It’s been a couple of busy weeks around the house as I have worked to declutter. Although we live in a large house, I don’t want to fill our house up just because we have the space to do so.
One of the things that is so hard to declutter is sentimental items like stuffed animals. I both love and hate stuffed animals. They are comforting faces to cuddle with but at the same time they seem to accumulate all the time around here.
I asked my kids to look through their stuffed animals and pick 5-7 that they looooooved. The rest went into the donate pile.
I also had to do the same exercise for myself and it was so hard. I have had some of these since childhood and I really struggled with it.
I had kept them in a laundry basket in our master bedroom closet and it was pretty full of them. But I had a hard time letting them go. On one hand, I wanted more space in our closet but on the other hand these were some of my “friends” and how could I just give them up?
I felt burdened by the obligation that I should keep them because we have the space but it wasn’t like I was enjoying having them there. In the end I had to ask myself these questions:
- Am I keeping this out of obligation?
- Would I go on the hunt to replace this if I lose it?
- If God forbid, the house was on fire would this be an item I would save (other than family)?
- Do this “spark joy” or is it sparking sad/negative feelings?
- What is the condition of it and would I take the time to fix it?
- Do I want this item to define me as a person?
These were not easy questions and I had to take a really hard look at both myself and the example I wanted to set for my kids.
In the end I gave myself the rule to stick to 5-7 stuffed animals and donate the rest. I’m not going to lie, I still feel a little wistful/regretful especially once I found out Brian already dropped the stuff off to Goodwill last week!
I don’t think it’s necessarily giving up the items that are making me sad, but maybe the time period in my life when I felt like I needed their comfort the most. (Aaaaand now I’m tearing up just typing that out!)