Minimalist Series Part 3: Misc & Photo Albums

Now for the “komono” portion(which is the miscellaneous stuff that just sort of happens to appear in peoples’ houses. This is anything from batteries to paperclips to any collections etc.) and we donated THREE VANS worth of stuff before the van transmission starting having issues. Holy crap. We donated until our van died and then we got rid of that! 😉

The first part of our komono I worked on was our holiday stuff. I narrowed it all down to one small bag that is currently kept on on a shelf in our closet. It includes a Charlie Brown mini tree and our “Naughty” and “Nice” hats. That’s it! I am very proud of how much extra holiday stuff I was able to let go of because really why keep all that? We don’t do a Christmas tree and like the aesthetic of Minimalism, so holiday decorating didn’t really appeal to either of us anymore.

Once that was done I began the HUGE, nay, MONUMENTAL task of going through my photo albums. Let me preface this by saying that of course as a former photographer you all would think I had a few photos here and there and not such a big deal. However, I printed off almost every, single picture I had taken over the course of the last seven years or so. Let me try to fully relay this to you dear friends: I had over 80 photo albums. Yes you read that correctly. Over EIGHTY.

I had not realized I had had quite that many because I had this habit I hadn’t fully realized I was doing of every time I finished an album, be it just filling it/arranging, I would take it to my Moms place. Over time they all added up and they added up to take over two of her closet shelves! She had mentioned to me that she wasn’t sure where to put them. Oblivious to the full magnitude of the problem I would just say “We can fit one or two more.” It wasn’t until reading in The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up that I started to connect this and really think about it. Why was I essentially turning my Moms space into my own personal storage area? That wasn’t very fair to her or nice of me. So I set out to spend three chunked out times over the course of the end of the last three months of 2015 to go over and sort through each album with her. She could keep whatever photos she wanted to keep and I could keep whatever hard copies I wanted to and we shredded and threw away the rest. Why was I keeping so many photos? I didn’t need so many hard copies, they were literally just collecting dust, and could I really say that an artistic picture I took of a rock from some trip I had been on really made me feel joyful to look at (answer no).

After we finished with mine we went through about five or six of my Moms that she had from when I was little. I selected a few I wanted and am am much happier knowing I gave my Mom her closet space back! I have narrowed down to One big album, a medium sized one, and a smaller one. (Goldilocks would be proud) From 80 to 3 though is QUITE an accomplishment I think! One of them is devoted to our wedding pictures and there is also space to add future joyful pictures in the biggest album.

I learned to trust my intuition and my decision making skills have skyrocketed since I began the tidying process.

I think the most amazing part of decluttering is the way that it has forced me to refocus on where I am in life NOW. I have let go of old hobbies and versions of myself. Quick example: Jewelry making. I was big into designing and creating my own jewelry. I sold many pieces through eBay, etsy, and garage/yard sales….however I wasn’t really into creating pieces anymore. I donated all pieces that hadn’t sold and all supplies too because for me it wasn’t still a passion and that’s fine! Learning to truly let go and doing so is so refreshing.

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