I’m going to come clean with you on this one (ha ha ha) – everyone loves the idea of decluttering. So much so that we go onto Pinterest and make boards for all of the ways we are going to declutter and then re-organize (ah hm). I lured you in – and although this is kind of about decluttering, it’s actually about much more. What comes into your life by creating space.
Are you the once a year Spring Cleaning type or do you fall into the “might end up on an episode of Hoarders one day” category? You’re laughing – but I bet you have pinned more “organizational tips” on Pinterest more times than you care to admit and even gone out and purchased more plastic bins (we’ll circle back to this one) to organize all of your stuff into. What if I told you that one of the most basic things you can do to live a fuller life is actually to live with less? If you were hoping to receive some more tips on how to organize and declutter your life (that you more than likely won’t actually take any action on) you are going to be disappointed. Because this my friends is not about organizing, and decluttering entirely – but instead, getting rid of all of the crap in your life that you don’t need. Gasp!!!
Let’s think about it for a second. What happens when your schedule is jam packed with things to do and places to go? or what about when your mind starts to take over with all of the things that you need to get done or want to get done? We live our life in a constant state of “busy” with a side order of “more, more, more”. The addiction to more has actually led us to living less fulfilled lives while at the same time pushing us to the point of exploding – either from stress, anxiety or exhaustion.
Do I think that having organized space(s) provides you with a calming environment – yes, absolutely. But the reality is you need to take it a step further to really reap the benefits of decluttering and thus letting go by getting rid of all of the things that are taking up valuable space in your life.
- Lose the Guilt. We hold onto so much guilt when it comes to the things we own. How much we spent on them, if someone gave it to us, regretting buying it in the first place. Think about how much emotional attachment you give to the things you own that you don’t love or need in your life. Rule of thumb – if something you want to get rid of brings up feelings of guilt, it should probably be the first to go (double gasp!). Whatever it is, it is draining you and your emotions every time you see it. Lesson here, let it go – you’ll lose the guilt along with us thus creating more space for a more positive emotion to fill that space.
- Define Yourself. When you get rid of things one by one, you slowly start to unveil what defines you. Use your closet as an example: If you were to ONLY keep items of clothing that you absolutely LOVED, felt at your best when you wear them and things that fit you comfortably – what would you be left with? You shouldn’t be wearing anything that doesn’t meet this criteria. Why would you walk around wearing anything less that leaves you feeling at your best? Exactly, now go grab a garbage bag and start filling it. Lesson here, you might start taking notice of all of the other things in your life that don’t allow you to feel at your best either (hmmmm people, jobs….just saying).
- Create Space. And I don’t mean create space so that you can fill it with new stuff. Getting rid of stuff plays on your mind. You literally become less stressed because you don’t have all kinds of things distracting (and potentially irritating) you. By getting rid of things that don’t serve you, you free up space that otherwise would have been attached to emotions that include (but are certainly not limited to): guilt, shame, disgust, stress and this list goes on and on. Don’t believe me – clean out your closet and see how you feel. Do it, I double dog dare you.
- Find Clarity. Holding onto things begs to answer the question “what are you holding on to?”. If it isn’t guilt, what is it? Getting rid of things helps you to identify why you hold onto things that don’t serve you, while also helping you to see what does – from your clothing, hobbies, decor and even food.
What would you gain by decluttering your life? Where would you start? better yet – When are you going to start?