Have you ever cleaned your entire house and looked around feeling refreshed and almost rejuvenated that everything is in order, clean and organized?
When you sit down after cleaning your brains out and you think to yourself, “THIS feels good,” and you feel so accomplished and on top of your game because in that moment the clutter has subsided in not only your life and home but also in your head. These moments are priceless if you ask me.
But what if this feeling wasn’t only reserved for those momentary glimpses of joy after a good clean?
They say “outer order contributes to inner calm,” and I couldn’t agree more. Lately, I’ve been taking this a step further. A gigantic step, actually. I’ve become a minimalist basically overnight.
This was mostly by chance because I’m moving, but it has also morphed into a choice.
As I started to prepare to rid myself of all things I no longer need as I move out of my place, I’ve realized there is truly a magic and art of decluttering your life.
I started looking at my things from a different perspective. I wasn’t just putting them in a box to transport them to a new place across town and give them a new shelf or space to collect dust. No, this time I was looking at all of it and genuinely asking – “Do I actually need this?” If I didn’t love it enough to pay to store it or move it, it was’t coming with me.
Imagine that feeling you’ve felt after cleaning your place but then multiply it by a thousand and also envision it lingering.
The in depth process of ridding your home and life of every thing unnecessary is easily one of the most eye-opening, mind-boggling, soul-refreshing and holistically-therapeutic acts I’ve ever experienced.
With all of the constant distractions in this world on a daily basis, the last thing we should be distracted by is “stuff.” Most of the time the clutter in our lives is exactly what holds us back because it sends our brain back in time to when those things mattered, causes us to search longer when we need to find something and it ultimately keeps us tied to the past.
Decluttering is simply a means of clearing a path for the new things you truly desire to find a way into your life and it is a welcome sign to abundance that you’ve made space for what comes next. Clearing and decluttering brings with it lasting accomplishment and forward momentum that is hard to beat.
18 Things I’ve Learned From Decluttering
1. We have way too many just-in-case things. Like let’s be honest, we keep a lot of stuff around in the event that we may need it “one day.” These should be some of the first and easiest to go.
2. The minute we buy something, it is ultimately worthless. I’ve realized this tremendous reality. Most of the things I bought, and now want to get rid of, I couldn’t sell if I tried. Once it leaves the store, the value of what someone else will pay for it diminishes almost completely.
3. Taking a full examination of everything you have ever purchased brings perspective. I’ve literally looked through every nook and cranny of my place, every item I’ve bought, every piece of sentimental property I’ve kept and all the things I’ve accumulated over the years on a quest to minimize down to only what I need and what serves me. The perspective gained is immense.
4. Looking at all the money spent on things and their real value will change how you spend money in the future. I truly believe I will think twice now about my wants, desires and needs when it comes to furnishing my home and life knowing how much of it is just fake fulfillment and often dollars wasted.
5. Letting go of attachments helps us to also let go of struggle. Most of the time when we are struggling, it is because we are attached to someone or something so much so that the thought of letting it go or losing it, creates havoc in our life. Learn to let go by practicing this with your stuff and tiny pieces of your strife will cease.
6. Filling our lives with “stuff” is not the same thing as filling ourselves. How many times did I buy something to put into my place thinking it would bring me happiness? Only to be left still feeling empty. That’s because things on the outside will never make whole what is missing on the inside.
7. Decluttering our living environment translates into decluttering our life, mind and outlook. It is a total mind, body, soul experience that will impact how you do everything in your life going forward. It’s a complete shift from the inside, out. Or wait, is it from the outside, in?
8. We begin to realize the things we truly love and value the most. When you’re looking at your things through the lens of “can I live without it,” you figure out what really matters and what you place the most value on. For me, a surprising find was that the books I’ve read that have changed my life are something I cherish and will take with me everywhere because it was those words that sometimes brought me out of the darkest places. And that, to me, is value you can’t put a price on.
9. We figure out our absolute necessities. When you look at it from a view of pairing your life down to only what you need, you find out what your necessities are. What do you “need” to feel a sense of home wherever you go. That’s what you should to keep. And that’s honestly all you’ll really ever need.
10. When we let go of things that no longer serve us or don’t serve a purpose, it frees room up for things that actually do. If you want to invite more abundance into your life, you’ve got to make room for it. Simple as that.
11. Things we keep with us both physically and mentally impact other areas of our lives. We carry around the weight of our lives, environments and emotions, which all play a huge role in our productivity, success and sense of being. Be careful what you allow into your piece of the universe because it all affects you, deeply.
12. Holding on to mediocre things doesn’t send a good signal out into the world. We want to be more successful, have more money, more creativity, nicer things, but yet we are allowing so much old, useless crap to take up so much of our precious space. Think about it.
13. When moving into a new phase of our life, let’s stop inviting things along with us that don’t fit into the new picture. What is your true vision for what you want and do all of the things you currently have, really fit into that? Are the old, broken record player, the set of plates from your great aunt you never use, the catch all drawer of junk or all the cosmetics under your sink going to help you make it come true? Likely not.
14. Clutter can be comforting in a weird way, but at the end of the day it’s all still just stuff. Sometimes we cling to the comforts of our stuff and the clutter makes us feel surrounded, but more often than not this is just a false sense of connection. Understanding this is key.
15. Junk creates stress. When we are constantly looking at messes, piles, unused and old things, it brings a sense of overwhelm. Not only that but often times many people feel a sense of guilt for not tending to their clutter or for the looming overgrowth of it.
16. Clearing the clutter makes for clearer thinking and more focus. When we don’t have to wade through things, see over things or wonder where something is or if we will ever use it, it frees up our minds allowing us to focus on what is really important. This type of clarity is invaluable.
17. Decluttering isn’t just a physical act; it’s a spiritual experience. While I have definitely expended a lot of sweat physically moving things out of my place and turning over every compartment, what I’ve realized is that it was much more of a healing and spiritual experience for me than anything. I have become so much more enlightened and feel a much better awareness of who I am, where I’m going and what really matters to me. A true sense of peace has emerged.
18. There is a proven psychology behind decluttering. It has been found that an underlying factor for clutter collection is indecisiveness. For example, when you can’t decide to keep it or get rid of it, the default is usually “keep – just in case I need it one rainy day.” I know for sure that is part of the reason I hold on to things. Or at least I used to.
But not any more. I made the decision: To move. To declutter. To feel more attached to myself and my life than my stuff. And ultimately to create a clearing that makes way for the next wave of more exciting “things” – the future, my aspirations and becoming better. I encourage you to join me on the journey of tidying up. It is truly magical. Decluttering will not only change your mindset but your entire life.
It’s like a weight lifting from you. It’s like leaving a job you hate. Like speaking up for yourself. Like when you get something off your chest that’s been bothering you. Like a break up that you know needed to happen and you finally utter the words. It’s liberating. It’s therapeutic. But most of all it frees you and at the end of most days, isn’t a little more freedom what we’re all in search of?
Peace out “stuff.” I’ve enjoyed our time together, but it’s just not working out. I feel as though we are no longer a fit. It’s not you, it’s me. Namaste.