Project Home #2: Let it go~
My grandma is a total pack rat. You can’t really blame her. She’s lived through colonization and World War II. There were limited resources and food available while she was growing up and even well into her adult life. So she kept everything. And I mean EVERYTHING: plastic bags from packaging, all sorts of plastic bottles, freebies that she will never use, like all sorts of free pens, coffee mugs that companies give away and everything that ranges from slightly damaged to stuff like “When I have time, I’ll fix it and it’ll be good as new” type of finds.
While I’m all for being frugal and not wasteful, the habit of keeping everything, regardless its use or lifespan, has become a major issue for her health. My grandma lives in an apartment, there’s not a whole lot of space to begin with. She also took in a lot of my aunt’s stuff when my aunt passed away 12 years ago. She kept a lot of my grandfather’s stuff as well, even though he had passed away 10 years ago.
All this stuff coming together means less living space for her, which is not great for her mobility, physical and mental health. It also drives a wedge between us as a family, because when we visit, we constantly have to negotiate room with these stuff.
Most of the time we hold onto stuff because of emotional or sentimental reasons, or fear of scarcity that once we let this stuff go, we’ll need it. The truth is that if this particular object has not been used for more than a year, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be needing it in the near future.
Your Project today:
GET AN OUTBOX
I’ve been reading a few different books on organizing & living a more minimalistic life. One of the best takeaways is to establish an Outbox. An Outbox is basically having a container (a box, bin or even a bag) that you can chuck your outgoing stuff: things you no longer use, things that are broken and can’t be fixed or things that you want to donate or giveaway. Laura Gaskill talked about this idea as well when she was on the podcast.
Look at your worksheet from yesterday’s email, pick one place to work on for the next hour or so. Focus on removing items that you no longer use, things you can donate, give away or trash, into your Outbox.
BLOCK OUT SOME TIME
An hour or so is a great first step to reclaim valuable real estate in your home so that you can make use of that space again. I’m always super thrilled when we clear up space in the studio, this way, we make room for new inventory for our work.
Marie Kondo talks about blocking out a day to do this regularly, so you can retire things from your home that are no longer serving you. It may be emotional or difficult to let the item go, but the main idea is to come from a space of sincerity and gratitude, thank the object for fulfilling its purpose, and let it go to either serve someone else or be destroyed.
An hour is a great start and having an Outbox will help you start establishing the habit of removing objects that no longer serve you in life regularly. And that’s a very good thing.
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