Friday, July 6, 2018

Use it or lose it

While I have not fully settled into my new space - I blame decision fatigue - most of my things have found their permanent homes.

I still have a few decor items to make decisions on (my hanging lamp, a hanging coat rack, a desk lamp) a file box filled with papers that I have to go through and purge/declutter, a few keepsake things I need to make decisions about once and for all, some sailing gear and reference books I need to organize, and my work supplies that aren't situated in the most functional way.

But overall everything is where it should be (or near where it should be). And when I open my closets and cupboards everything is easily viewable.

So it makes it easy to take stock of what I have and whether it's being used on a daily, somewhat daily, weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly basis.

Because of this - and because I want to make sure that I'm continuing to stay on track with my goal of living with less - I've decided to do these daily, weekly, semi-monthly, monthly checks to see what I'm using and what I'm not using - and if I'm not using it, I'm losing it.

I have a number of items that are for specific occasions or activities, that won't get used regularly, but that I must keep - foul-weather gear for sailing, safety gear for sailing, a hand-crank radio should we have a power outage, various tools, screws, nails, spackling paste, and the like. I also have a few extra cleaning supplies that will take some time to use - but will be used.

But even still, I am looking (and plan to look) through everything just to make sure that they are items I still need, use or will use.

While it is still early days, I've already opted to part with a few things:

  • VIPP bath hooks. We used them in our old space, but decided not to put as many holes in the wall here. I had planned on keeping them for "someday" when we owned our own space, but decided it wasn't worth hanging onto them for that possibility. So I sold them.
  • Rothko framed print. This was tough - it was a recent purchase and I always wanted it. But it was dark (not one of his sunnier pieces) and I bought it during a dark time. And I didn't want to hang it here because it didn't fit with the lightness of our current space - and also because it was super heavy. So I sold it.
  • Two bowls and mugs. All were hand-crafted and beautiful but I wasn't reaching for them like I was our other bowls and mugs, and while I imagine I'll acquire another mug or two - as I love mugs - I knew these were going to continue being dust collectors.
  • A Shabby Chic duvet. I love Rachel Ashwell's duvets, but this one's color just wasn't one I loved, and while I did use it - and it would work well with the current color scheme in our place, I never wanted to dress the bed with it, so I gave it away.
  • Two jute containers. I just bought them online but knew when they arrived I didn't like them in real life. However I knew someone who would, so instead of returning them to H&M I gave them away.
  • A towel that was of poor quality that already showed signs of wear after just a few uses.
  • Several cleaning towels and sponges and scrubbers. They either fell apart after one use, did not function as well as I'd hoped, or were seen as playthings for my cats - so out they went.
And there are a few things I will likely part with in the coming weeks that keep grabbing my attention during my weekly checks.
  • A handblown glass bowl that is beautiful but we just don't use.
  • Another Shabby Chic duvet or two - one that is lovely but worn and torn, one that I don't love quite as much but I have a sentimental attachment.
  • A hand towel and bath towel - that are good quality but I don't love and my husband doesn't need (he prefers the bath sheets).
  • A grey round basket/container I just bought but was smaller than I thought and while I like it I haven't found a use for it yet.
If I don't use it I have to lose it. And while some items have the potential to be used, I'm going to make the commitment to say sayonara if I don't actually use them by the end of the month. No matter how painful it might feel in the moment.

Because once they're gone I won't have regrets - even if I might miss them just a little bit - but I won't have to see them and think about the fact that I'm not using them or loving them, which makes it all worth it.

To be continued...

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