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Going through my own minimalism journey I have really noticed just how much of the problem was my mindset. Everything I was doing on the outside was a basic reflection of just how messy I was feeling on the inside. Then I had the epiphany about The Minimalist Diet. Really, so much of what we do or where we struggle with over consumption all stems from our thoughts. So I did my research and I dug into my own struggles to come up with the 3 major thoughts keeping you in the clutter. Becoming minimalist all begins with checking your negative thoughts at the door starting with these three.
When you get to that point that you feel consumed by the things piling up around you, it’s tough not to feel overwhelmed when you don’t even know where to begin. It can all feel so hopeless and so overwhelming; like you will never actually get anywhere. You find yourself in a room, closet, car or office surrouned by stuff asking, “Where do I even start?” Maybe you’ve browsed all the online tips on organizing. Perhaps you considered having a garage sale and then just decided it was too much work for one person. All the excuses made it all just feel impossible.
I’m here to tell you that change when it comes to clutter is possible. Yes, it will take time. Yes, it can be overwhelming; but, you can do it. It just takes a little strategy and a few deep breaths. Pick one area to start with. That’s all you have to do. If you’re starting in your bedroom, just start with one drawer. Grab a box for donations and a bag for garbage, open up that PJ drawer and start tossing those jam-jams you won’t be using anymore. If there is that part of you really hoping to make some profit on all these things, are a ton of great online options to re-sell your through. Here are some great options:
Get those re-sale items that could be used by someone else and toss everything else into that garbage bag without a second thought. Maybe from here you work to the next drawer, venture to the closet…you never know. If you don’t feel quite that adventurous, let that one drawer be enough.
The next time you’re ready to tackle your downsize, choose another small area to start on until you have worked your way completely through one room. Starting with small, doable goals is the best way to feel accomplished at the end of the day. Slowly, little by little, you will have cleared the clutter and some stress.
For more tips on clearing through your clothes, check out my post about the 333 Challenge.
Ahhh that good ‘ol “What if…” This is something we just all around don’t need in any part of our lives.
Spending our time pondering what could have been or what might be is a good waste of the time we have right now.
The “what ifs” pop up a lot when it comes to downsizing and decluttering our things. “What if I need it someday?” “What if my aunt comes and I don’t have her vase anymore?” “What if I decide to take up the banjo?” The “what ifs” were probably my biggest struggle. What if I needed that dress someday? What if I wanted to read that book again? I haven’t seen this movie in 8 years, but maybe one day I will want to…” What ifs can be an endless battle. Do yourself a favor and just bail on those items that aren’t being used or have already served their purpose.
These what ifs can get real tough when it comes to other people. “What if my mom finds out I gave away that tea set she gave me?” Well folks, I think it’s safe to say that we are not living this life for other people. I think your mom would be just as bummed to find out that you don’t love the tea set, or that you’ve let it go unused. This is a good time to explore options; does your mom want the tea set? Is there an aunt who would cherish it more? Be open and honest about it, and while those conversations might be tough, there is nothing wrong with some open-hearted honesty.
Let go of those “what ifs” and look around at what is. What do you know for sure? You know you’re drowning in stuff and that it’s fogging up your mind and causing anxiety or depression. To take a step in the right direction for yourself, your space and your sanity, you have got to let go of the “what ifs.”
There are definitely things we need in life. Food, shelter, love, purpose. Yeah, I got a little cheesy, but it’s true. The thing is, all these important things can easily be taken away because we wind up spending our money and time on things we think we need, but actually don’t. Even our life’s purpose can be snatched away from us without us even knowing it.
This strong desire of feeling like we need something, whether it be the latest technology, best fashion or a cheeseburger at midnight all come from a deeper feeling of not being complete. Take it from a former shopaholic, consuming things eventually stops bringing joy. You are left with that same empty feeling and a little less money in the bank. But a funny thing happens when you work through the clutter; you have more space to breathe, more time to prioritize your life and you start to figure out just who you really are. You might begin to realize who you have been all along. Clean spaces can literally be life transforming.
In fact, I started my own clean space ritual recently. I started making my bed every day. Let me tell you… game changer. You can check out my post all about it: 5 Simple Habits to Help Keep a Clean House Every Day.
Start taking notice of the words that you say. They can do so much to make or break your days. I know being surrounded by clutter and chaos can make you just want to pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep, but trust me, you won’t get anywhere. I once helped a friend declutter her house. I went through and donated, downsized and did away with all the unnecessary. The next week she told me she was feeling great. She was walking her dog every day, sometimes a few miles. Her spirits were lifted and she felt “lighter.”
We don’t always realize just how much damage clutter can do to our day to day lives, but I promise if you take it one step at a time, you will start to see and feel positive change.