In our house, Saturday night is designated “Screen-free night”. No phone, no TV, no computers. It’s a guaranteed night where my wife and I get to interact without distraction. Sometimes we simply converse over dinner and before we know it it’s time for bed. Other times we play board games and occasionally we invest our precious time together in our quest for a minimalist life. Last Saturday it was our wedding that got decluttered.
Now you may wonder what is there to declutter from a wedding. Once the day is over, the gifts unwrapped, the thank yous sent, that is it right? Time to get on with the marriage (or in our case civil partnership). Well the answer in our house was a shoe box full of glass beads, 9 vases of leaves (autumnal wedding) and this!
Being mindful and attending to the psychological process of decluttering has introduced me to my fantasy future self, my nostalgic self and now, my completely indecisive past self. Apparently anything to do with the wedding got put in this box. Goodness knows why the spare 97 invitations (complete with typo) could not go straight in the recycling. 2 wedding magazines? Why on earth have they been occupying real estate? It’s not like I’m planning another wedding.. In the end we reduced the huge hat box down to this:
We were lucky enough to write our entire wedding service as there are no obligatory words in a civil partnership ceremony. So we decided to keep that, the guest book, the table names, our place cards for the wedding breakfast, an order of service, an invitation, the gift list and the notebook we took on honeymoon.
I have no doubt other people will perhaps judge even this to be a lot to keep from a day that, lets face it, is over. However The Minimalists idea that most things can be replaced in 20 minutes for less than $20 has helped me let go of loads. What we kept can’t. I am sentimental and do like to keep some physical possessions to trigger memories. Having tackled the loft store where I had rocks in a box in a box, I am now more discerning about what I keep. These items seem sufficient without being excessive.
Most of the content and the box itself went in the recycling. Time and distance certainly helped the speed of decision, but ultimately I became aware indecision breeds clutter. The decisions I put off today simply lead to more clutter tomorrow, both physical and mental. The shoe box is more indecision: the wedding cards we received. I have no idea whether to keep them, photograph them, or simply recycle them. What would you do?
Increasingly I’ve been thinking about having a purchase pause and then Courtney Carver from Be More with Less popped up on my social media feed with a The Power of a Purchase Pause. She outlines the benefits of having a purchase pause, saving money, limiting impulse purchases and the like, before suggesting 5 ways to adopt a purchase pause:
- Fake it.
- Buy it on paper.
- Identify needs and wants.
- Know what matters.
- Make rules.
I think it deserves an experiment as there is no way I’m up for a no spend year (yet!).