Some people shop as a hobby. I prefer to declutter.
I started decluttering four years ago as we packed to move into our new home after I realized how many things in my kitchen I rarely used. Since then, I’ve continued to declutter every few months, always getting rid of more and more stuff.
I’m always surprised by how much stuff I find to give away each time I go through our home. At some point there won’t be any left…right?
That said, there are a few things that I’m not willing to declutter. In no particular order:
1. Children’s books
Although I love to read, I have very few books in my collection. I’ve given away all but my very favorites, and I only purchase the Kindle version of books now. That way I can keep a copy without adding to the clutter in our home.
However, we have lots and lots of children’s books, and I refuse to declutter those. There’s nothing I love more than watching my girls (even the baby) sit down with a pile of books to “read”, and I think it’s an important part of developing a lifelong love of reading. I’m sure that as they outgrow some of the younger books, we’ll start giving those away, but until then, I’ll continue to make more room for any and all books that come our way!
2. My husband’s stuff
One of the hardest parts about making the decision to simplify or declutter is getting the rest of your family on board. Trying to force other people into it is a good way to cause tension…and it probably won’t work anyway.
Although my husband is pretty laid back about the decluttering I do in the main areas of our home, I never declutter his clothes, tools, magazines, etc. without his permission. He has more of all of those things than I would prefer, but they’re his, so while I encourage him to declutter — and offer to help — I don’t force the issue!
The advent of digital cameras is one of my absolute favorite technical developments because I’m able to keep thousands of photos without worrying about them getting lost in a flood or fire or trying to find space to store them. Although I try not to keep a dozen versions of the exact same shot, I generally err on the side of keeping pictures rather than trashing them because I know I will treasure all of the memories that go with each picture in the years to come.
4. Magazine subscriptions
As much as I love the internet and blogs, I still really enjoy flipping through a real magazine. I have several subscriptions, and I look forward to their arrival each month. Sometimes I feel guilty over the waste of paper or when they start to pile up, but they’re one of those tiny luxuries that I’m not willing to give up.
5. My kids toys…without their help
Most kids these days — mine included — have too many toys. We regularly declutter our kids’ toys to fit in the toy cabinet, but I don’t make those decisions on my own. I involve my kids in the decluttering process from the time they’re 2 or 3 years old because I want them to learn to make those decisions, and because I’m always surprised by the things they feel strongest about, and I don’t want to give away something that means a lot to them.
So, there you have it…my list of things I’m not willing to declutter!
What aren’t you willing to declutter?