We just returned from a two month trip to California and for those two months we had been living out of a suitcase. Our weekends were filled with hiking trips and excursions, and offered something new and inspiring each time. But now we are home, back here in Japan. With all of our stuff. And I’m feeling that weight again: the oppressive burden that comes from “things” owning you.
"less stuff means more time to do what you care about"
So why write about decluttering? Because less stuff means more time to do what you care about; make art, write and tell stories…
Here are 3 ways you can declutter the house, and your life, this week. You can do this every 6 months or each time you return from a trip.
1. Collect the Obvious
Give away, get rid of, or sell the most obvious things. These are the things you’ve already thought about when you started reading this post. Don’t wait. Go do it now. This starts by cleaning the house. Putting things away will help you see what needs to be moved out. Today take it to your local thrift store, post it to craigslist or throw it out.
Here is a fun experiment that I do every 6 months. Clear out the things that you haven't used in over a year but have held onto, put them in a bag and store it in the back of a closet. In a month, if you still haven’t used anything from the bag, pass it on. I clean out my closet each season using this method.
As you’re unpacking from your trip take note of what stayed home in your drawers. Sure, inevitably, there will be things that you wish you had brought with you, but use your suitcase as a guide and pare down the rest. Do you use all 12 pairs of shoes? How about those other 2 winter coats? You get the idea.
"Traveling has taught me that no matter where I am, I can create."
When I’m traveling I feel free and I need less. Why should it be any different when I return home? I don’t like being tied down to things and I’m constantly learning to separate myself. Traveling has taught me that no matter where I am, I can create. I create best in a place where I’m inspired the most, and it’s easier for me to find that moment when I’m not surrounded by clutter.