How Purging My Stuff Improved My Life

Recently, those who follow me on Facebook and Instagram probably saw a post I uploaded giving away some of my make-up items. I actually just went through my collection of skincare and make-up recently, throwing out or giving away items that I have not used in a while. The girl who ended up taking all the make-up asked me quite a number of times whether I was serious in giving them away, as there were a few items that were on the pricier side for make-up. While I could have spent more time to sell the items, I didn’t really want to. I just wanted them to be taken off my hands.

It’s not just make-up, really.

Over the past year and a half (starting from eight months before getting married), I actually had purged a lot of my things.

Clothes, especially. Books. Miscellaneous items. Old electronics that are outdated or broken. All were ruthlessly donated, thrown away or recycled.

When I moved into an apartment with my husband, the first thing we did was to go through his stuff. He had rented the house since the year before, and we went through various things around the house to purge, recycle or donate. These include, again, clothes, books, old furniture, electronics, dishes, and everything else that was in the house.

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I still have some stuff left at my parents’ house. Most of them are books, because I don’t plan to move my books until we buy and move into our first house. But there are still things to get rid of. Handbags. Shoes. More clothes. Books. Papers and old notes from university. Things I used to collect like keychains.

So the question arises. Why am I getting rid of so much stuff?

 

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To be honest, my life really changed after reading the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. So far I’ve read this book through twice already in the past six months. It talks about how, in this modern world we live in so saturated with consumerism and following trends, we end up accumulating too many things in our homes. It talks about the stresses we face in life has a big connection to the clutter we see in our homes, and why we tend to suddenly clean up when we feel like our minds are too busy.

It talks about dealing with your stuff, one by one, and evaluating whether the things we own bring us joy or not.

To be honest, I think I’ve thrown out or donated at least fifteen to twenty large bags/boxes of stuff by now. And I don’t feel sad letting go of any of it. In fact, it makes me feel free. My space is no longer cluttered, and I don’t even have a drawer where random items are stuffed in. Everything in my house has its proper place, and if I haven’t used something in six months, I’d evaluate already whether to keep it or not.

Call me ruthless, but since purging my stuff and keeping only things I love and use, my life has become so much simpler and has made room for me to focus on new things in life: trying out new recipes, preparing to become a mom, and even starting this blog.

It’s not that I wasn’t productive before this. It’s just that there were things that were constantly on my to-do list that I never got round to doing any of them. Like sewing blouses with a set of fabric I had bought. Like reading through a book series I had purchased. Like filling my sketchbook with drawings and paintings with my new pencil set. I kept on telling myself I would get round to doing these, but never did. And then I came to terms with myself: I’m sure I never will do these things. And once I got rid of them all, I could tell apart the things I really wanted to do, and start those.

I began exploring new recipes. I began listening to the 103-episode of the Seerah of the Prophet SAW by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi. I started to clean more. I set up this blog.

I also have managed to save more since I got rid of so much stuff.

When I own less, I start spending so much less. I just want less stuff. And I learned valuable lessons from the things I threw away, like how much was wasted on impulse buy and wanting to follow trends when the stuff was not even my style. The only thing I started spending more on is with food, like going to new restaurants with my husband or trying new spices and ingredients which cost a bit more than the average item: nut butters, berries, cheeses and dairy.

When Harry Potter looked into the Mirror of Erised, Dumbledore said to him, that the happiest person is one who would look into the mirror and see himself exactly as he is.

I think I’m getting very close to reaching that point, in terms of the things I own. And the first step to reaching that point, I believe, is by first getting rid of things you don’t need, things you never or hardly use, and things that does not bring you joy in life.

Happy de-cluttering!

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