Earlier this week, I was so proud of myself. I finally decluttered my jewelry.
Why is this such a huge deal?
Because I love jewelry. Love it. And to get rid of it? Is so very, very hard for me. (Like Sophie’s Choice hard for me…)
For most of my life, I loved clothes. They were my passion and my weakness. And I still do love clothes, but as an adult I always loved shoes and jewelry more because, let’s face it, shoes and jewelry always fit.
That is, until I got plantar fasciitis in both feet and my shoes weren’t comfortable anymore. Then jewelry became my main source of joy. But my jewelry game? Had gotten out of hand.
I had so many chunky earrings and huge necklaces that it was getting harder and harder to actually use them. They were just giant clumps of tortoiseshell, gold and plastic all hanging together, unusable. It got to the point where I was just picking one of the same three necklaces and couple of pairs of earrings every day because untangling the mess of other jewelry was just too much.
So I finally had to deal with it —dive into this pile of crazy and start to untangle the rat’s nest. But as we all know, organizing is not enough. You have to get rid of it: what you don’t use, love, or wouldn’t buy again.
Get Rid of It – How I Learned to Love My Stuff More By Having Less of It
My goal? Get rid of half of my jewelry.
Now, if you have recently decluttered your jewelry, I would not advise letting go of half your pieces. But for me, who apparently had the same hoarding tendencies as a squirrel before the apocalypse, it needed to be done. I couldn’t just organize my jewelry. I had to get rid of it.
So I started to make piles based on the Clutter Free 3 Questions. In one pile: what did I love and use, and what would I buy again if I lost it. In the other pile: things I hadn’t used and wouldn’t buy again, that I liked, but didn’t love.
And of course, there was the undecided pile.
As I sorted, I realized that my undecided pile was bigger than the other two piles combined.
It was time to make some hard decisions:
I picked up each piece and got tough.
- I had another pair of earrings that I could wear in place of the pair I’m holding in my hand? Get rid of it.
- I don’t wear this necklace because it scratches my neck? Get rid of it.
- I bought this bracelet because I thought it would go with everything, and that’s why I never wear it—it doesn’t feel special. Get rid of it.
- Someone gave me this pin as a white elephant gift. It is so not my style. Get rid of it.
It was hard. Really hard. I love my stuff. Truly.
And when I was done, I squeaked by with having just half the jewelry that I had before. VICTORY!
But of course, that is when the doubts set in:
- What if I got rid of something I will miss?
- What if I buy a new shirt and I just gave away the necklace that will go perfectly with it?
- Didn’t I just waste a ton of money?
And those doubts stayed with me—until the next morning.
When I got dressed and went to pick out my jewelry, I felt overwhelmed, but in a good way.
I now had so many great options. And I could actually see them. I was excited about picking out jewelry again. And that is the number one reason to get rid of half your stuff. It instantly doubles your choices.
How does getting rid of half your stuff actually double your choices?
- You can actually see what you have. When you have too much stuff, it’s easy to lose some of your favorite things in the process. By getting rid of half your stuff, you uncover your hidden gems. If you need a great way to see all your stuff, I just bought this jewelry organizer from Hobby Lobby and I can’t even tell you how much I’m loving seeing my stuff displayed. Glory be!
- You are not overwhelmed by the amount of your stuff. Several times in the past when I’d go to put on jewelry, I would look at the tangled mess and just give up. Now, I am no longer overwhelmed by my choices.
- You keep the best and get rid of the rest. This is a great opportunity to really curate your style. If you bought a necklace with feathers because it seemed good at the time, you can reevaluate who you are and what you love and keep only the things that fit and support your current lifestyle.
- You know what you still need. When you are brave enough to get rid of half your stuff, you will see some holes. My favorite turquoise earrings have now become earring (singular). The necklace I wore daily a year ago is tangled beyond hope. It may be time to find the new pair of turquoise earrings you love, or replace the chain on that favorite necklace.
Get Rid of It: Other Categories to Cut in Half
Now that I’ve done this halving with my jewelry, I’ve done it in other areas that were out of control:
- Kitchen gadgets
- Office supplies
- Cleaning products
And can I tell you—in each of these categories where I’ve gotten rid of half of my stuff? I haven’t missed one little thing.
Plus, with giving away half of my things, I know I’ve made it possible for a single mom to have something new for herself for the first time in a long time.
Hmmm…keeping it unused at my house, or loved at someone else’s house? Why is this even a question?
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.