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For years, I went through a process of ‘I’m decluttering!/‘I need more!’. It was a merry go round of purging almost everything then buying it all back, and the sad side effect of it all was debt.
At times, I stood before my closet staring incredulously at everything I owned, wondering where and if I could start, and I became paralyzed.
My mental mind game went like this:
Where do I begin?
Oh gawd, what if this is like all the times before? All those other unsuccessful decluttering sessions that ended in frustration or, ack! A shopping spree.
What if I end up in a puddle of tears? Sobbing uncontrollably at the fact that for all my best intentions, I can’t part with any of it!?
What if I end up angry and shove it all back in the closet?
Many of my past decluttering sessions ended this way.
I’d purge, toss, and consign, only to fill it right back up again with new clothes. I was enabling my inner fashionista. This is not good. It creates several problems: more debt, a cluttered, unintentional, chaotic closet, and the worst of all – trying to choose an outfit is complicated again. Ugh. Decision fatigue.
The good news? You can get past it. You can make your decluttering efforts stick.
I did. And once I figured this one easy trick out, it all went smoothly. So before you bust out your keep, toss, and sell bins – there’s some mental work you need to take care of.
What’s the trick you ask?
I’m betting it’s not what you think. You’re not going to start by emptying every closet onto the floor or even opening your closet door, instead you’re going to open your mind. (Feels like The Matrix just happened eh?)
The One Easy Method to Decluttering and Staying Clutter Free
Ready for the one trick to getting rid of clutter and staying clutter free?
That’s the trick. Your mental game has to be strong girlfriend. Before you can conquer something, you have to embrace it fully. You have to surrender. You need to find your why – not someone else’s idea of your why. You need to create a strong motivating reason to change. So before you even attempt to declutter, you’ve got to figure a few things out.
Creating your mindset shift – here’s how:
Find your PAIN point.
What bothers you most? What do you want more of? Maybe you’ve got too much crap lying around, or maybe you want more time in the morning to add meditation to your routine.
For me, I had grown tired and unhappy of being a slave to stuff and to wasting time and energy. It’s exhausting and emotionally draining picking a work outfit when you own too much. I wanted a quality curated wardrobe that I LOVED and was HAPPY to wear.
So start with your pain point, YOUR WHY.
Something so strong, your heart screams YESSSSS!!!
The goal is to find contentment. You must be happy with what you have. You must realize you have abundance and there is no need for more. It’s the only way you’ll be intentional with future purchases.
Be the change.
You’ve heard this Gandi-rrrific quote right? Be the change. (Those are not his exact words BTW – more on that here.) Meaning, you need to be the embodiment of your WHY (Happiness? Owning less? Destroying debt?). It’s the second part of the equation. You must make a pact with yourself to complete the mental shift.
It goes something like this: Everything in my closet must bring me joy (why) and make me feel confident (feeling) when wearing it. Therefore, I must purchase items only when they meet my values and only when they need replacing. No more fast, trendy fashion. Quality over quantity (value).
Your WHY + How you want to FEEL + Your VALUE(S) = Change/Motivating Reason
Essentially, what you’re doing is taking your value and belief system and applying those rules to your why. Kind of like a mission statement for minimalism.
5 Simple Steps to Decluttering
1. Start where you want to start. Find what calls to you most and start there. Do you crave a simple wardrobe that takes only minutes to find an outfit in the morning? Well, begin there.
2. Take it slowly. I say this with everything minimalist – it’s a process. Trust the process and take it slowly. You’ll rediscover yourself and your values along the way. Consumerism and modern marketing exploits your fears. You’ve spent years YOLO’ing, FOMO’ing and keeping up with the Joneses. Trust and understand it may take some time to rewire your behaviour.
3. Use your values to guide your decluttering. What matters most to you in life? Is it dressing well? Traveling the world? Your creativity? Family? Are you a crafter or floral stylist? Who you are and what you do will dictate what you keep and what you toss. It about keeping the meaningful and ditching the energy draining.
4. Ditch the guilt. This is a big one in decluttering your home, time or relationships. Get rid of guilt – toss it to the curb. Don’t feel guilty in letting go of things, people or events. And please, please – don’t feel guilty that even though you’ve decluttered you still have 50 Muji pens or 35 Tombow brush pens. If you’re a crafter, designer, or hand lettering enthusiast, you kind of need those to work and enjoy your craft or hobby.
5. Get rid of it ASAP. Donate, consign, sell or toss whatever doesn’t match your values or lifestyle. And don’t let things sit around. Take action and get rid of it. You’ll find a weight lifts off your shoulders and you’ll be less stressed.
Related: 9 Ways to Simplify Your Life
Minimalism is about choices. About living life intentionally. Instead of accumulating tons of crap you never use, keep close only the things you can truly appreciate and that enhance your life.
What do you think? Do you have an easy method for decluttering?
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