When you just can’t part with an object....
If someone had told me three years ago that I was about to discard 75% of the items in my house, and what’s more not miss a single thing I would’ve said they were crazy. Totally off their nut. The fact is that two/three years down the line from when I started decluttering I can’t even picture most of the things I discarded. I could tell you how many bags of clothes I donated to charity, but couldn’t describe to you what any one single item looked like without a really hard think (for at least 20 minutes!)
For someone that’s very object orientated this surprises me. I thought I’d miss or at least remember the items I discarded but I don’t. I’m very sentimental about things. I thought that now the only objects left in my house are those that ‘spark joy’, that I’d be even more attached than ever to them, but surprisingly I’m less attached than ever. Maybe I realised that, finally after all these years, that they are just things. Not memories, just objects.
Now when things are no longer fit for purpose you’d think I’d be devastated to let them go, especially now they’re all that’s left. But you know what? I’m not. They served their purpose, I’m grateful for them, but it’s ok for them to go. A lot of people (those that have never lived in a cluttered life) will not understand this shift in my thinking, and those of you living in clutter will most likely be horrified and freaked out by this change. I am a bit too if I’m honest. (If you’re thinking of becoming a client - no, I won’t force you to part with 75% of your stuff so don’t panic!)
So when I knocked a shelf of my favourite mugs on the floor and had to put one in the bin I thought I’d cry! But I didn’t. I felt grateful i’d had it so long, sorry that it was broken but not devastated. Mugs have always been a thing of mine. Whenever I’ve been away I’ve usually found a mug to remind me of the place, although now I realise that my memories will always be there, but a mug is a nice remember of happy times whenever I get a drink. There were three mugs that made me smile that couldn’t be used for cuppas, but were still ok for something.
The great thing about joy sparking objects is that you can see them as objects rather than emotional attachments, so you can see them with a clearer eye. You can use your imagination better to change their usage. So an old jumper that can no longer can be worn can become a cushion cover, broken crockery becomes a mosaic top for an old table, a lonesome sparkly earring can become a pretty jewel to hang on a coat hanger for decoration, and a mug (or three) can become plant pots! So genuinely joy sparking items can continue to bring you joy.
Surround yourself by things you love, and enjoy them while they last, repurpose them if you feel you can and it’s not for them to go yet, but then when it is time to say goodbye be surprised when you’re ok letting them go.