What Do Truffles Have to Do with Decluttering?

It’s winter in the southern hemisphere, and here in the Canberra Region, that means sub-zero temperatures, hibernation, and truffles! Truffles are generally seen as an elite indulgence, saved only for special occasions. But let me share why I might enjoy a little truffle on, say, a microwaved egg while standing at my desk on a Monday morning.

The Short Answer: Because I Like It

Yesterday, I had lunch with my family at a local winery. On our way home, we picked up some freshly dug truffle. Yes, truffles are pricey at $3/gram, and I’m incredibly grateful to afford the occasional splurge and live so close to this gourmet produce. This wasn’t always the case, and I’m not suggesting everyone do it—especially if you’ve never tried truffle before, as it could be a huge waste of money.

We wanted to stretch our “black gold” as far as possible. So, we bought some local free-range, uncoated eggs and placed them in a sealable jar with the truffle. By next weekend, we’ll have truffle-infused scrambled eggs!

But what does this have to do with my decluttering mindset?

Fresh Truffle infusing Local Free-range Uncoated Eggs

Decluttering Is About Enjoying Life

My decluttering mindset doesn’t mean having nothing, never buying anything, or even being frugal (though saving money is a common side-effect). My number one goal in decluttering is to **enjoy life**. That means using and experiencing things that make me happy.

Embracing Heirlooms

In my own life, I make a point of using my heirlooms. I have fresh flowers in the crystal vase I was given for my 21st birthday. Fruit often sits in a silver or crystal bowl on my bench. And my favorite example: my cat drinks out of a crystal bowl that previously went unused for generations. Seeing it appreciated every day makes me smile. My cat even knocked its twin bowl off the bench, shattering it, as a protest to its emptiness – and I wasn’t devastated, I simply found another one at a local op-shop.

Merlin the Jerk-Faced Cat drinking from my heirloom crystal.

Recently, I used a hand-laced tablecloth at a showcase stall rather than the more common cheap sheet or party tablecloth. Using these cherished items brings joy and a sense of occasion to everyday moments.

Quality Over Quantity

By enjoying good things now, I’m choosing quality over quantity. A few high-quality items are better for the environment, community, and sustainability than many cheap things that neither last, nourish, nor satisfy in the way quality does. This mindful approach to consumption aligns with the principles of decluttering.

Everyday Luxuries: Enhancing Daily Life

I try to always have fresh-cut flowers in my home. I buy higher-quality handmade candles from a local woman who refills my favorite vessels, meaning I can recycle the vessels I love and don’t have to replace them. This way, I always have a nice fragrance in my home, burning these candles every day. I also choose high-quality teas and make a cup of loose leaf in my favorite cup and saucer—another example of using the good china.

Walking is another little luxury for me. I love to walk along a waterway, listening to audiobooks. Even just playing a game of sudoku on my phone guilt-free is such a treat! These small pleasures enrich my daily life and are integral to my decluttering philosophy.

Client Success Story: Overcoming Fear of Use

Most clutter stems from fear. I’ve discussed fear of failure here. Fear of waste is a big one and fear of use, or specifically fear of use without good reason = waste is what I’m talking about today.

Recently, a client accepted a challenge to use her good china cup and gourmet tea every day for a week. We had already thrown out several packets of tea that were long past their best-before date, and she didn’t want to see the rest of her collection go the same way. Recognizing that tea was a treat she loved, she embraced the challenge.

She reported back that she really enjoyed the ceremony of preparing and sitting to enjoy this luxury just because she chose to. It was a bit like meditation for her—a moment of self-care and indulgence. There’s also a sense of taboo like it’s a little bit naughty to take 10 minutes for oneself. This experience helped her see the value in using and enjoying her cherished items.

Influences and Philosophy

Marie Kondo rose to fame in the 2010s with her “spark joy” philosophy in her book “The life-changing magic of tidying up”. But I’ve been more heavily influenced by Shannon Ables’s podcast “The Simple Sophisticate”. Both are, at their core, about curating with a focus on joy however Shannon’s is not just about your physical space – she taught me that we can curate moments of joy anywhere, on any budget, at any stage of life.

However, it’s important to note that neither of these women had children or partners when developing their philosophies and Kondo’s work can be harder to follow in more Western cultures.

Practical Tips: Adopting the Mindset

For those just starting to adopt this mindset, here are a few practical tips:

  1. Start Small: Choose one cherished item you’ve been saving for special occasions and start using it regularly.
  2. Know Your Stuff: Through decluttering, you will be able to see what you already own and are more likely to use what you have.
  3. Prioritize Quality: Invest in fewer, high-quality items that you love and that bring you joy.
  4. Create Rituals: Incorporate small luxuries into your daily routine, like using a favorite cup for your tea or lighting a handmade candle.
  5. Let Go of Fear: Embrace the idea that it’s better to enjoy something now than to let it go unused out of fear of damage or waste.

Conclusion: Make Every Day Special

So, if you like truffles, splurge on a little truffle oil or truffle salt and drizzle or sprinkle it on your morning eggs or potatoes for no reason other than because you like it. Your joy is enough reason. YOU are the occasion.

Ready to declutter your life and enjoy the everyday? Share your thoughts and experiences with me! Let’s make every day a special occasion.