Decluttering with Astrid (14)

Decluttering often goes hand in hand with regret, as Astrid has found out more than once. Astrid and Irene are the co-founders of Flow magazine, and every Tuesday Astrid writes something about the sense and nonsense of decluttering.

Decluttering inevitably leads to regrets. Everyone ends up throwing something away that they bitterly regret a while later. In my case it was a cute white blouse that had green velvet dots embroidered on it. I am wearing it in a picture taken for Flow and every time I see that picture I think Aaarggh! I gave it away in a fit of tidying up.

I often feel that way when I see old photographs. I’ll think, oh nice chair, where did it go? Oh right, I threw it out in an effort to simplify my life. Or sometimes I gave it away.

Once I gave away a little black jacket by some Danish brand, and I’m sure the person I gave it to also gave it away. Or threw it away, possibly. And it was just slightly too expensive to be treated that way. You should never ask the person you gave something to about these things though. You just have to be big about it, shake off any miserly feelings. It’s all part of decluttering.

I can’t find anything about regrets in the books written by tidying-up gurus. Maybe they are all semi-enlightened and don’t get attached to things. I once found a nice quote that might help though: Never regret something that once made you happy. You once enjoyed giving something away. Once the person you gave it to was genuinely happy with it. So that’s all good. Marie Kondo says: “In Japan we believe that cleaning up makes you happy.” So I will just hang onto Marie’s words, when I am feeling any regret. I have no regrets. I am happy.

“Week 14 – regret”