The other day I went through the house and photographed it in its usual state. Opened drawers, cupboards, and ventured down to the eerie basement. I began to mentally prepare for letting go.
There are certain areas of the house that overwhelm me right from the start, like my book collection, the huge portfolios of children's artwork or the basement full of things I'd rather keep out of sight, out of mind. I know that I can't start with big, difficult decisions. I need this process of letting go to feel good and rewarding, and then I'll work my way up to the tough stuff.
There are plenty of other areas to jump right in! My initial scan of the kitchen and shared living spaces identified many duplicate items and things we rarely use (cookbooks, kitchen tools, games). I will start there.
I plan to use a 4-bin system for Donations, Recycling, Stuff to Keep and Trash.
I started compiling a list of possible recipients and places to donate the perfectly wonderful things that do not serve me and my family anymore. I think that letting go will be easier for me when I know that my things can be of use to someone else, and that they will not be taking up precious space in a landfill. This concept eases some of the guilt I feel about having acquired so much in the first place, or the equally paralyzing realization that hard-earned money was exchanged for each of these items.
But, it is in this uncomfortable place that change can begin to happen. Throughout this process of letting go I believe I will be facing some difficult truths about privilege and desire and excess. I don't want to ignore these truths any longer. Letting go of denial, letting go of that need for more, letting go of old habits is an opportunity to better align my family's lifestyle with our core values. I am ready to jump in...
If YOU are ready to jump in too, share your plans in the comments below! Post your own before-and-after pics on Instagram (#lettinggojourney). We can do this!!