I am no clutter expert, unless by “expert” you mean “one who has a lot of clutter.”  I have read several books on the topic of dealing with clutter which helped me take some small steps but I’ve never gotten to the point I want to be at.  Most clutter tips are something along the lines of “Get rid of EVERYTHING you don’t use on a daily basis.”  This idea has merit, but it also discards items that have value based on their history.  For example, I have an item which was given to me by my Mamaw Candy when I spent a week with her as a kid.  She had me pick it out and bought it for me, because she wanted to give me something by which to remember our week together.  It is incredibly tacky.  I picked it out when I was like 11 or 12, and a teenybopper’s taste is wildly different from an adult’s.  There is NO CHANCE I would ever display it in my house.  I know you can’t keep every little doodad everyone has ever given you, but that is one I kept because of the memories it holds.  It may be ugly but its past gives it value to me.

But, I digress.  The point is that the absolute best way to get rid of stuff is to move overseas for a few years – short enough to keep things of true value, but long enough that you get rid of things that aren’t worth the storage cost to you.  Here are clutter-riddance stages, based on my experience:

  • Stage One – Getting Rid of Things I Want To Get Rid Of
  • Stage Two – Getting Rid of Things I Ought To Get Rid Of
  • Stage Three – Getting Rid of Things I Can Get Rid Of But Would Rather Keep
  • Stage Four – Getting Rid of Things I Do Not Want To Get Rid Of
  • Stage Five – Getting Rid of Things And Breaking My Heart In The Process

I am wrapping up Stage Three right now.  I am hoping it is enough and Stages Four and Five are unnecessary.  Actually Stage Five will only happen via an Act of God, as the insurance company calls it.  But there is a strong possibility that my clothes at least will have to go through Stage Four and I am dreading it.  I like my clothes, mainly because it is due to them that I don’t have to shop very often.  I can just stay the same size for years and avoid malls/stores and fitting rooms, which I despise.  That is my plan.  I don’t even really like clothes – I mean, I like wearing them, I am just not “into” clothes and never have been – but I like the ones I have and strongly dislike the thought of starting over.  Hopefully after Stage Three they will all fit in the suitcases they are supposed to go in and I won’t have to do this AGAIN.  It gets very tedious.