You need to declutter your life. We all recognise “stuff”; knick-knacks, bottles, gifts you have never used, old t-shirts and towels, the clothes that line the back of wardrobes, kids toys that they no longer use, dusty books you read or never read years ago, chipped mugs and old paperwork, out-of-date vitamins and cold remedies wedged in the back of drawers.
You might be asking, how do you create a home that contains only the things you love and the things that are practical to your lifestyle? We have some great tips to help you change your material-loving ways? When sorting through your stuff, how do you decide what to keep and what to throw out?
“The Minimialists” inspired me to audit each item by asking yourself:
- Does it bring me joy?
- Does it serve a purpose?
- Do I use it?
If you answer no to all of the above, put the item in your nearest recycling bin, giveaway box or rubbish bin, then move on to the next one.
The lessons learnt.
- Less stuff, more gratitude. Accumulating stuff can distract you from the elements in life you truly appreciate: your health, your friendships and family, your safety and security, laughter, nature and kindness.
- Focus on who you are not what you have. Minimalism is about appreciating what you have in life, not amassing piles of possessions. It’s about tuning into what makes you happiest. It’s about looking after our environment and being generous with the things you no longer need. It’s about knowing that we are surrounded by what really matters
- Cluttered spaces create cluttered minds. Mental messiness can cause stress, anxiety and lack of focus. When you clean out your environment, you are also removing the mental and emotional baggage you have collected over the years. You can then better concentrate on what’s important, on your goals and on being positive and mindful.
Practically speaking, minimalism gives you more time, less distraction, more focus and more satisfaction As well, you have extra confidence knowing that you have the skills to survive with just the necessities
Here are 11 favourite tips to help you minimise your stuff and maximise your happiness.
- Get organised. Before you start, put everything in its place and take inventory. Notice what you have too much of and what you don’t have room for.
- Know your resources. There are loads of resources to support you in this shift. For example, the Pomodoro app, a simple timer set for 25 minutes, helps ensure a short period of serious focus on one task.
- Grab yourself a deck of Mindset Starters. Whilst it is adding something to your space, these little beauties will help you declutter negative thoughts and unhelpful thinking patterns like nobody’s business.
- Emotionally prepare and disconnect. Remember that you are not tossing out memories or giving away experiences. And don’t worry about tackling your whole house; that can be overwhelming. Start with one drawer, and don’t move on until that drawer is complete.
- Master your clutter. Zen Habits gives 18 five-minute tips for decluttering. Pick one tip at random every couple of weeks, and get it done.
- Wear and assess everything in your wardrobe. At the end of each day, think about how you felt in your outfit. Did it fit well? Would you want to wear it again? If you didn’t love it, toss it in the giveaway pile. Oprah has a similar concept with her Closet Hanger Experiment.
- Similarly, use your feelings as your guide. If you feel confident in a dress, keep it. Confidence is a positive emotion that drives positive action. Guilt and shame have the opposite effect.
- Be aware of clutter. Sometimes we don’t really notice the clutter in our homes, cars and offices. Unclutterer offers some really useful (and hilarious) tips for helping you see your clutter, including inviting a puppy or a toddler over to your house.
- Take it one day at a time. Literally. Give away one item each day…forever.
- Be mindful. Before you clear your space, think about what you want and what you need. Think about what matters to you and what gives you happiness. Let this mindfulness be your guide as you work.
- Be in the present. So often we collect items that we once used or that we plan to use in the future. The rollerblades you will one day lace up, the camping equipment you enjoyed once upon a time. If you don’t use it now, you don’t need it.
Clare Desira is a 2018 – 2019 International Coach of the Year Finalist and the Head Mindset Coach over over at Top Five Movement. Clare has worked with thousands to build stronger mindset and works with psychologists on tools to build our mental health – Positive Thought Starters deck + Wellbeing Deck for Kids.