Breakfast Matters: New Year, No Stuff

Katy Mansell-Carter -
Breakfast Matters: New Year, No Stuff

“What it feels like to get rid of 90% of your stuff” (spoiler alert – it feels pretty great!)

I know I normally write posts about things we like and all the new happenings at Boston, but I’m moving to Canada in March (exciting!), and preparing for that move has taught me some cool stuff that I wanted to share.

I can only take around 50Kg of luggage with me (which, trust me, is not a lot). So if you’re living with an out-of-control wardrobe, are holding onto too many sentimental items, or even just fancy a new year de-clutter, then hopefully some of these tips will be valuable for you.

1. Change your mindset
The realisation that I needed to get let go of 90% of my belongings took a bit of time to get used to, I’ll be honest! Over the Christmas break, I had some space to get used to the idea, and also got into the frame of mind that, rather than downsizing being a chore or a deprivation, instead I’d be doing myself a favour. By making the decision to let go of everything, it means I don’t have to shell out for shipping costs, pay more long-term storage, or worry about clogging up the lofts and garages of friends and family. Focus on the positive, and why you want to let go.

2. Stop accumulating
Once you’ve got used to the idea, then for crying out loud, make life easier and stop buying stuff! Just stop. This year instead of receiving gifts for my birthday (Jan 1st) and at Christmas, I took a trip with my fiancé to make more memories, instead of buying more stuff.

3. Get ruthless
Like, really ruthless. Come up with a set of rules, and stick to them. For example, I worked out I could only keep 25% of my clothes, so out every four items I pulled out of my chest of drawers, only one was allowed to go back in. Asking honest questions about items helps. For example – When did I last wear/read/drink from this dress/book/mug? – Who do I know who could get more value from this item?

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4. Find loving new homes for those special items
For my birthday, I hosted a “Purge Party” where I invited my friends to rifle through the possessions that I can’t take with me, and give them new loving homes. Lots of items have been hard to let go of so it’s a real comfort to know that the things I can’t take with me are now adding value to the lives of people I love.

5. Keep in touch
Already I’ve been sent photos of my clothes being worn with joy and pride, seen a friend in person rocking a pair of earrings that hadn’t seen the light of day in months, and received messages to say how much of a difference has been made to their new home thanks to the furniture/furnishings. Don’t get me wrong, my mates didn’t want everything (the last 2 or 3 boxes went to the charity shop) but knowing that it’s not goodbye forever has been a big help!

6. Be grateful
Now that my life weighs 50Kg, how do I feel? Grateful! Grateful that I get to travel light as I start my new adventure in Toronto. Find something to be grateful for; whether it’s the extra space on your bookshelves, a simplified morning routine, the feeling of donating to charity, or the relief that comes with less clutter.

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This didn’t all happen by accident FYI. I came across The Minimalists podcast, which gave me the confidence to just go for it, and do something outside my comfort zone. If you’re trying to let go – of anything – stuff, relationships, habits, I recommend checking them out.

Further reading:
For shopaholics: Frugal Woods
If you keep putting off de-cluttering: 16 ways to get rid of your stuff
For tackling your wardrobe: Project 333
For tackling your kitchen: Minimal Wellness kitchen tour
Follow my Canadian adventure: On Instagram