Love it, List it, or Gift it
In October 2017, I was in the hospital for a major surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. When I was finally home recovering, I realized how much I valued the simple things in life. I couldn't do my own dishes, cook my own meals, walk down the stairs to get my mail, nor style my own hair. Showering and getting myself out of bed was painful enough. I felt like freeing myself of anything unnecessary in my home and in my daily routine. The very first thing I did when I was finally able to drive myself somewhere was chop my hair! It felt so good and freeing to have an easy hairstyle so I started looking at other things I could do to simplify my life. Since the surgery was on my abdomen, I had to reconsider my wardrobe so that nothing I wore was uncomfortable on my belly. This led me to examine my closet where I realized I had so many clothes! Some of which I NEVER wore! They were so dang cute ( don't even get me started on shoes) but were taking up real estate in my house and not adding any value.
I was determined to live a simpler life and I was ready.
For many years I had a dream to own a camper van and travel around the country in it. This became my mental frame of mind as I examined things in my closet and house. While going through my things, I asked myself, "would I take this in a camper van?". If the obvious answer was "no", I brought in a big black garbage sack, filled it up, and hauled it off to the Salvation Army down the street. I did this for months, and was taking a bag a week to them.
Then came the next layer. If I wasn't sure if I would take it with me in a camper van, I put it on the left side of my closet to wear it or use it and decide. This was extremely helpful! I came across some clothing items, like two Volcolm skirts that I loved wearing, and wondered why I hadn't been wearing them! On the other hand, I came upon this super cute pink dress that I loved and put it on. Within two hours of wearing it to church, it was driving me crazy as the capped sleeves were rubbing my arm raw every time I moved it. The dress went in the bag! I repeated this process the past 6 months with all my clothes, shoes, cookware, electronics etc. and narrowed my items down considerably!
What to do with all this stuff?
Some stuff I immediately bagged and donated, but then came the layer of items worth some money. I decided to do a 30 day challenge for myself of either loving it, listing it, or gifting it. I started on June 1st and finished on June 30th. I decided to either keep the item, list an item on Facebook marketplace or Nextdoor app, or bagged it to donate. I also did a yard sale with some of the nicer items on June 30th and made a little money for some valuable items. As soon as the yard sale was over, I was not going to haul on that stuff back inside, so I bagged it up, filled up my car and drove directly to the salvation army to donate it all! It felt so good to downsize and let go of things I maybe, might, one day use and just keep the essentials.
My house feels less cluttered and my life feels so much simpler. I now have a closet of comfortable, cute, and practical items instead of items taking up dead space, a kitchen with just what I need to cook, and a house with less clutter and knickknacks.
The other benefit I noticed from doing this was I am so much pickier about just purchasing things because they are cute, I have learned to make do with what I have, and appreciate a simpler life and options in my home.. oh and I got a camper van!