After you have worked through all of the other steps in the ‘STREAMLINE’ process, it is important not to lapse back into old ways. Just like changing eating (or any other) habits, if your version of minimalism is to be successful it needs to be an ongoing process. You will have to work at it constantly and be vigilant at every turn. Clutter in all its forms is insidious and will soon overwhelm you if you do not have strategies in place to stop it at the door, the mailbox and even your email inbox.
Well-meaning friends and relatives may feel sorry for you when they see your empty spaces and want to give you stuff to fill the gaps.
You did not set out to create a cluttered, over-burdened life – it just happened. So, it could easily happen again.
“No, thank you” is one of the most powerful things you can say in your quest to keep your stuff at the level which suits you best. Whether it is a freebie bag at a conference, a loyalty card from a store, a copy of recipe or your great aunt’s tea-set – if it does not fit your goals you can politely refuse the offer.
I have refused, decluttered and minimised for several years and still know that there is more to go. I keep a bag/box in the spare room and as I find things to go they are moved to the box which then goes to the op shop when it is full. Sometimes it takes ages to gather enough to send off and other times there is a flurry of activity and I take several bags in one weekend. Having a dedicated receptacle for things that are to be re-homed helps me to keep focused.
I hope you have enjoyed this series and would strongly recommend reading “The Joy of Less” by Francine Jay for more inspiration. Please share your thoughts on decluttering and minimalism in general and as well as your personal achievements.