I’ve just finished reading a book by Gail Blanke entitled Throw Out Fifty Things, which I can highly recommend!
These 50 things can be objects, habits or anything else having a negative impact on your life and your surroundings. The catch? When it comes to objects, a cluster of worn down pencils, or a bunch of biros that won’t write any more for example is classed as a group or ‘one’ thing, so are a collection of say recipe magazines, a box of fluffy toys or a heap of emails.
Why not use this as an inspiration to help you clear the house before the visitors arrive for Christmas and get a head start on your New Year’s resolutions? In fact let’s take this up a notch and see if we can do the ’30 Day Let It Go’ challenge to let go of 465 things and find what is really meaningful?
Day 1: Let go of one thing
Day 2: Let go of two things
Day 3: Let go of three things . . . and keep increasing the amount of things each day right up until . . .
Day 30: Let go of 30 things by which time it will be easy!
If you’re lucky there won’t be anything to ‘let go of’ on Day 30!
De-cluttering is like exercising a muscle, the more you work at it the easier it becomes, and doing this as a daily task which increases in number reduces the over-whelming feeling.
Perhaps you could make it a family challenge as an incentive to get the kid’s rooms cleared out, as well as hubby’s shed or the garage? Maybe make it a competition with a friend, a neighbour or a relative? Or promise yourself a reward to share afterwards (as long as it’s not another ‘thing’ brought into the house). Make rewards about ‘doing quality things together’ or if you’re on your own, pamper or do something nice for yourself like picking up the phone and having a long over-due chat with a friend or make a date for a coffee catchup or a movie. Or the reward might just be the joy of more ‘space’ or less to clean or tidy up around. Do whatever it takes to keep you motivated and make it fun! Crank up the music as you go!
Another way of making yourself accountable is to make a visual or written diary every day of what you let go of. It will keep you strong, and you will have a record for yourself of things that perhaps you needed to let go of but wanted to remember (think sentimental items – old wedding dresses, baby’s shoes, nana’s vase), and in coming years when you face another difficult time or feel you need to have another ‘let it go’ moment you can show yourself what you achieved and that you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it. You could even make this a challenge on social media and get your friends to share the photos of what you’re ‘letting go’ of. You never know maybe someone will offer you cash to take it off your hands, and then you’ll know it also went to a good home.
Maybe on some days one of your items might not be a ‘physical’ item. Think along the lines of cutting down that ‘to-do’ list. Things like reducing obligations, a class you’re not getting anything out of anymore, a friendship that really ‘isn’t’, ending a toxic relationship or habit, or dealing with a difficult conversation you need to have can all count. Unpack the emotional baggage and leave it at the door.
So instead of making a new years’ resolution ‘after’ January first, resolve things in your life ‘before’ and make sure they don’t drag on into your new year. Really have a look at what you can do without, or what is weighing you down mentally or emotionally and ‘let it go!’.
You never know what this kind of liberation will uncover physically or mentally.
I look forward to your feedback on your progress and what you’ve discovered in the process, and don’t forget to check out Gail’s book for more inspiration when you’re done.
Draw a line under this year and ‘Let It Go!’