The cold months of winter spark a sense of decluttering in me each year. Probably because I’m in the house puttering about and thinking what is all this stuff?
I’ve also been on a journey of ‘right sizing’ my life and realizing memories are always with me and my stuff not so much. What I need in life is actually less ‘stuff’.
Part of the Mindful Lifestyle leads you to these conclusions. You realize that closet you have no idea what is in it – you clearly don’t need any of it. Those boxes in the attic and books from college – yeah – those can definitely go.
Gotta say it’s freeing…ultimately. But it still surprises me when I cast about on an object and think what will happen if I get rid of this?
It’s an odd question when we are talking about a Trapper Keeper from 4th grade that I didn’t even know existed until I stumble upon it. And that’s just it – I ask myself – I wasn’t attached to this 1 minute ago so why would I keep it?
Being in this frame of mind I was struck when seeing the Netflix show with professional organizer Marie Kondo which professed to clear out the clutter — and choose joy.
Wow. Choose joy? By cleaning? This I had to see!
You’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo and if you haven’t – get thyself to Netflix or any of her books. Her approach is refreshing – and I confess a delight! She applies the ‘Japanese Art’ of decluttering and organizing and there is a real beauty to less being more. Some lessons I took away from her show.
LESSON 1 – DECLUTTERING IS A PATH TO HAPPINESS
Why? Well – it’s not outlined in the shows directly BUT the shear energy leaks of not being able to find things, of holding on to stuff that WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WE HAVE.
Why do we have a second chest of drawers full of those clothes we ‘may’ wear ‘one day’. And that day never comes for one – because we ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH.
LESSON 2 – CHERISH YOUR POSSESSIONS WITH A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING
This does not include a drawer packed with things – but a clear obvious place all by itself. And if you’re thinking you don’t have the storage space – well, most of the world lives in MUCH smaller and smarter quarters than Americans. Get creative on how things are stored always asking if you can QUICKLY IDENTIFY EVERYTHING in a space.
And then we CONSCIOUSLY decide any new item that comes into the house – does it have a place? Must something else go before it arrives?
This drives a sense of cherishing what you do have.
LESSON 3 – YOU HAVE TO START. YOU HAVE TO COMMIT.
Like all self-care or change actives there is a beginning. This process seems to often include crying. Maybe it’s the release of letting go, maybe a bit of shame at our blissful entitled lives the we can pile so much stuff and not even know it.
With decluttering I think of the phrase ‘it always gets worse before it gets better’. The house will be messier as we slowly create our piles of shame. Looking them in them in the eye and saying good-bye – and I’m glad you are getting another home!
And of course – as you declutter – taking your time is good. Room by room. Closet by closet. It’s a cathartic process like decluttering your mind + heart + body.
Repurpose by donations, recycling or upcycling everywhere possible.
May your path be joyful!
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