Clear Out The Clutter And Find Your Way back To You

I found minimalism when I was feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated by the busy consumerist world. I listened to “The Minimalist Podcast” daily for years and learnt how to simplify my life, starting with my “stuff” as a way to find peace. Minimalism became a tool I used to anchor me to what was most important in my life; Family, friends, experiences, and personal growth (to name a few). When my physical space is simple and clutter free, I feel clear headed, inspired and calm. The first step on the path to minimalism is to find out why you need it and what inspires you to let go? Simplifying your life requires a mindset shift. What is truly important? What can be eliminated to allow more time for friends, service, and family?

We all do it; we surround ourselves with material possessions like a security blanket. What are we so afraid of? Facing our fears, our flaws, and our naked, imperfect selves? Why surround yourself with items you don’t truly need to live a meaningful life- items that cost money to get, cost money to maintain. Items that need care, dusting, and decisions. It is time for a new phase in your life, time to let go of all the things that don’t excite you, and don’t inspire you. It can be a positive spiral. The less you keep, the less you realize you need. The less you need, the less you spend. You learn to be content as you are wherever you are, with whatever you have. This is freedom.

How much easier would getting ready in the morning be if you were choosing between 5 outfits that all looked good, fit good and made you feel beautiful? Rather than sifting through 20 outfits that don’t fit right and make you worry about your thighs? Sometimes things that we think make us feel “safe” are really holding us back. Who would you be if you were free in every moment to be the new you? 

Here are a few tips that I have found useful in creating spaces that inspire me over and over again!

  1. Shop in your own closet; rediscover why you loved the items that you’ve already purchased!
  2. Repurpose old items, fix things instead of replacing them.
  3. Donate! Somebody else might really need those items that you’ve been holding onto but aren’t using.
  4. Turn all of your hangers around, and each time you wear an item, hang it back up the right way. After one month, take a look at what is still hanging backwards. Ask yourself why you never put them on? Do you really love it? If not, maybe somebody else will love it more.
  5. When tackling an area to organize, pull everything out. It’s the only way to start fresh. See and touch and understand everything that you own. I’ve been doing this since I was little. I would pull everything out of my closet, every last game, doll and crayon and lay it all over my floor and then put everything back one at a time. In fact, I did it so often that my nickname growing up was “Mess”, but I was just organizing!
  6. When you organize your items, choose the simplest and most convenient storage. By keeping things that you use most often where you use them, you are more likely to stick with it!
  7. Play dress up. Try on your clothes in new combinations. When you find an outfit that makes me feel great, take a picture! Next time you are feeling the “clothing blahs” and you start to think “I have nothing to wear”, you can look at your pictures and find inspiration in your own wardrobe. “I forgot how good I looked in that!”
  8. Don’t force yourself to get rid of everything. If you have a hobby or a collection that you love, that “brings you joy” (Marie Kondo), that “adds value to your life” (Minimalists). Keep It! But, ask yourself if you can part with the 2nd, 3rd or 4th hobby or collection that doesn’t make you as happy, so that you can create space, time and energy for your 1st passion.‚Äč

Inspirational Minimalists That Have Helped Me Along The Way!

“Soulful Simplicity”

“Project 333” - Pair your wardrobe down to 33 items and wear only those items for 3 months. See how you feel and if anybody notices

*Definitely next on my to do list*

“30 Day Minimalism Game” - Day one, get ride of one item. Day two, get rid of two items. Day three, get rid of three items. You get the idea. Until the end of the month.

“Packing Party” - A bit extreme.. But pack up everything you own. Unpack only the items you need. At the end of the 30-90 days, donate anything you haven’t unpacked

“Minimalism: A Documentary”

“The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

Final Thoughts

Strengthen your minimalism muscles. It gets easier with practice to see your “things” as “things” and not an extension of who you are. You see clearer which things you own are actually useful to you, and actually bring joy and purpose to your life Now. We hold on to things that made us happy 5 years ago but we are not that person anymore. You learn to honor the person you have become. 

Strengthening your minimalism muscle allows you to let go not only of old clothes but also old habits and old self perceptions. Letting go allows you to grow

And with that, I “simply” leave you with these two quotes:

“Minimalism isn’t about removing things you love. It’s about removing the things that distract you from the things you love”-Joshua Becker

“A place for everything, everything in its place"- Benjamin Franklin

Written by Melissa "Minimalissa" Eden - Office Manager,  Minimalist