I Can Live Without You, Yes, I Can

Allow me to clarify: the title that drew you in does not refer to people or relationships. That would be a totally different article! Instead, this is about the THINGS in your life and in your space. You’ve probably already done some decluttering and simplifying. And while you feel good about the progress you’ve made you know in your gut that you can still lighten the load. If you need that extra push, remind yourself of why you are unloading in the first place. You may want:

a more streamlined home;

less to take care of;

less excess;

less obsolescence; 

more time for other things, or; 

you may simply need a change.

These are all very good reasons to choose to break up with some of your things. And yes, we all know from first-hand experience that breaking up is hard to do. I was recently inspired by a story about a woman who moved into a 200-square-foot cottage. The problem, she quickly discovered, was that there was no way that all her things could be squeezed—much less, happily organized—into that small space. She then embarked on a major home edit that left her feeling lighter, less encumbered, and “clearer” about what she needed and wanted in her “here and now” life.  

Many of us wait for a major life change—a relocation, a relationship breakup, a newly emptied nest, or even the loss of a loved one, to consider what we really want and need in that special place we call home. But why wait until later? Why not surround yourself with the things you really want and need and kiss the rest goodbye, bless it on its way? As always, consider consigning, selling, donating, gifting, or trashing. It’s your choice.

Things you may be able to live without:

Hummel Figurines and other collectibles. My neighbor rues the day she decided to ship her in-law’s Hummel collection from the Midwest to take up space in her already “well-collected” home.   

Extraneous kitchen appliances. Unless you are a true chef or have a mad passion for a particular gadget, most of us rarely use and therefore don’t need all those space mongers taunting us. 

Stacks of magazines you’ll never go back to.  I once said goodbye to four years of issues from one of my favorite magazines. Now, I only keep the current year’s issues, scan through them in January, and then let them go.

E-mail subscriptions that totally suck up time. Even if you no longer work, you may find yourself drowning in emails from blogs, magazines, shopping sites, foodie sites, political sites, well-being sites, and on and on. Retain only a few as you befriend that “Unsubscribe” option so that you can get off your you-know-what more often!

Clothes and shoes you can only look at. If the magazines were hard for me, this one is even more difficult. I have found that self-acceptance—really making peace with where I am now in my life and in my lifestyle—makes letting these beauties go much easier.

Piles of fancy shopping bags because they’re so cute. I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you are a shopper like me, you know how enticing it is to hold onto these lovelies. My strategy is to keep a handful in the drawer where I store my wrapping paper and actually use them to haul gifts or corral ribbons. 

Garden pots from when you first started gardening. Speaking of corralling, who needs 20 clay pots when five or six on standby will do? 

Do-dads from previous chapters in your life. For me this mostly goes back to clothes, shoes, and books. For you, it may be materials from sports activities, hobbies or craft projects you lost interest in long ago. Or something else. I have found that it feels really good to break up with these by donating them to my local thrift shop, knowing they will bring meaning and joy to someone else.  



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