Guest post from Angela of Setting My Intention
If you told my 23-year-old self that, 20 years in the future, I would be writing a blog about decluttering, I would have laughed.
When I was 23 years old, I had just graduated from college and traveled across the country (with only one large suitcase) to serve in an inner city ministry.
How did I get from one large suitcase to a house full of things that need to be decluttered?
I moved into an apartment…
moved into a home…
In other words, life happened.
If I could give my 23-year-old self advice, here is what I would tell her:
1. Invest in Experiences, Not Things.
You will be tempted to “nest” many times: when you get a new apartment, move into your first home, have children. Along with that temptation, you will want to buy many things. Try to resist that temptation.
Experiences and time are the best gifts to give and receive.
Instead of making a wish list of things you’d like as gifts, try making a wish list of experiences that you’d like to give and get on your birthday and/or holidays.
When you do decorate your new spaces, only keep and purchase things that you love.
Invest in a few lovely pieces. Use your local thrift stores — they are often goldmines if you look carefully. Keep open spaces in your home.
2. Be a Thoughtful Consumer.
Wait to purchase things until you know what you need and will use.
When my husband and I were getting married, I naturally assumed we should have a wedding registry. However, we were clueless as to what we would actually use and need. We registered for many items that “we might be able to use” because we had that nifty handheld scanner that made it so easy!
The same thing happened to us when we were having our first baby. We registered for the things listed in the baby books that told us what we absolutely must have.
Can I just give you a heads up? You will NOT need a diaper genie. Wrapping them up tight, or plastic bags work just fine. You might even consider cloth diapering.
Again, wait to purchase things until you know what you need. It will save you the time later when you end up donating or consigning the pieces off of your registry!
Another tip: kids’ consignment sales have great, barely used items for a fraction of the price.
3. Don’t Get Emotionally Attached.
What your priorities or life circumstances change, don’t be afraid to get rid of the things that are no longer relevant or important to you.
Here are some areas to consider and declutter on a regular basis:
The memories have been made, the mementos can be let go of.
If you are in your twenties, what advice has been most helpful to you? If you older, like me, what advice would you give your 20-something-aged self? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Angela blogs at Setting My Intention. She is a wife and mom to three boys. She works part time outside the home, and full time inside the home. She loves to spend time outside with her family, read, write, and most recently, run. She writes about simplifying life and developing healthy habits.
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