How I Got Rid of Half of My Closet
I CLEANSE EVERYTHING.
As I mentioned in my ThRi Day Cleanse post, when I decide to do a "cleanse," it usually entails an intention to purify my mind, body and soul. As part of the Healthy Happy Us' 21 Day Challenge, I am completing the last of my "juice days," or a one-day juice cleanse. To make this day a bit more challenging (and a lot more rewarding), I decided that I wanted cleanse every part of my life, from my media, to my phone contacts, the pages I follow, all the way down to every, single physical item that I own. every single one.
And so I come to you, several garbage bags filled with "stuff" and half a wardrobe later, to share with you my RiFlections on clearing the clutter.
But before I start, I want you to know that I am by no means a minimalist. there was actually a time when the idea of minimalism would make me cringe. earlier this year, i woke up one day and decided to give away half of my closet. people thought I was out of my mind, but honestly, it helped me regain a peace of mind. but even with this seemingly drastic change, i still suffer from mild "stuffitis." we all accumulate "stuff" with time, but I now see the value in developing some minimalistic tendencies.
HERE ARE MY 3 RiFLeCTIONS ON CLEARING THE CLUTTER:
RiFLECTION #1: IT HELPS ME LESSEN MY ATTACHMENT TO MATERIAL THINGS
every time i decide to go through my things (down to the earring) and decide whether or not I should let it go, i realize how conditioned i am to want a lot of "stuff," for Stuff's sake. it's honestly kind of scary. i realized how attached i am to material things after i decided to let go of half of my closet. if you ask me to name some of the things i let go of, i may be able to remember two or three of those things, but i never once missed them. out of sight, out of mind. some of those things were brand new, sitting for years with tags on them because i kept convincing myself I would find a reason to wear them.
if the idea of letting go sounds as daunting to you as it once did to me, check out these tested and true strategies for clearing the clutter:
- The burning house: if your house was on fire, what would you take with you? reflect and re-evaluate your priorities
- 30-day challenge: daily themes to help you get rid of clutter and unnecessary materials in your home
- wear the same clothes every day trick: mix and match the same couple garments of clothing for a week and realize that nobody really cares or notices
RiFLECTION #2: MY PHYSICAL SPACE UNDOUBTEDLY AFFECTS MY MENTAL SPACE
WHEN MY PHYSICAL SPACE IS ORGANIZED AND LACKS CLUTTER, I LITERALLY FEEL LIGHTER. I FEEL LIKE I CAN THINK MORE CLEARLY. maybe IT'S THE LIBRA IN ME THAT MAKES ME THIS EXTREME, BUT IT IS FACTUALLY PROVEN THAT PEOPLE'S PHYSICAL SPACES AFFECT THEIR MENTAL STATE. I WAS JUST PACKING FOR MY trip TO CALIFORNIA, AND I COULDN'T BELIEVE HOW EASY IT WAS FOR ME TO DECIDE WHAT I WANTED TO BRING. WHY? BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE AS MANY THINGS TAKING UP SPACE IN MY ROOM AND CLOUDING MY JUDGMENT.
I REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO MAKING THIS A HABIT, for the sake of my mental health alone. I SPENT THE LAST COUPLE WEEKS ANNOYED AND STRESSED OUT ABOUT MY ROOM AND ALL THE CLUTTER I KNOW I HAD ACCUMULATED. AS NERDY AS IT SOUNDS, I was SERIOUSLY SO EXCITED TO FINALLY SET ASIDE THE TIME TO COMPLETELY TRANSFORM MY LIVING SPACE. I PLAN TO DO THIS AT LEAST THREE TIMES A YEAR.
RiFLECTION #3: LETTING GO HELPS ME MAKE MORE RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT I ALLOW IN MY SPACE
THIS rIflection IS A MAJOR KEY. I LISTENED TO my favorite PODCAST THAT SAID SOMETHING ALONG THESE LINES, BUT I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT UNTIL I EXPERIENCED IT. iN ADDITION TO BEING A CLUTTER COLLECTOR, I ALSO used to be a shopaholic. IMMEDIATELY AFTER I GAVE AWAY HALF OF MY CLOSET, I NOTICED THE SHIFT IN MY MINDSET WHILE I WAS AT THE MALL. I DID EVEN WANT TO LOOK AT ANYTHING THAT I DIDN'T ABSOLUTELY NEED. AND I STARTED TO REALIZE THAT THE THINGS I CALLED "NEEDS" BEFORE, WERE NO LONGER EVEN "WANTS" ANYMORE. I FELT LIKE THEY WOULD CONTAMINATE THIS PERFECT SPACE THAT I WAS TRYING MY BEST TO MAINTAIN.
FOR A WHILE NOW, I'VE TAKEN THE "IF IT'S NOT ADDING, IT'S SUBTRACTING" APPROACH TO RELATIONSHIPS, MEDIA, OR EXPERIENCES IN GENERAL. CLEARING MY CLUTTER HAS HELPED ME ALSO APPLY THIS FRAMEWORK TO MY SHOPPING HABITS. I USED TO FIND VALUE AND PURPOSE IN THE MOST INSIGNIFICANT AND POINTLESS ITEMS JUST SO I COULD SAY I HAD THEM. NOW, I LOOK AT THOSE SAME ITEMS THROUGH A MUCH MORE RIGOROUS RUBRIC: IF THEY ARE NOT CONTRIBUTING GREAT VALUE TO MY LIVELIHOOD AND LONG-TERM VISION, THEY ARE SUBTRACTING. AND I'M NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT MY BANK ACCOUNT. THESE FRIVOLOUS PURCHASES WILL TAKE UP SPACE AND THREATEN MY PEACE OF MIND UNTIL they're TOSSED IN A GARBAGE BAG THREE MONTHS LATER.
I can't begin to explain how relieved i already feel (i'll be even more relieved when i actually get on this plane!). i cannot believe that me, the girl who couldn't be within a mile of the mall without buying a new outfit, has wiped out over two-thirds of her belonging in less than a year. on my #roadtorima, i have been making strides at bettering myself; i am so happy that my physical space finally reflects those changes.
for your peace of mind, i truly hope you begin developing some minimalistic habits if you haven't already. when you do, get in touch to let me know how you're feeling!