A Box, A Bag, and a Sharpie!

Today’s blog post is a little different.  Today’s is interactive.  Today you and I are going to work together to cut the clutter.
I know, you probably have a variety of different reasons for not wanting to engage in this activity.  “I like my knick-knacks and do-dads.”  “They have sentimental value.”  “You never know, I might need this the day after tomorrow.”  All of these are reasons (or excuses) that I have used as well.
And that’s okay!
It really is!
You don’t have to do this project with everything.  But if you are a person who still has spark plugs from your first car kicking around the garage or that t-shirt you were wearing when the high school football team won state,  I am going to encourage you to use the ideas in this little article to de-clutter one part of your living space.
You get to choose.
It could be your top drawer (where I put lots of small things that I want to hold on to but don’t really have any place to put them) your closet (where I have clothes that I bought when the second George Bush was president) or a book case (where I have the hard copies of every document I used for my M.Ed.)  You choose, pick one!  And let’s get started.
For this activity, you are going to need a box, a bag and a sharpie.
 Whatever choice you made regarding where to start, take a good hard look at the items.  There are probably some items there that you haven’t used in a year, maybe longer.  For those items, ask yourself why the item is still there.  Does it connect you with a memory of a person or an event in your life that was uplifting?  Was it a gift, or something that you picked up along the way?  Is it significant in some way?  Does looking at it or wearing it bring you joy?  If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding “Yes!” then immediately set it aside. In the effort to simplify, there is nothing wrong with holding on to things that truly bring us joy.
If the answer was “Kind of…” then set it into the box. The box is a middle ground.  It is for the things that you don’t necessarily want to get rid of, but they don’t necessarily have a place in your life anymore.  That isn’t wrong, it isn’t a reflection on you, it is just an evidence that you, like all people, change in various ways over time.  And sometimes, we aren’t ready to move on yet.
And that’s okay!
If the answer was “Not really,” it’s time to pull out the bag.
Now, because I am a big fan of the “Reduce/Reuse/Repurpose/Recycle” movement, let’s clear something up right now.  The bag is not for garbage.  If the article you are looking at is truly garbage, throw it out.  But if the item is in relatively good repair, or could be made so quickly and easily, it is ready for the bag.  Old T-shirts from movie premiers or SWAG that was given to you at a public event, old items given as white elephant gifts that you have been hanging onto “for the next time,” or clothes that just don’t fit any more are all perfect for the bag.
The bag is for all of those items that you don’t use and that don’t bring you joy.  And believe me, I know it is hard to let go of things that were gifts
Release them!  Send them on their way!   Donate them to an organization that can repurpose them in some way, shape or form, and let them bring joy to someone else.
I know, sometimes it can be hard to do this.  But your efforts to declutter are not just about getting rid of things, it is also about opening up space for new things, things that will bring you joy today!
Remember, letting something go to be repurposed is one of the best things you can do.  After all, if one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, you are sending treasure out into the world to be enjoyed by someone else!
What do you think of this list and this plan?  Try it, and leave me some comments!  Go Forth and Conquer!

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