Imagine opening your closet doors and seeing nothing but clothes that you love, that fit, that go together and that are spaced apart so they are easy to see, easy to get out and easy to put away?
Imagine opening your kitchen cabinet and finding and pulling out the bowl or item you need without having to rummage or remove other things.
Imagine looking over at your bookshelves and seeing only books you love, neatly arranged, along with a few beloved knickknacks.
Imagine doing one load of laundry a week and finishing it completely.
These are all visions that can take place in your simplified home. Your home that has been reduced of its clutter, of the things you don’t really want or need. A home that represents only what you love and need to function around the home. A home that has more room, more joy, more space, more time. A home that has less stuff, less chores and fewer decisions.
Yes, we are talking about the less is more ideology. The process of simplifying. Now that you’re at home everyday, what better time is there to go through your home and make those decisions we’ve delayed so long about the mail, the clothes, the old appliances, the old board games and more?
You see, everything in your home requires your time and your energy. Your brain has to process it and your hands have to work with it, either to clean it, move it, store it or some other way. This is why we want to simplify our lives by having less stuff to manage. We want to keep all the things that we truly love and that keep our homes running well and remove the rest.
Having less stuff around is the end, but at this time the means is a win as well. Yes, the act of going through your stuff, of being productive in this way, can be very healing and therapeutic. It feels really good to be doing something that has such clear results when you’re done. It feels really good to be doing something for the future you. While you’re doing the sort-of mindless task of cleaning and purging, your mind is free to process the other things going on in your life–and there are a lot of those. Cleaning and organizing can be quite therapeutic, much like exercise, in this time of high stress.
It also just feels good to get rid of stuff. Many times clients will say that they physically felt the weight lifted off of them when they dropped the bags off at the donation station. First, the physical space the stuff was taking up in your HOME has been taken away along with the figurative space the stuff was taking up in your MIND.
Letting go of stuff can also symbolize letting go of other things in your life: thoughts that aren’t serving you, relationships that have moved on, past decisions you used to dwell on and more.
So, now is the time. Time to simplify. Here are three dos and three don’ts when it comes you
Do one thing at a time.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. You may be tempted to try and tackle a lot. We say you start small. Maybe just the sock drawer. Maybe only the silverware drawer. Maybe just the towels. Whatever you want to start with, make it bite size. Make it possible! Better to spend a little time everyday and have some actual progress/wins rather than get overwhelmed 4 hours in one day one and give up.
Do focus until you finish.
Okay, so you’ve set your mind to one small area. Now, focus until you finish. Set aside the time. Set aside the phone. Set aside the distractions. Absolutely focus until you finish. Focus on the task at hand and don’t stop until you’ve finished. Give yourself the gift of finishing something! These days, the only thing we finish is a Netflix series. The dishes remain unfinished, the laundry sits half done. Our college degrees are almost finished and so is that plan to learn a new language or write a book. For your own sake, allow yourself to be present with the task at hand and to finish it.
Do keep what you love.
This isn’t an exercise in getting rid of stuff so much as an exercise in keeping solely what you love and what you really need. So, if you’re starting with your wardrobe, pick up your favorite clothing item. Every time we’ve done this with a client, they grab something and start gushing about it. The colors, the time they wore it a certain place, etc etc. So, pick up your favorite item. Pay attention to how you FEEL about it. What does it make you feel in your body? You should only be keeping things that make you feel THAT way. What is the point of keeping things that you feel meh about? You don’t need meh in your life.
You can apply this concept to every part of your simplifying process. Pick your favorite book. What makes it your favorite? Why? How does it make you feel? Why are you keeping a bunch of books that don’t make you feel that way?
Other items like dishes or linens might be harder to FEEL in these ways which is why it’s certainly better to start with categories like clothes and books. But, if you tune into your gratitude, you’ll be able to apply it even to more functional items.
Stay tuned for the don’ts…