Day 16: Declutter

Let’s take cleaning up one step further.

If you took part in yesterday’s clean up challenge, today will be slightly easier because you’ll have probably already started the process of decluttering.

We want to continue to make our living environments feel as zen as possible, and add to our overall feeling of peace and joy, which is life’s ultimate success.

So, let’s take a critical look at the things we have surrounding us, and declutter.


CHALLENGE:

Today we’re going to remove some of the excess from our lives. By removing outdated, old, and useless things, we’re physically and metaphorically making room for new beginnings, breathing space, and an overall freshness.

We don’t need to hold onto things just because, and we’ll feel an overall lightness as we pair down, and remove the “extra” from our worlds.

In order to properly declutter, we’re going to have to remind ourselves that things are just things. 

We often place sentimental attachment onto things, which we then call “my belongings” when in fact these things are just stuff.

By putting the word “my or mine” in front of something, it makes things feel more important than they really are. A shirt becomes more important when we call it “my shirt,” but we need to remember that it’s just a shirt.

This will be beyond helpful when you start really looking around your living environment, and analyzing what you’re holding onto of useless and important reasons, rather than just an idea of ownership and sentimental value.


EXAMPLE:

Go through your closet and be critical about what you really need, rather than what you want. You’ll find that you have a decent amount of stuff in your closet that you rarely or never wear. Remind yourself that these things are just clothes, and you have the opportunity to help someone else out by donating these things. You can even make a little extra money by selling gently worn clothes on things like eBay or to consignment stores like Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads, or Beacon’s Closet.

A great tip if you’re having a hard time getting through your clothes is turn all your hangers the opposite direction, and as you wear something turn the hanger in the other direction. This will physically show you what you’ve worn, and if something hasn’t been touched in 6 months, it probably isn’t going to get worn.

Another great tip a friend gave me is to go through your things with the thought, “Do I want to bring this into the next phase of my life?”

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about is, “Do I want to wear this, or bring this, into my 30’s?” It’s an awesome question to ask yourself when sifting through things that bring up sentimental feelings. 

A final tip to help you get rid of things, is to take a picture of whatever it is you’re going to get rid of, so you can still look at it in some form, and have the memory or feeling recalled. 

I often say, “the less possessions you have, the more freedom you have to explore and travel because you don’t feel like you have things weighing you down.”

Don’t feel like you need to throw away all your belongings, or that you need to stop shopping forever because that’s probably not going to happen, and that isn’t the main objective of this challenge. What we’re looking to do through today’s challenge is get back to what’s important, which is building positive relationships with people, not things.

Remember the less stuff you have, the less space you need to live your life full and free. As humans that live in consumer societies we’ve been taught that we need things to add value to ourselves. This just isn’t true, and as someone who lived out of a backpack for 45 days, I can tell you that we’re much happier with a lot less.

People won’t remember you for what you had, what you wore, or where you lived. What they will remember you for, is how you made them feel, so let’s make as much space for other people to be around us as possible.

Posted on January 16, 2017 .