By decluttering your home- clearing out the things which you don’t ‘need‘ or wholeheartedly ‘love‘- you’ll have space to store the things, and focus on the things, which you really do both need and love.
'All you need is less.'
In order to determine which items you want to store/which items you want to keep and which you want to discard of, the best ‘starting point’ is to get all of your belongings out- empty your wardrobe of clothes, your shelves of books- and lay them all out where they are easily visible/in such a way that you can easily see exactly what you own (including, in the age of social media, your ‘non-physical’ belongings- email subscriptions, screenshots/photos, apps, ‘friends’/’followers’, etc.)
When you can see your belongings in their entirety/when everything that you own is laid out in front of you, then you should set about sorting all of your things into three piles- a ‘definitely‘ keeping category, a ‘maybe‘ keeping category, and a ‘definitely not‘ keeping category…
The things that end up in the ‘definitely not‘ keeping category are the things which you have decided to ‘let go’ of. These things can either be donated to a charity shop, or, they can be sold via an online marketplace for some extra cash.
As for the ‘maybe‘ category, to decide whether to keep or discard the contents of this pile, you should ask yourself; ‘Does this add value to my life?’, ‘When I look at this, does it bring me joy?’, and even simply just, ‘Do I really need all of the items I own?- Do I need 20 hoodies? 10 pairs of jeans?‘ (Hint: probably not. If you wear a pair of jeans two or three times per week between washes, then, realistically, that’s 3 pairs of jeans being worn each week, and therefore, that’s 3 pairs of jeans required, this most likely being significantly fewer pairs than you actually own)…
If the answer to any of the questions posed above- ‘Does this add value to my life?’, ‘Does it bring me joy?’, ‘Do I really need this’- is a ‘no‘, then you should make the decision to just ‘let it go.’ In doing so- in getting rid of the things that don’t make you feel good- you’ll have room to store the things which do make you feel good.
I think it’s important to note here that you shouldn’t feel ‘guilty‘ for letting go of things which once brought you joy but that no longer do, because, the fact is that everything in life has a purpose, and that purpose can, (and will), shift and change over time. It’s therefore okay- perfectly okay- to let go of something that, last year, you loved, if, this year, you don’t love. In fact, letting go of something in this instance would be the best possible thing that you could do, for, by allowing your old items to go to a new home, you will be giving them a ‘new lease of life’, and giving someone else an opportunity to seek joy out of them.
The above must be kept at the forefront of your mind throughout the whole decluttering process, though, particularly when sorting through ‘sentimental‘ items, since these items tend to be the most difficult to sort through, owing to the, often complex memories and emotions associated with such items. It is, however, important to ask the same questions in this category as in all the others; ‘Do they still bring me joy?’
Just as I encourage you to do so in every other category of possessions, you should keep only the things which you genuinely love. You shouldn’t keep anything just because you think that you ‘should‘ be keeping it…
(After all, what’s the point in keeping things that don’t give you anything, but take away so much- both metaphorically, in a ‘psychological‘ sense, and literally, in a ‘spacious‘ sense)?*
*There is no point.
Now, if you’re anything like me, then even just the process of sorting through your possessions will be therapeutic- psychologically because, ‘a tidy house=a tidy mind’, and also, physically/materially because, ‘less clutter=less cleaning.’
When you have your three piles- ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘maybe’- going into two piles- ‘yes’ and ‘no’- you must go about finding homes for the things that you’ve decided to keep/the things which you really love.
In keeping only those things which ‘light you up’ inside, you will have an opportunity to transform your home into a ‘sacred‘ space where everything works for you.
With your favourite books lining your shelves, your most inspiring prints pinned onto your wall, and your most beautiful clothes hanging in your wardrobe;
your ‘happy place‘…
This is the joy of decluttering.