New Rules for Decluttering
To me, approaching minimalism mostly involves asking important questions about your stuff. Examples might be…
- Does it spark joy? (more on this in a bit)
- How many of this thing do you need? (post here)
- Does this thing distract me from something I value? (post here)
I have some new ones I’ve been trying lately:
- Would you miss this thing if it disappeared? Two situations in recent months led me to this question.
- Last fall, several people on my church leadership/serving teams fasted something of their choosing for 21 days. At the time, alcohol seemed like an appropriate thing to fast for me; I was coming home from work and immediately grabbing a beer most days to decompress. What ultimately came from that fast was the realization that I didn’t miss alcohol. I don’t think I’ve bought a drink since then.
- Just before Christmas, I was cleaning off my laptop and trying to get rid of a dual boot setup that I didn’t need anymore. Technical folks will understand how tricky that is, but suffice it to say that I broke the startup process and left the computer almost useless. After plenty of initial frustration, I realized that I had almost nothing important on it, and I eventually recovered the few important files I did have. In both instances, something habit or possession that I thought I enjoyed was actually not important at all.
- Did you remember that this thing even existed? If you’ve forgotten that you own something, it clearly isn’t adding any value to your life. As an indecisive person, this is a great one to ask when you aren’t sure if something is valuable or not.