Chances are you could do some decluttering in your home. You all, I am the QUEEN of decluttering. I get a thrill from finding something else in our home that we really don't need and I can clear out. And yet I can still constantly find something else in our home that needs to go.
My mantra when anyone asks me if they should keep something? "Toss it out!" And by toss it out, I mean throw it away OR sell it OR donate it. If you're already questioning the merit in saving an item, you know your answer. I know that's easier said than done. I'm guilty myself of hanging on to much more than I need. I also know how easy it is to get stuck in the thought of "I have room for this item, I should keep it." Keeping a house full of things doesn't improve your quality of life. It's more things to keep up with, to clean, to end up searching through to find what you need, and to give mental space to.
There's a chance you're like me. When I see something, I think about it. I consider memories with the item and future uses for it. That's valuable mental space! Clutter in my home leads to clutter in my brain. When an area is my home is crowded and disorganized, so is my head. Choosing to be mindful about what is in your home is a gift to yourself.
When I'm feeling sad, overwhelmed, frustrated, I declutter. I promise you, it's good for the soul. I pick an area and start looking through whatever is stored there. As I work, I have three categories that everything falls in.
1. I will use it.
These are the items that you know are involved in your life. Clothes you love to wear. Kitchen utensils you use to cook. Linens that get put on your bed. Where we tend to struggle in this area is how MUCH of an item to keep. You can decide because you know yourself and your lifestyle.
I am constantly paring down the number of beach towels in our house. I think they're somehow multiplying behind closet doors. Like the dryer eating socks but in reverse. I consider- when do we use beach towels? At the pool, the lake, and the beach. We're never going to be in a situation where we can't wash our towels. We'll either come back home after we swim, or go to the place we're staying, and we just don't choose to stay in a place where we don't have access to a washer and dryer. Knowing all of this, as well as the size of our family, a cap of 10 beach towels is reasonable. Know yourself.
If you know you want to keep something for the future but right now you don't need it and can't easily store it, I bet you know someone who can. We've had a friend's mini fridge live in our attic when she was in between classrooms and living in an apartment. We've offered to store friends' baby gear because their attic space is lacking and more babies are in their future plans. It is okay to think- "I still need this item, but right now it's taking up precious space in my home and I need a different solution." Value your space- both physical and mental.
2. I might use it.
This is the trickiest category of all. When something falls under this umbrella, I consider if it leans more toward I probably might use it, or there's just a small chance I might use it. These items can shift one way or the other as your life changes. I consider if the item is worth saving because I might need it 7 years from now, or if it would be better for me to just buy a new one if the situation arises.
We have a large box of photo booth props in our closet. We used them for surprise birthday parties in college. They were put out for a photo booth a our wedding. The past 5 years, they were vital each fall when I helped run the photo booth at our school fall festival. But let me tell you, running the photo booth is exhausting when it comes to getting the photos distributed, and I've started helping run a different activity. Life has changed, and the box of plastic leis, paper masks, and giant sunglasses needs to find a new owner. (Anyone want some new dress up gear?) If there comes a time we need photo booth props, I can spare $10 and 20 minutes to pick up a few things at the dollar store and make more paper masks.
Items in this category are difficult to decide on, and it comes down to being honest with yourself. I'm never going to use that nice eyeshadow brush; I used to love that shirt but now I don't wear it; I know that air purifier has great reviews but it didn't work for me and it's taking up space in my closet. It takes a lot of mental energy every time I see one of these items and consider if I might use it again, and it adds guilt because I feel like I *should* use this item, knowing I really don't want to anymore. Give yourself the peace of removing it from your home, and focus your brainpower on something more important.
3. I won't use it.
I'm guessing your gut reaction is that of course you don't need anything you won't use again. Go with that gut. It's really okay if you paid $80 for that dress but won't wear it. Sell it on Facebook or Mercari or Ebay. Donate it to a local organization.
Items related to memories are going to make you hesitate. Consider the value of each item. Cards wear me out. Birthday cards. Christmas cards. Anniversary cards. Just because cards. Be ruthless. I keep cards from memorable occasions and from memorable people. It makes me happy to go back through these cards and read heartfelt messages and inside jokes, so I keep them because they bring me joy. I truly appreciate you thinking of me, but the Christmas card with the snowy painting on the front and your name signed underneath the inside message isn't going to last in my house.
Getting rid of something doesn't mean trashing it. Again, you can donate, sell, or recycle. Buy nothing groups are popping up all over the country, and there's a chance someone in your local group would be happy to use what you no longer need. It's okay to part with items, even without making money from them. Let your items bless someone else. It's also okay to throw things away. Give thought to the items you're removing from your home. Sure, ask a local art teacher if they want those pens and markers you're clearing out, but if they don't, throw. it. away.
Free yourself. Free your mind from having to think about all your stuff. Free your space from being filled with items you're keeping 'just in case.' Enjoy giving yourself time and space to focus on what's most important to you.