“To change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard. If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects. They reflect one’s mind and the psyche of yesterday. I throw away what has no dynamic, living use.” Anais Nin
I LOVE that Thirty One starts the “new year” in the middle of the calendar year. Sounds crazy, right? But the truth is that it allows me to re-visit my goals and sets me on fire to get back on track. Haven’t you lost momentum for those goals (or resolutions) that you set at the beginning of the year?
It is a time for me to reduce the stuff in my office and declutter my world. The process can be both satisfying and exhausting. Satisfying because I’m able to get rid of things that I no longer need. Exhausting because every item requires a decision. Keep or release? Sell or gift? Friends or family?
Some things are easy to get rid of, right? Then there are things that we say “what if” – that usually happens with clothes for me. Maybe the clothes are a smaller size that you hope to get into again. Maybe it is the outfit that you wore on your first date with that special someone. Maybe someone told you how “beautiful” you looked. Whatever the reason, we cling to things. Then there is the question, “What if I give it away and then need it in a month?”.
Here are some steps that helped me. The same steps can be used if your goal is to empty your junk drawer, your garage, or your wardrobe.
1. Start with an easy area or the area that annoys or distracts you the most.
An easy area is great for instant satisfaction and motivates you to continue. Tackling an area that annoys or distracts you is a fantastic way to free up energy. The garage that you can longer fit the car in. The drawer that you have to push and shove to close because it’s so full. Pick your spot.
2. Give yourself a time limit.
Having a time limit will keep you from being sucked into the black hole that is your closet. Or garage. Or pantry. When I focus on the time limit, I was less distracted. If you find yourself distracted a quick look at the clock will get you back on track. Setting a timer – I like the old timers that you can hear the minutes ticking by.
3. Only keep what is essential or beautiful.
Imagine if your home only contained things that were essential or beautiful, or both. Does, that fill you with a sense of calm and pleasure. It does me! When decluttering clothes and accessories – Does it make you look or feel like a million dollars? Having a wardrobe full of things that make you feel like a millions dollars is simplistic luxury. It doesn’t mean that you only keep the most expensive things either. Some of my favorite outfits or accessories, I bought for a few dollars and I feel like a million dollars in them.
4. Get some help.
I find that when I work with someone (friend or family), put some music on, and combine laughter with letting go of what no longer serves me – so much more gets done! Give it a try!
6. Give your things a second life.
I have a STACK of ThirtyOne t-shirts that I can’t part with even though some are worn and tattered. I am going to create (actually find someone who will create) a backdrop/table top for my vendor shows with them. Each one has a story that will allow me to share my journey with others. What do you have that you can give a second life?
7. Connect with your emotions.
Is getting rid of things stir up memories/ emotions? The truth is that we need to dig into why you’re hanging onto an item. What does the item represent to you? What memories have you attached to that item? What if you were to thank those items for helping you create memories. I know it sounds odd, but it works. Then you can release those things with a smile and a thankful heart.
Reducing our possessions allows for less distractions. You will feel lighter and more in control of your stuff instead of the stuff controlling you.
I challenge you to pick ONE spot and give it a try TODAY! Share the results.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!