Life has been good! I loved being back home, roaming a large city while visiting family and friends I haven’t seen in 4 years. The best part of all of it? I got to do it with my husband for the first 5 days. After this, he went back home to spend quality one-on-one time with his kids while I caught up with friends - Sans husband!! Wooohooooo.
Visiting the Netherlands was great. The only thing I was dreading was this massive stack of moving boxes I had to tackle. Knowing this has been waiting for me put me into decluttering madness.
4 years ago I ‘decluttered’, packed two suitcases and 10-15 moving boxes. My mom generously stored the moving boxes while I boarded a plane with my suitcases in tow and made Canada my permanent home.
Decluttering doesn’t just apply to the stuff in my life. Relationships you put precious time and energy into are just as important. We all have friends in our lives we grow apart from. Being separated by an ocean and 9-hour time difference doesn’t help things for me. If anything, it only amplifies the reason why we're not close anymore. On the flip side, it also shows which friendships are here to stay!
With only 12 days in Holland, I had to figure out how to spend my time. It all came down to:
- Friends who have been part of my life since I moved
- Moving away has also slowly weeded out friendships that were already coming to an end. This has translated to a do-not-need-to-visit list which made things a little easier for me.
Compared to friendships, decluttering stuff is a piece of cake. The hard part is how to go about it and how to actually get rid of stuff. Your emotions will always pull at you. Getting to that point where you can say ‘no, this just needs to go, I don’t love it and I don’t need it’ isn’t always easy. And that’s ok. You don’t need to toss everything at once, it’s a process.
Haven’t touched that thing in 6 months, a year or 2 years?
Let it go. Obviously, it’s not serving any purpose other than taking up space. That shirt you haven’t worn in forever and you actually don’t really love or the weird looking decor piece someone gave you as a present can go as well.
I’m all for only keeping the things I love and not hanging on to every single item because I feel obligated or don’t want to hurt someone's feelings.
What is in our storage room?
More likely than not there is a storage room somewhere in your house with tons of boxes and items you put away thinking you would one day need for one reason or another. Yeah… I’ve done that, only to realize I really don’t need those things after all. To my surprise, I found a grade 7 research project on dolphins, old subway cards, birthday cards, a GPS from 2008 and so many other weird items that cannot be used anymore. Can my 4-year younger self pleeeeeaasse explain why I kept these things?
Set rules and stick to them
If you’re having a hard time tossing certain items give yourself an ultimatum. Set it aside and make a promise to yourself. ‘If I haven’t used this in the next year, it’s time to let it go’. Just don't do this with most of your things when you're decluttering!
Walking into a home that’s tidy does wonders. It brings you into a space that’s clean and organized. More often than not, walking into a room where a bomb has exploded brings on all kinds of anxiety and stress. You just don’t need this extra stress in your life.
Less stuff = less cleaning
Every single item you toss doesn’t need to be stored, cleaned or moved around. Think about how much time, energy and space you’ll save! That bookcase you bought with 20 beautiful decor pieces on it has to be cleaned. It’s amazing how much dust things can collect in a matter of a few weeks. Move, dust, put back and repeat.
The benefits of decluttering can truly be AMAZING.