It seemed like a simple idea, create more space in my home by getting rid of some unneeded items. But then the whole thing became a game and suddenly "a few things" became 100 and then 200 and then 300 and now the goal is to get rid of 500 items by August's end.
As I say so often, "If you want to create fast change in your world — just get rid of some of your stuff." And as I looked around my place I thought, "You know, I should put that whole philosophy to the test and see how many times it takes to get to the change part." And so I initially started out with 100 things (books, CDs, shirts, undies, picture frames, forks, whatever). I hit that mark pretty quickly — and I am known as a minimalist among my friends! So I upped the anti a bit and set my sights on 200 items and am now at almost 300 items with my new goal being 500 things.
For the tried and true scientists amongst us, it's all a very unscientific experiment. I knew that from the outset. What I hoped to do was to see at what point Nature would step in to fill the vacuum I was creating. And I also hoped to add a sense of newness and some motivational energy to my day.
And have I seen any changes? Actually, yes! Around 150 items I suddenly began finding odds and ends on my building's give-away table that were on my To Buy List. When I hit 200 things, I started to feel a bit more energized to accomplish some loose ends that had been hanging around my To Do List since back in the winter. As I hone in on 300 objects d' trash, I am seeing again how mental/physical space is a concept which we create and how we all tend to like having room to stretch, breathe and expand. Few of us like to feel constrained — whether physically, mentally or emotionally. Which is why we love to see a vista — an unobstructed, endless horizon that gives us a sense of time and space and limitlessness. So as I discard, donate and gift away a few of my many, many possessions I am getting a renewed unobstructed view of my own inner horizon.
So to sum it all up, the throwing away actually invigorates one to throw more away. And you know the interesting thing is, that in all the times I've decluttered I can count on my hand the things I wish I had not gotten rid of. And usually they are things like a 3-hole punch or some other odd item that I only use occasionally. Which leads me to see how I can trust my own intuition to guide me to see what needs to go and what needs to stay.
And here's a hint on tossing things out — if you stand there and try to come up with a reason to keep the item(s) with statements like "Well, I could use it here…or I could hang it up there…or I could…" The minute you find yourself combing your mind trying to come up with a reason to keep something in your world that is the moment you need to get rid of that something. If it really belonged in your world, you would intuitively know immediately where it should go, why it should stay and what you want to do with it.