A big part of minimising and decluttering is to make room for what’s important. For me, I realised that finishing projects are incredible important. To feel for filled and satisfied, to not have unfinished projects floating around in your mind and physical space. Every time you encounter one of these Items, let’s call them UFOs (Unfinished objects) your thought process will automatically go through the amount of time this UFO has been in your possession and the guilt that you haven’t gotten around to finish it, also continuously dismissing it in the presence for lack of time or energy.
When you have a lot of things you naturally also have a lot of unfinished projects. It could be things that need to be cared for, repaired or hobby projects that got started but then soon forgotten. They easily pile up, and sometimes we designate a special place for these UFOs , it could be a drawer, a box or a whole room. When UFOs hasn’t been separated from it’s category it could surprise us with it’s presence when we least expect it. Getting dressed in the morning, putting on an item of clothing and realising that a button is missing, a zipper is broken, it’s stained or has holes. Instead of then separating it, we usually out of laziness put it back. Separate it right away, otherwise it is soon forgotten, until the next time you encounter it.
Try not to justify keeping an UFO out of the pure motivation that you have the ability to fix or finish it, because there’s probably a reason why you haven’t gotten around to do it yet. A lot of my UFOs has been laying around for such a long time, so when I finally get around to complete the task, I may realise that I don’t even want it in my possession anymore and it can be donated instead. So the reality of it is that I saved some things, not because I valued them, but out of guilt for not fixing them. If fixing them means they can be donated and not thrown, it could be worth considering doing it either way. You are responsible for everything that you bring into your life, and also how you decide to dispose of the items when they no longer serve their purpose or bring you happiness.
One of my best examples of UFOs is this pair of socks, I started knitting them around a decade ago, but back then this yarn was meant to be leg warmers. I never finished them, around halfway I ran out of stamina or inspiration. Around two years ago I decided, that I would never finish them and even if I did I would never wear them. So I ripped them up, saving the yarn, repurposed it and started knitting socks (and yes, it’s Totoro on them). It took me around a year to finish them and I was really happy that I managed. But on the side notes, I never actually did completely finish them. There was a lot of loose threads (literally) that needed securing, but they were on the inside, so you could easily wear them and no one would notice. A few months ago, I felt like I had enough. I declared war against all my UFO’s, I wanted to finish everything that I once started to be able to clear my space of clutter and my mind of guilt. My main Motivation was to get rid of the guilt from the past so that I could start living in the presence.
To finish all your unfinished projects is a daunting task, and probably why we put it of for such a long time. But believe me when I say, just do it. Take a few of them reassess what attention they need, put them in a visual place and the next time you watch a tv-series, stitch that loose button back in place. Most of these fixes only takes a few minutes of your time and the satisfaction it gives, it’s so worth it. If you fix 5 items of clothing in a day you will feel very productive and satisfied, even though it maybe only took one hour of your day to execute.
Your belongings are worth your attention.
Link to Totoro mittens: