Growing up with anti-materialistic parents my sister and I never had a cluttered life. Moving often we were restricted in the amount we could bring along.

Having someone else keep a tight rein on how many possessions we could have had a rebound effect when we went out on our own and decluttering has never been easy for me.

I am pretty enmeshed with much of my stuff, worried about letting go. When I I’ve been decluttering and notice that the last time I saw or touched an item was the last time I was decluttering …I have to ask, why am I still giving this a home?

While I’m “not as bad as some” I have way too much for one person’s needs.

Camping and Traveling

One exercise I’ve noticed that works for me is packing for a trip. I really only need certain things for the time I’ll be away, for comfort, health and occupation and each time I choose the same things plus a few oddball items I think would either be fun or pleasant to have along.

It gives me perspective on what I’m leaving behind.

If I’m going alone I will miss my family members. After that there’s not much I couldn’t replace other than photographs and my computer files.

When I return I’m often inspired to give some more stuff away.


Trauma and Loss

Everyone has their angels and demons and I certainly feel the need of my angels when I’m decluttering.

Getting rid of my excess belongings can be a pretty anxiety prone activity. I need to take it in small doses and be kind to myself when I’m not being as successful as I had hoped. Journaling before and afterwards helps me name the emotions and work out the next plan; maybe a bottle of wine and some fancy cheese.

Why did I have such a reaction to sorting that box of stuff?

Is there evidence of unfinished business?

Am I unconsciously playing out old scenes in my head?

What am I afraid of?


My demons of course



A couple of articles I found helpful …


10 Ways to Downsize Your Home Without Losing Your Mind

Downsizing? Ditch These Items – Here’s what to pitch to get organized and reclaim space

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