If you read one of my recent posts [150+ Things I Tossed When I Downsized], you know I downsized my possessions a lot more than I could ever believe possible.
However, for the past couple of months, my anxiety levels have been increasing. Not knowing why, I decided to alter the music I listen to, simplify my schedule, and spend more time outdoors. While this all helped some, I still had the feeling something is not right. By making mental notes each time I feel it increase, I have been able to pin point a few things that could be triggering my anxiety. In general, it is my surroundings. Even though my space is not cluttered anymore, the idea of storing so much bothered me.
When we downsized, it was with the idea of building a home on our new property within a few years. I knew I could store most of the decor I did not have the space for, holiday decor, off season things, etc. My thought process was to sort through it all as the seasons changed. I would have to be in the loft area anyways, so to me, it made sense.
One day, I was on YouTube watching videos and decided to watch a decluttering playlist by a YouTuber I had been following for a few months. This playlist was back way before she decided to become a minimalist, so it was very interesting to me. Her life was so different in the years before she decided to fully simplify her life. She was a beauty guru who had enough of her collection, and was purging as much as she possibly could.
While watching this, I could not help but think of what else I could let go of to simplify even more. These videos gave me the motivation to tackle my items I had originally decided to store away for when we build our home in a few years. A big push in this was noticing how much this YouTuber’s life changed, as well as taste in decor, over a few years. If her taste changed as drastically as it did in less than 5 years, mine probably would change some as well.
That was when I decided I could only keep what was absolutely precious to my husband and I. The rest would be donated, repurposed, or tossed!
I went through home decor, blankets, Christmas decor, Fall decor, stored clothing, etc.
I was able to let go of 2 large totes FULL of things! [The pictures below does not do these totes justice, but I wanted to show you how full they were!]
It felt so liberating to get rid of what I may or may not like in the years to come. What I treasured was already on the walls, and what I decided to keep are things that cannot easily be replaced. At the end of this post, I will include a list of everything that was donated.
I took these totes the very next day to the donation station, and was trilled to only bring back the totes!… At least for a day or so, I was trilled….
The next few days were questionable, and I was asking myself if I had done enough. I had gotten my Christmas decor down to 1 large tote [not counting the tree of course!], and Fall and home decor down to 1 medium tote each! However, I still felt my anxiety. Weird right?! The rest of my space was pretty minimal, minus my book collection.
One reason my anxiety levels were still elevated was due to a kitchen project not being complete just yet. But what was the other reason[s]? Was there any other reason[s]?
I researched on why I felt this way, but came up with nothing. I watched YouTube videos, read blog posts, etc. I could not pin point a trigger, so I did as I did when we first started packing up a year ago. I decided it was time to do a cleanse of my possessions, and create a more serene space.
How I Cleansed Each Space
For the bathroom, I decided to paint my aloe vera pot from beige to white to tie into the space better. It was a small and simple fix.
For the kitchen, I moved all of the vegetables off the counter top to have more space. I replaced my two small utensil holders with one large basket to hold my utensils better. [I do not have a lot, but some pieces are bulky, and I like having them all together.] I purged a few items due to excess. [These items will be listed at the end of the post.] I also ordered a sample of fabric to see if it will work to get the kitchen project complete. We shall see!
For the living space, I purged my book collection. Looking at it every day was a reminder of what I have yet to read, what I would like to read, and what books were started but not finished. Asking myself why I needed a book helped tons! I have reason I like each book in my collection, but why did I have to have it? A good example is my books with white covers. They look classy and brighten up my bookcase. However, most of them will not be reread. I was able to let go of 40% of my collection by analyzing my why! For the books I have yet to read, I did read the synopsis to see if it still sounded appealing to read. If it did, I kept it. If not, the library received it!
Below are two pictures of the books I donated. [I will include a list with titles and why I purged them at the bottom for you to check out if you would like!] The two towers were easy enough to make a decision on, and the other picture were the two items I had to think about before making my decision.
For the bedroom area, I simply cleaned up the space, put everything in its place, and organized my clothes and shoes. I tried my best to simplify the appearance of what we have. We do not have an enclosed closet, and having empty hangers bother me! I caught up on laundry and hid the couple of extras we have, so that my mind could release this silly annoyance.
For everything else, I went through and tossed what was not necessary to keep. I have old sports awards that I want to keep, but I told myself I could only do it if it fit in my keepsake box. I also had a couple of boxes to go through and sort. What I wanted to keep had to have a home or it went out with everything else I decided to discard. I was able to clean out all of the boxes and rid them from our space. One box was random cords, another was office supplies, and a box of things that accidentally ended up in the garage sale stuff. Having these boxes out of the space is so nice! Since I do not have or need an office anymore, I took my supplies to work and actually use them instead of storing them! Now I can look around my home and not see just-in-case boxes or a task I need to complete!
