My friend Aleisha confessed to me that she had been attending an unusual "club"… for decluttering! There has been an interest around here in minimalism, capsule wardrobes, & the like, so I asked Aleisha to share her experience with us.
What in the world!? How did you end up in a decluttering club? Is that a thing?
Last fall, my friend Ronda invited me to join her "decluttering group." She's an insightful, interesting woman, and I knew that whatever she was into would be legit — thought out, and definitely not a waste of time. Quite honestly, she had me at the thought of coming over for coffee and treats on aFriday morning!
It turned out to be an amazing, re-energizing experience that quite frankly was one of the most valuable things I did all year — and this is coming from a mom of 3 young kids... time doesn't grow on trees in this stage of life.
What is decluttering?
As you may or may not know, decluttering is a "bit" of a movement. (insert sarcasm)
Just peruse the magazine section at the grocery store to see "49 Tips for Decluttering Your Home," or " 365 Decluttering: Daily 15-Minute Missions," or my favourite, "60 Things to Toss Out in the Next 60 Days." It's kind of everywhere.
Overall, "decluttering" is about clearing out the clutter and having less stuff.
For me personally, it wasn't about being organized or tidy (a worthwhile pursuit), or spending less money on stuff (also noble), but really about exploring this philosophy of having "enough." [ed. note: we are interested in that, too!]
What resources did you use?
The group followed a weekly video series by Joshua Becker, called "Uncluttered". The series is based on his book The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, so I suppose you could get a lot of the same info out of the book or even his blog. But, the course had videos that we watched together, and a bunch of extra resources to help practically apply the theory of it all.
One of his main philosophies is that we, as a society, no longer pursue having "enough", but rather, have been mistakenly led to pursue "excess." When you pursue excess, you will never be able to be satisfied, because our new definition of enough is unachievable.
The reality, he states, is:
"...we already have enough. Once we train ourselves to recognize this truth, we are freed from the pursuit of more, we are liberated from the bondage of discontent, and we begin to experience true freedom in our lives.
Best of all, once we realize we already own enough, we are freed to pursue more worthy endeavors than the accumulation of excess."
Is this like a “book club” where it’s really about drinking wine? Did anyone successfully declutter?
Don't get me wrong — it wasn't perfect! There was a week where we all planned to bring our "excess" to Ronda's, as she had planned for a Goodwill pick-up. It may have slightly turned into yardsale on her front lawn... like, "Oooh, what is that I see in your pile there?!" 😂 Most of us did not go home empty-handed that day!
But, of course, nobody is perfect, and that wasn't the goal. Overall, yes, there was a lot of successful decluttering and a lightening of the load, so to speak, in all of our homes.
What are the outcomes you have experienced in your own life?
Well, Josh Becker & the awesome group of gals in the group helped me to see that our 950 sq. foot home didn't need literally half of my wardrobe, two-thirds of our games and toys, some over-sized furniture, unused kitchenware, and multiple books I'll honestly never read again (or even read once, for that matter).
I live in a (culturally) small home for my family of 5, so there is a natural amount of paring down that is just a necessity of a small space. But, honestly, I was shocked at how much I had that I didn't use or didn't need.
It's not like decluttering has solved all my life problems! But overall, I'm starting to see that I have enough. And a tidier house isn't exactly a downside. :)
Thanks for sharing, Aleisha! Continue the conversation & ask Aleisha anything about her experience in our Facebook group. And: Happy decluttering!
This dignify post draws from Derek Thompson's October 7th article in The Atlantic.
Thompson's article explains the practical challenges in 2021 for consumers as well as for retailers.
Here's how some of these points relate to dignify right now and in the coming months:
Mystery novels have often appealed to people with jobs that are never fully resolved (doctors, pastors, social workers). In this cultural era of many-problems-few-resolutions, reading a good mystery can be a refreshing break.
Our 12-year old daughter is the most avid, prolific reader I know! We teamed up to create a list of mysteries for all ages of independent readers. The recos below are listed with increasing age levels in mind, but no specific age parameters (as a mature, well-read, near-teen, she has read up to Agatha Christie on this list).
Our 11-year old computer is showing creaky signs of age, just about ready to go to sleep (and never wake up). But, we feel that it has served us well. When I compare it to other expenses over the years, the laptop is — at about a $100/year investment — one of our best value-for-dollar belongings.
When shopping for items like this, how do we choose well? How do we discern what brand/style/variety is built to last? Or, how do we determine even if “built to last” is relevant to the purchase?