Spring clean personal effects

And an old favourite of mine: spring clean personal effects of anything you have not used for three years.

Many practitioners of the “tidy life” movement advocate “letting go” of anything that we have not used or admired for a period of six months. I prefer a period of at least a year, not only because our sentimental preferences may take a while to catch up with our more business-like decisions – sometime in the middle of the night, we may be frantic to find that particular top…  – but because a full year, and three of these, is likely to cover most seasons, weathers and eventualities. Even eventual changes of mind.

I also favour putting unwanted items aside, out of our line of sight for a while, into a kind of emotional “cooling tank”. A halfway house of this sort tempers our fear of letting go of those things which we have grown accustomed to, without ever having asked ourselves, “Do I actually like this? Or find it useful?” If I put something that I’m not sure about aside for a while, I can always say, “Well, I haven’t thrown it away just yet…” which in turn means that I can be a bit freer with what I choose to let go.

It is not wasteful to be thoughtful about what we choose to keep and the reasons why. It is not selfish to keep and use personal effects that make us feel happy and contented. A simpler, more conscious approach to our possessions does not blindly accept, but asks us to regularly check that the things we are keeping are with us because of our own choice and not merely by default.

If I have anything in my personal space that makes me feel heavy or unhappy, in passing it on, I am letting it go, not throwing it away. I am passing it on to a good home, not discarding it to add to the landfill pile. I am selling it or donating it for a good cause or a charity concern or an auction.

Thanks for listening. I welcome any other ideas you might want to share about this, an ongoing project.

Please share: