Trust us, you won’t miss it.
Of the thousands upon thousands of things we’ve donated, sold (in order to save $60,000), or tossed, we don’t miss any of them. None. We don’t even remember what we’ve gotten rid of. If we really try, we can think of a few things in our most recent donation run, but beyond that they’re lost to the sands of time. In general, though, we learned you won’t miss it.
It’s an odd thing how the stuff we allowed into our lives quickly becomes forgotten once it’s a week or two removed. You may have noticed this with people, too. Maybe you have coworkers that you thought you’d stay in touch with but they just fade away. It’s the same way with stuff. Unlike drinking buddies, your best friends are tough to forget and spending time with them is enjoyable and refreshing. It’s the same way with some of your stuff. The stuff worth keeping is the stuff you use. And you really know the stuff you need when you see it. Most of the time you’re surrounded by a bunch of half baked ideas and quickly faded passions and hobbies.
When you have a bunch of stuff and lukewarm hobbies around the house you tend to put your energy into those, even if you aren’t excited about them. You spend time using them, or at least looking/thinking about them, because they are readily available. The human mind doesn’t want to work hard, so if some random hobby is within arm’s reach you’ll probably have that on your mind – even if you don’t like it. It’s the same with food. The body prefers crappy food in the pantry, in part, because it’s only 20 feet away. Not being readily available is why “out of sight out of mind” works.
Once all of those gifts we hung onto because of self-inflicted guilt were out of our line of sight they ceased to exist. They no longer reside in our brains and probably don’t even reside in the brains of those who gave it. More importantly, since they’ve vacated our mental space they’ve made room for more valuable things and experiences.
So what really have we gotten rid of that we don’t miss?
Well that’s a bit of a trick question because we can’t name too many specific things but I’ll give it a shot. We threw away a ton of great grandma’s hotdish recipes. Some gifted clothes, some gifted tools, uhhh, drawing a blank here. I’ll give you some categories instead:
- Books (yes, I love to read and don’t miss any I’ve gotten rid of)
This also includes sentimental items. Just be a little careful here. If you aren’t quite ready to tackle the sentimental stuff, don’t. We don’t want you to toss unique family heirloom for the sake of tossing it. If you use it and love it, keep it. If you’re ready to let it go, you have permission to send it off. But this isn’t a post about how to declutter – this is a post that lets you know we’ve discarded a ton of stuff (including sentimental items) and our world keeps turning.
Personally, we’ve tossed recipes, family photos, and yearbooks. Anything irreplaceable has been scanned and backed-up on a server. It probably goes without saying but the eviction of clutter is weight being lifted off our shoulders. We feel lighter and more free, but also more liberated from the guilt of responsibility for holding onto sentimental items.
There are many resources out there for getting started on getting stuff out of your life. We have some of our own methods we’ll discuss more later.
In the meantime, the satisfaction of not remembering the stuff we gave away is reward enough to keep doing it.