If you follow me on social media, you'll know that I've been decluttering my clothes, my books, my room, and simply, my life. While watching Meghan Livingstone's videos, I found myself inspired by her soft presence and simplistic lifestyle.
I struggle day-to-day with a cluttered mind, filled top-to-bottom with scattered thoughts and brilliant ideas for blog posts, novel ideas, and a possible Youtube channel. The only time I find myself resting entirely is when I lie my head on my pillow and welcome sleep.
When walking into my bedroom one chilly Wednesday, I noticed, for the first time in forever, how many things I owned, and just how cluttered my space was. In an attempt to clear my head as well as a sudden urge to get organized, I began decluttering.
As I mentioned on my Instagram, I asked my boyfriend to go through my closet and pull out all of the clothing he's never seen me wear/didn't like. I proceeded to gather up these clothes, as well as go through my closest myself. Before long, I had 3 bags of unwanted things.
I realized, in those moments, that half of my wardrobe was from middle school, resulting in out-dated fashion and worn fabric. Without second-thinking, I said thank you to the clothing and *toss*.
It was like I caught a bug. I spent the next few days re-organizing my bookshelves and book cart, as well as tossing out pens, stationary objects, and deep-cleaning. I couldn't stop dusting and decluttering my bedroom and bathroom, and I realize now why so many people love minimalism.
And I haven't even gone home yet to declutter my closet that is packed full of clothing!
A huge weight has already been lifted from my chest. By owning less, I feel more me.
I never want to go as far as purposely owning a capsule wardrobe, but I certainly find myself gathering a better sense of style, wearing clothes that fit my figure and that I feel good in.
I still own a lot of clothes, and a lot of books, and a fair amount of shoes, but I know that this is just the beginning of a minimalism journey.
Why you should declutter your life
In my introduction, I talked a lot about getting rid of stuff. But, we should declutter our life, too, and I realized it this past week, after much reflection and journaling.
Getting rid of stuff is only a metaphor for all the things that are taking us away from ourselves. We own a lot of material objects, and we also own a lot of beliefs, judgments, and acquaintances. Rarely do we allow ourselves to have time for us. We spend our most valuable free time scrolling on our phones, texting, or making plans to not be alone.
When we declutter our space, our mind, our life, we are one step closer to feeling in-tune with ourselves.
As odd as it sounds, by twirling around in my room, dumping useless materials in the trash, and wiping away the dust with a Clorox wipe one last time, I had never felt so connected with my thoughts.
Maybe I'm just a clean freak. Or, maybe not. Maybe decluttering really frees up mental space.
By having a space for myself, free of things I didn't need anymore, that felt heavy, the way they were sitting all around me on every open surface, I finally felt like I had room to breathe.
The first step to living a simple life is to let go of what we no longer need.
Decluttering also just helps you to appreciate the little things, and the objects and people that you do have in your life. Rather than wanting more, we can sit back and be present in what is already around us.
3 ways to declutter your life
1. Toss out everything that produces unnecessary clutter
Like I mentioned above--my first step was to get Jared to pull out all the clothes he didn't like/never saw me wear, and I personally pulled out more that I didn't particularly enjoy anymore. Some of them just looked odd on my figure or was itchy on my skin. Without really thinking and trusting my gut, I gathered everything and drove up to Plato's closest, then Goodwill, the very next day.
I took a deep breath and tossed out half of my belongings. My roommates and even followers noticed how clean and simple my room then appeared.
And let me tell you--it felt wonderful.
A little scary, but wonderful.
If you decide to do this and find yourself clinging to items you know you don't need, then ask yourself, "Why do I feel the need to hold onto this, and how does it benefit me as a person?"
By asking yourself this, you may realize that you really do need to keep this, or maybe it's only a sentimental factor that's keeping you stuck.
For instance, I sold a rain jacket and tossed out a t-shirt, a tank-top, and a few sweaters that were all gifts and souvenirs. I blessed them and sent them on to someone who needed them more than me.
Keep memories, not things.
2. Let go of toxic people
This is honestly a difficult one to talk about on here, but it could also be the most important. There are a few people in my life who, aren't necessarily toxic, but always leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. They don't lift me up, they don't benefit me, they don't help build me into a better person. Whether it's intentional or not, they cause unnecessary clutter in my life.
And wow, this seems harsh. It really does.
But sometimes we must be honest with ourselves.
And we must remind ourselves that it's no one's fault.
I found myself putting mental energy into people who were only bringing me down. I would, in turn, end my day feeling exhausted, a little low, and upset that I wasn't using my time to be with people who were kind, uplifting, and natural inspirations.
Take time to distance yourself from those people. I know you already know who they are.
Declutter the people you text and hang out with, and make an effort to be with the people who truly love you, and will be at your side no matter what.
And even if they aren't toxic, even if it's something you can't quite describe, like strange energy or negative memories or a sense of unworthiness... let them go.
It'll benefit everyone in the end.
3. Release the past and any regrets you have
If your mind feels cluttered and packed-full, you may be using mental space to dwell on the past and/or regrets.
I'll be honest---over three months ago, I turned down a babysitting gig and instead threw a Christmas party, and I still regret it. I feel bad for not following through with a promise and spending time with kids while also making a fair profit.
But, I read a quote today that said:
"Don't regret anything you do, because, in the end, it makes you who you are." - Unknown
And I loved this!
If we're constantly focusing on what we did "wrong", we're only crowding our minds with negative self-talk and impossible reasoning.
We can never go back and fix what we did or didn't do--it already happened, and it's a small fraction of what brought us to where we are today.
The mom has yet to text me or call me, and of course, it has filled me with fear and guilt. But, I had already made my decision, and they found another babysitter, and there's nothing I can do about it right now. I can learn from what I did, take what I can from it, and move on.
And, as difficult as that is for me to fathom, it's okay. Everything works out the way it was intended to.
I have decided to move on, let go, and welcome new opportunities.
And so can you!
It's time to release that unnecessary mental clutter and move on to bigger, better, and more positive things. It's time to begin our path toward simplicity, here and now.
I believe minimalism expands beyond physical objects--I believe minimalism can be implemented to our friends, our thoughts, and our mind, as well as the food we eat.
And a simple, minimal lie begins with letting things go and allowing new, and calm.
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Also, how do you declutter your life? Let me know below!