When we were moving apartments, I had to go through 22 years of stuff and decide what I wanted to take with me.
22 years of memories.
But so much of that stuff had just become clutter, I had no qualms about getting rid of as much as I could.
I've been a really disorganized person for most of my life (also no thanks to my sleep deprivation as mentioned in a previous post). My room and closets would usually be a complete mess, and I'd waste so much time trying to find things I needed because I couldn't remember where I'd kept them, which would make me late for almost everything everyday.
So having to move came partly as a blessing in disguise, because I finally had to make an effort to go through everything I'd accumulated in over 2 decades, decide what I wanted to keep and assign space for it, and donate or toss out everything else.
Marie Kondo's show released on Netflix around the same time, and while I appreciated her method of approaching each item and gauging whether or not it gave me joy while making the decision to keep it or not, I was mostly thrilled to get rid of 50% of my clothes and the other crap that had piled up in my room that I hadn't used in over a year or felt nothing for when I looked at them.
I made myself a promise that I would put things back in their place in my new room as soon as I'd used them, and never let anything accumulate so I wouldn't have to deal with clutter. Experience has taught me that once you start letting it slide, you start doing it more often. The stuff piles up—papers, laundry, clothes you don't want to wear just then, books etc.—and takes over your life, and then it becomes really difficult to set aside a time (which would usually take at least a day) to sort it all back again. Because who has that kind of time? For example, one thing I'm very conscious of doing now is hanging my clothes instead of throwing them on my chair, which I used to treat as an extension of my closet.
This hack may seem kind of obvious to some (especially if you're in your early thirties), but I've seen so many people my age let themselves get overcome by clutter, not wanting to deal with it because it comes to the point where it's too time-consuming and boring, so they just learn to live with it.
But the spaces you use or live in are where you thrive, and they should make you feel at home, where you feel at peace. And they make such a world of difference to your mind and soul if they're clutter-free.