Letting go of my past
As a blogger, I tend to only share the good stuff. This is not because I want to paint a rose-tinted view of my life, but because I prefer to focus on the positives rather than dwell on the negatives.
During my 30s, I experienced more than my fair share of bad luck and on reflection, I think my collecting was one way of coping. It took my mind off things, and when you’re having a hard time it’s nice to treat yourself.
For this reason, a lot of my decluttering has been about re-evaluating my life and making some sense of the things that happened. The process has been extremely therapeutic, and at times it felt like letting go of the past to make space for my future.
Decluttering my home
While I was decluttering my home, I couldn’t seem to reduce my vintage collectables or photographs. I tried on a number of occasions but I didn’t get anywhere, and I was unhappy that they were taking up so much space in my apartment. I was aware of a book by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, and I recall reading a post by Tiff of Dottie Angel about the strength it had given her. Tiff, like me, had a passion for vintage collecting and I felt confident that if this book had helped her it could help me too.
Marie Kondo’s book outlines a process of tackling items by type, in a specific order and over a maximum of six months. She teaches you to only keep the items that ‘spark joy’ and to discard everything else. A process she calls the KonMari Method. The thing that made her technique so unique is you don’t decide what to remove, but instead you decide what to keep. I loved this idea, and I imagined it was like going into a shop full of my possessions and choosing what to take home!
‘To put your things in order means to put your past in order, too. It’s like resetting your life and settling your accounts so that you can take the next step forward.’ – Marie Kondo
So, on the rainy bank holiday Monday, I tipped my box of photographs onto the living room floor and sorted through them. Some of the images made me sad but others made me laugh as I reminisced and enjoyed revisiting the fun times: a holiday with my girlfriends to Corfu, the three times I’ve been a bridesmaid, my teenage bedrooms and so many bad hairstyles. I now have eight tiny albums of joy – the people and happy moments I want to remember, having let go of the rest.
Next came the collectables; my unloved vintage trinkets, held in a series of boxes and taking up space in my cupboard. The collection had taken almost twenty years to build and consisted of many rare items. By applying the ‘spark joy’ technique to each item, I soon discovered that I didn’t love them as much as I thought I did. In fact, I was simply holding on to the love I had once had for them. I kept my favourites and the remainder are in my office waiting to be sold. It’s strange but after years of living with them, I can’t wait to let them go!
Does it spark joy?
Despite being sentimental about things, Marie Kondo has helped me to view my belongings in a different way. I’ve realised I don’t have to keep things just because I think they hold a memory – the memories are in me, not in the object. With Marie Kondo’s help, I’ve reached a point of peace and calm. There are no longer boxes of unloved things in my cupboards (or skeletons in my closet!). Everything that remains in my home serves a purpose or fills me with joy, and there’s now an abundance of space to create a happier future.
If you’re about to embark on a declutter I wish you the very best of luck!
Further reading on my blog
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a gorgeous day.