(CC BY-SA 2.0)

(CC BY-SA 2.0)

I just got back from spending a few days with my three siblings helping to organize and declutter my dad’s house. It’s a small house, so it was a manageable space, and most of what he had fit into a half dozen or so categories. That made it easier to decide what to keep, what to donate/sell, and what to throw away.

I came home with a renewed motivation to declutter my own home. It’s different, though, because I am still using many of my things, and have plans to use others that I’ve held onto. But my perspective is improved for what might be worth holding on to and what might be worth letting go.

I subscribe to William Morris‘s adage where you should not keep anything you don’t find to be useful or beautiful. That, combined with Marie Kondo‘s “does it spark joy?” and “has this item done its service?”, is what I try to think of when sorting through things.

The problem is, almost everything in my house sparks joy.

I’m sentimental by nature, and love reminiscing about days gone by (in my own head, especially). So the only things I want to get rid of are things that aren’t useful or beautiful, and things that have done their service. Which is very little.

I really don’t need everything that I’m keeping. But it’s painful to let go.

So the plan is to tackle clutter from two directions: first, get rid of (toss, sell, donate) things that we don’t need or use or want anymore. Second, when it is close to time to move (2024, probably), start packing up the things we definitely want to keep first. Rather than pick what to get rid of, pick what to keep. Then see what’s left. I hope to find more things I’m willing to get rid of that way.