thing. We tried to see a future with those things and envisioned our days without all the extra baggage. We came to the realization that saving for what might be and holding onto things we might use or enjoy “later” was weighing us down.
It truly takes a life-altering event or a vision of life without so many material things to create the drive within you to get rid of (evacuate) your stuff. For example, it is difficult for me to find clothing that fits. I have to get most items altered. Therefore, I keep way too many clothes in my closet. In my new phase, I need less visual clutter. The Marie Kondo method doesn’t work for me. I had to get real with myself once again and so far, I’ve filled
two four paper bags with clothing and shoes.
Another realization was that if we had gotten rid of all of our things before moving, we would have saved more money than what we would need to replace it. All of a sudden, it became easier and easier to let go of so much! At least
30, 42, 50, 92 boxes or more are empty. I didn’t even care to be exact. I just wanted everything gone. We took photos along the way to catalog our things and see the progress. That helped us keep going.
The hard part was going through all of the tedious little things, which is still a work in progress. I decided that I would at least try to make a little money along the way. I took photos and looked up quite a few of the items online. Next, was pricing everything for a garage sale, then letting some things go for much less than I wanted. I posted a lot in online buy, sell, and trade groups. As time went on the prices went down. I even gave quite a few things away.
More and more of our things went out on the driveway for a garage sale. We threw things away, put things in a maybe pile, and a keep pile. As we progressed and had more and more empty boxes pile up it was almost addictive to let go of things. It was and is absolutely freeing!
This was not an overnight process. It has taken us going at it, off and on for years as of this update on October 18, 2020. After all, it took us many years to get to this point, so it’s going to take years to clear it all out. We just finished another round and have empty shelves and spaces in the home and garage. Ask me if I miss anything we let go of? Out of all the items I got rid of, I only want to replace a few baby items because my son is now having a baby. Guess what? They are for sale on Amazon.
So again, I ask you, if you had to evacuate your home and could only take what you could fit in your car in 15 minutes, what would you take? Now declutter and purge the rest and live a freer, happier life.
Read one of my other related articles here: What Is Stopping You?