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There’s still plenty left for me to do in my home to prepare for my new life in minimalism. I still have the hardest rooms left to tackle, my bedroom included. The rooms that carry the most memories and items. But during this process came another one, the process of purging myself.
Some will tell you that you need to work on yourself before you head into this journey, others will tell you to save it for last. I’m thinking there’s no better time for this process than right smack in the middle. I’ve done the easy stuff now, cleaned the less common spaces, and emptied the rooms that never should have grown crowded to begin with (i.e., the guest room). As I begin to make my way into the rooms that I know carry the most weight, I felt it appropriate to begin to purge myself along the way.
The biggest items to let go will be emotions. In order to free yourself for a minimalist lifestyle, you need to let go of the emotional baggage that you’ve been carrying for the past decade or more. It’s time to open that suitcase and pour out the contents.
First, purge failed relationships. The biggest one that so many dwell on is the “what ifs” of a previous lover or friendship. Holding onto these items make it hard for you to move forward and find a new relationship. Learn from them and then move on, no more dwelling on the mistakes.
Next, remove hate and anger from your life. These negative emotions just drain you, and they’re not bringing any form of happiness into your life, so why let them consume you the way they do so often? Poor driving by others on the road is no reason to get upset. Breaking your favorite dish and then throwing a fit is just plain silly. These emotions have no place in your new life, so it’s time to start eliminating them as best you can.
Remove stress. Stress not only leads to a poor attitude it also contributes to poor health. Stress triggers weight gain, anxiety, depression, and a number of other factors that all drain you and hurt you in the long run. Slowly eliminate stress from your life. If money is a big stress factor find ways to budget and eliminate unnecessary purchases. If family is a big stress factor, work towards compromises and solutions to problems together, rather than fight constantly over issues.
Finally, let go of your crutches. We all have them. Situations, items, and people that we cling to as a crutch. We figure that as long as these things are in our life we’ll be “safe.” But these items can just as quickly be taken away from you. It’s time to stop placing your happiness and wellbeing onto items and people, and start relying on just yourself for happiness.
The sooner you let go of the negative emotions, negative stimuli, and unnecessary crutches, the sooner you’ll be able to find yourself and find happiness.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).