Declutter your life, bookshelf included

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2016 was all about minimalism and I think this trend will continue in 2017. What is minimalism? I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon the term before but, just in case, in a few words, minimalism is living with less. Not everyone is up for this and I completely understand. It takes time to get used to the idea of getting rid of things you owe. Especially because all over the media the mantra is BUY BUY BUY. We have gotten too used to shopping. It has become the default pastime for the majority of us. We do it when we get together with our friends, when we feel a bit down and when we want to de-stress. It’s no coincidence that shopping is called retail therapy.

I do not believe in retail therapy any more. Buying something when I’m stressed or a bit sad will give me a momentary boost but that is it. On the long term it drains my bank account and fills my closet and life with stuff I don’t necessarily need. I have embarked on a decluttering mission last year and let me tell you, getting rid of things is not easy. I’ve heard that before but didn’t realise how I felt about it until I actually sat down before my closet (that’s where we usually start) and started sorting through my clothes. Now, I don’t own that much, I have moved to Copenhagen from a smaller town a three of years ago with only a couple of suitcases. Still, I managed to accumulate a lot of stuff I don’t use. So why keep them?

I have gathered two suitcases worth of clothes, but honestly I have much more. But putting them into suitcases is one thing. That’s the easy part. Getting rid of them is where the problems begin. So I decided I’m going to stop stressing about it. I’ll keep them in the suitcase until I’m ready. Not more than a couple of weeks though. Otherwise I see a vicious cycle forming and I want to nip that in the bud.

The closet was the start and then I moved on to other areas, like papers, knickknacks and books. Books are the hardest for me because I am an avid reader. But why keep books I don’t enjoyed reading for example? Do I want to look at something I actually disliked every day? It’s like breaking up with a boyfriend but keep on living together.

Once you get into the mindset it will become easier. I have about fifteen books right now, waiting for me to get them to a charity shop. No reason to throw out things others might still enjoy. So how do I declutter? When it comes to books, I got rid of the ones I disliked, some I read but did not find anything memorable or valuable in them and some I forgot I own. I have no problem owning a small bookshelf, I actually prefer it. I only want to be surrounded by the best books.

How does it feel afterwards? Amazing! I don’t feel sorry for them at all, I feel I have more breathing space. Less to stress about, less to dust and less items which don’t spark joy. I can’t believe I’m quoting Marie Kondo.

And the last question for today is, how can I cure myself of retail therapy?

  1. Keep a list of books I want to buy
  2. Research the books thoroughly, on other channels than just YouTube and Instagram
  3. Think about what type of books I want to add to my bookshelf, ex. classics
  4. Frequent my local library more

As the saying goes, ‘tidy home tidy mind’ and ain’t that the truth.

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