Hi. My name is Angela and I’m a recovering collector.
I love collecting, well, things. Lots of things. As a child, I had a rock collection, a stamp collection, and a foreign coin collection. As an adult, I’ve collected things like HBCU paraphernalia, enamel pins, books, sea shells, postcards, flags, bookmarks, and jars–lots of jars.
Moving has a way of making you confront the sheer volume of your “stuff.” During the last few moves, I thought I paired down *a lot.* As it turns out, I barely paired down at all and instead shoved miscellaneous items in miscellaneous boxes to be stored in closets. Did I possess every pen, keychain, or conference freebie I’ve ever owned? You betcha. Will I ever need the charging cable to some unidentified electronic device that is long past its glory days? Of course not. (But you never know).
During the pandemic, I took an e-course called “From Clutter to Clarity” by NachoAverage Fro. The framework is designed to untangle the “why” behind your clutter. While decluttering my kitchen, I discovered that I kept mugs that represented major achievements in my life. By holding on to these mugs, I was telling myself that my best days were behind me, and that I could not live up to previous accomplishments. Not only were these mugs unused and taking up space in my cabinet, but they also were preventing me from dreaming big and creating space for new goals.
Now, I’m convinced that decluttering is the key to fixing your life. Clutter in certain spaces (e.g., closet, desk) can illuminate specific personal challenges. Insecurities and negative self talk can manifest as physical clutter, financial clutter, and even digital clutter.
The goal is not “minimalism” or “less things,” but rather “intentionality.” Because I want my space to represent vitality, I fill it with things that animate “what’s alive in me,” and I eliminate things that don’t (e.g., materiality for the sake of).
Have you ever tried decluttering?
Don’t say I didn’t tell you.