By the time I finished, I had 2 large totes and 2 boxes full of things to donate, 1 sack of things I tossed, and a more tidy space than before I started! How in the world did I still have so much excess?!
My goal now is to have the rest of my stored things organized into the empty totes and get started putting my fall and winter capsule wardrobe together. I have ordered a few pieces, secondhand from Poshmark, and I am really excited! I have never used them before, but so far, I have had a great experience!
Now let us get to the list of what I donated! I will start with the list of home goods, and then include a list of the books I gave to the library including the reason why I let go of each one.
Home Goods Tossed [Donated]
1 Three piece jar set
1 full size Christmas wax warmer
2 plug-in Christmas wax warmers
2 scare crows on a stick
1 scare crow and pumpkin decor piece
1 recycles glass bottle
3 Christmas wall plaques
1 Red Dish
1 Christmas 12 piece Dish Set
1 Serving Platter
1 Snowman paper towel holder
6 picture frames
2 crochet dollies[?]
2 Christmas decor wall plaques
1 Christmas card holder
1 organizer box
3 Christmas gift boxes [decor]
1 scare crow candy container
1 Trick or Treat candy container
2 Red Beaded Christmas Tree cones
22 cabinet hinges [From a project that did not happen. Returned to store for store credit.]
1 Wine Glass
1 blender cup
1 dish scrubber
1 reusable plastic bottle
2 small boxes of tea
1 plastic tupperware [does not match current set]
1 salad lunch organizer
1 pair of earrings
1 blue blouse
1 pair of grey heels
1 vintage cream holder
3 pairs of jeans
1 pair of flip flops
1 random fork
1 feather [decor]
3 Christmas nesting bowls
3 Christmas dish cloths
1 pot holder
1 oven mitt
1 cake pan with lid
3 wooden cooking spoons
1 cookie spatula
1 pair of tongs
4 vintage picture frames
20 old pictures [ tossed… not going to donate pictures of myself of course 😉 ]
Several sheets and pillow cases I did not know we had [ I repurposed these into shop rags for my husband. ]
Books Tossed [Given to the Library]
Side Note: If I got rid of a book you love, please do not take it personally. I still have a lot of books to get through on my shelf, and these are the ones I have read and enjoyed, or no longer interested in reading. I tried to keep the reasoning short and sweet, so just know I did have more feelings with some of these books, but it is not relevant to this post. If you want to know more, please feel free to leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to explain! 🙂
The Luck One by Nicolas Sparks – Purchased for really cheap, but lost interest in reading.
The Rescue by Nicolas Sparks – Purchased for really cheap, but lost interest in reading.
Night in Rodanthe by Nicolas Sparks – Purchased for really cheap, but lost interest in reading.
Message in a Bottle by Nicolas Sparks – Purchased for really cheap, but lost interest in reading.
The Beach House by Jane Green – No longer interested in reading.
Secrets of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst – Will not reread.
LA Candy Trilogy by Lauren Conrad – Will not reread.
Daily Devotional by Joseph Prince [Not sure what the real title is.] – Never used and it deserves to be used.
Broken Hearts, Fences, and other Things to Mend by Katie Finn – Thought it was cute, but not interested in reading anymore.
He Wanted the Moon by Mimi Baird – Got for review and never picked up to read. Time for it to find a new home.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I think this book being so hyped kept me from reading it.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – Interested in it, but I thought it was a stand-a-lone book. Not interested in starting a series for a while.
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – Purchased because of the cover, but have no interest in the story line. [Lesson learned!]
Where We Belong by Emily Giffin – Heard great things about author, but not interested in this particular book.
Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts – Not interested in books based around weddings. Been there, done it kind of feeling with these books.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – Tried to read, but just did not get into it.
Promises to Keep by Jane Green – No longer interested in reading.
The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner – Liked, but will not reread.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – Have had for a few years, still have not read, and probably will not read. Someone will though!
Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck – Thought was cute when purchased, but I obviously misread synopsis… Oops!
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin – Have had for a few years, still have not read, and probably will not read. Someone will though!
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – Intrigued, but probably would not pick up before everything else still on my shelf.
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen – Did not want to donate, but decided to because it is not something I am pulled to read compared to everything else I have to choose from on my shelf.
The Syrena Legacy by Anna Banks – Really enjoyed reading, but will not reread.
Redeployment by Phil Klay – No longer interested in reading, and I have several more war related books I want to read.
The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld – Really enjoy this book, but it took me to such a dark place that I will not be rereading it. Highly recommend, but read synopsis before deciding to read! It has many triggers.
The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell – Was a gift, and now I am gifting to the library.
I know I will never been 100% finished with decluttering, but I hope this is the last of what feels like massive decluttering in my home! I think now, I will be able to keep a box by the door and take donations one every month or two, if that.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below for me! I love reading and replying to them!