A Butt Pat of Encouragement

by Kim on January 15, 2013

Have you seen Couples’ Retreat? If you haven’t, I wouldn’t necessarily clear your schedule or anything (ie: it’s not that good), but there is one scene that has, apparently, stuck with me. Every time I hear the word “encouragement,” I think of this.

If you’re at work or otherwise not in a position to watch YouTubes, just picture Fabio in a bright blue speedo patting Kristen Bell’s (et al) butt during a yoga session and saying (heavy accent): “encouragement.” Here, this should help:


Today’s post is a little virtual butt pat for those of you who are tackling the Salute to Simple challenge with me. (It’s not too late to join up!)


If you’re not yet convinced that you’d benefit from simplification, check out this sorta-funny-but-mostly-just-sad materialism rant. Yikes.

So! Now that we’re all nice and depressed, how’s week 1 going so far?? Are you having any luck de-stuffing your house?

I’m happy to report a few nibbles on my eBay items, and someone is (fingers crossed) stopping by today or tomorrow to take our old coffee table.

I’ve discovered that the easiest thing to sell, by far, is maternity clothes. Mamas go craaazy over them, for obvious reasons (none of us want to spend big bucks on stuff we’ll only wear for a few months here and there). Yes, I hope to have more kids—I’m just selling a few items that I didn’t get a ton of use out of for one reason or another. For example, here’s a lesson I learned: pregnant women do NOT need heavy sweaters. EVER! And super thin material makes your belly button stick out, so don’t go there if you’re not into that.

Also, here’s the reality: I wasn’t a great pregnant girl. As much as I loved the thrill of anticipating a baby, I didn’t love the extra pounds, the restrictions, or the attention. Because of that, I still associate particular maternity shirts with negative things like bloatedness, fatigue, emotional instability, judgment, and discomfort, depending on when in the pregnancy I wore them. Now, when I see some of them, I think, “ugh. That shirt.”

Even if you don’t have maternity clothes lying around, you can apply this concept to anything. This is Lesson #1: If you associate a particular item with something negative, for whatever reason, just ditch it.

crap (source)

Lesson #2: Get rid of things you still like. I’m still trying to learn this one. There are things in my house that I look at and think, “But I love that. Why would I get rid of it?” But if I don’t actually use it, it has no real value to me. And the “I might use it someday” argument doesn’t hold any weight unless you have a specific time and purpose in mind.

Case in point: I have a short-sleeved sweater (first of all, what is the point of such a thing??) that doesn’t go with anything in my closet. I literally can’t figure out how to wear it. So even though I like it, it’s useless.

Lesson #3: Get rid of the stuff you’re only keeping because you feel guilty about buying it. Another sticking point for me. Somehow, keeping the products of bad buying decisions jammed in my closet is NOT making me feel better about the original purchases. It’s just reminding me of my failures over and over again.

One idea I’ve heard from a number of sources is to do a virtual move. Anything you wouldn’t bring with you on an out-of-state move is gone.

Lesson #4: Let go of gift guilt. You knew you hated it or wouldn’t use it from the second you laid eyes on it. But you keep it because, years later, you’re still inexplicably concerned that the person is going to show up on your doorstep and demand to see it.

I’m trying to teach myself to focus on the act of gift-giving as the real gift. The person just wanted to give me a gift. It doesn’t really matter what happens after the giving part is over.

Ok, that’s it for the anti-crap pep talk. Go, sell, win!

What’s something you’ve sold lately?

What’s a lesson you’ve learned about decluttering?

Have you ever sold something you still loved?


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