I was actually surprised. While I suppose the concepts behind the questions aren't exactly new, the questions themselves provided just enough newness that it sparked some motivation to once again get with the program of downsizing, getting rid of, minimizing...
The question that really struck me was, "If someone told me I HAD to get rid of this [insert object here] and I didn't have a choice, would I secretly feel relieved?"
I instantly recognized this question as being a form of one I often ask myself: "Does this item spark guilt?" Or, the idea of feeling relieved is similar to the experience I have when something I've been hanging onto is found ruined somehow. Once I get over the initial feeling of guilt or frustration that I allowed something to become ruined, I'm actually relieved to just toss the thing and be done with it. It doesn't make me feel virtuous to have these feelings, or to admit this, but I doubt I'm unique in having this experience.
Interestingly, as I turned away from the computer my eyes landed on the magazine below - that somehow had gotten loose from the stack of crochet and knit magazines I was sorting through earlier.
Applying the question to it, I instantly knew the answer to the question was "Yes! I'd feel relieved if I was forced to get rid of it." For some reason I hang onto it - I'm sure because it sparks some feelings of nostalgia. But honestly, not enough to warrant hanging on to it. I love me a fun granny square, but seriously... I'm not going to make anything in this magazine! Ever!
Then I decided to do a quick walk through some rooms and within about 5 minutes of just opening some closets and some drawers, I quickly came up with this collection of stuff that I also feel relieved to part with:
Who knows why these things didn't make the cut when I was decluttering in November, or since then, but today I say an easy "Bye-Bye!" to them.
While it's only a few items, I feel lighter. I feel lighter when anything leaves the house anymore. And armed with some questions asked in fresh-to-me ways, I think I'm finally motivated to dive into some specific spaces for cleaning and decluttering as thoughts are turning to spring.
On my list of obvious areas to declutter/downsize:
- closets by front door
- my clothes closet
- bathroom linen closet
- storage area - that is our furnace room
- laundry room
- a paper crafting space off my closet
- an alcove that mostly contains books and DVDs
- and always... books.