When I was younger I lived in a world of material collections. In high school, I began working a fairly well paying job for my age and while I saved a bunch of money, much of it also went towards fueling my love for apparel and home décor shopping. I remember countless occasions when in order to have the mental clarity to complete an assignment for school, I would first have to organize the piles and piles of possessions that quickly accumulated to chaos in my space. Over time I began relating to all that I gathered in pursuit of an excessive and elaborate closet and overly decorated space as a rat’s nest of burden. My belongings were beginning to weigh heavy on me, impacting my peace of mind and emotional clarity.
Perhaps you can relate?
Have you accumulated so much that you can no longer navigate your closet or wardrobe with ease? Do you struggle to locate specific items or appliances because your home spaces are saturated with excess? Do you experience feelings of dread or anxiousness upon entering your room, not knowing where to begin?
I’m here to share one of my most used minimizing practices with you to liberate you from the mess! This practice has helped me simplify so many areas of my life. By utilizing this one simple technique, you will be on your way to getting down to the basics.
While I’ll be explaining this technique by speaking specifically about clothing, know that you can use this technique in any area of your life, such as your kitchen, bathroom, car… wherever and whatever has gotten a little hectic and out of hand lately.
Tired of the first thing you see in the morning being that monstrous mountain of clothes begging to be dealt with? Then try this super easy and simple approach that has helped me shed so many unnecessary belongings that were adding weight to my life. I trust you’ll walk away feeling lighter too!
Begin in your closet or dresser and either starting with one section or drawer at a time (or take the whole enchilada and empty it all at once!) take a big armful of items and spread them out across your bed or floor. Choose a place where you’ll have a nice open space where you can go through things to separate into four piles.
The first pile you will create is for those things that you wear or use on a daily or weekly basis… the pieces and items that you are absolutely in love with.
The second pile will be for items you plan to donate. You can donate to more-well known places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army, however, I know for many people, they don’t feel good about supporting these organizations due to some of their problematic practices.
No problem! Do some research and see what alternative or local not-for-profit or charity-oriented thrift stores are in your area. You may even be near shelters for displaced LGBTQ youth or survivors of domestic violence who are often in need of clothing and supplies. There are so many ways the possessions that no longer add value to our own life can make positive impacts for people just in your local community.
The second and third piles are going to be things you know you do not want anymore… items that you have not worn or used recently… or maybe have been lingering and taking up space for years. Give yourself permission to release these items with grace, knowing how they can be better appreciated by others.
The third pile will be designated as items you intend to sell. Items that go into this pile will likely be of better quality or gently used compared to the items in your donation pile.
Your options for selling are endless! You can sell on Ebay, the Facebook market place, at swat meets or garage sales. You can also sell your used apparel using an app called Poshmark. I have been using Poshmark for years now. It not only allows me to shop for gently used second hand clothes, but I’m also able to sell clothes I am ready to release. You can find my closet on Poshmark @rawalignment. Its super user friendly and a great way to earn back a fraction of the cost you invested originally in your clothing, while simultaneously supporting and encouraging others to shop second-hand as an alternative to purchasing fast fashion.
The next and last pile to create is for items you are not too sure about. These possessions may not be worn often, but you may not feel ready or sure if you want to let go of them yet.
Everything that you are still longing to hang onto will go to this pile mindfully. Try your best to make this the smallest pile, though don’t push yourself to sell or donate something you’re not comfortably sure you’re ready to release.
This certainly is a positive opportunity to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and really purge of what maybe of no use to you anymore. There is SO much more to life than material belongings.
It might actually feel really good and exciting to get rid of things that will create more spaciousness in your life.
When you’ve completed this pile, you will put it in a box or anyplace you can easily store it, out of sight, for 30 days. At the end of those 30 days, if you have not had a strong urge to retrieve something to wear or use from this box, then you can rest assure that you have the confidence to separate those items into sell and donate categories.
~ Simplicity for Peace ~
I have used this decluttering technique personally so many times. It really is so easy to follow. I think sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Taking everything out of your closet, wardrobe or cupboards can ultimately feel really overwhelming, but it is a process, when completed, always leaves me feeling really refreshed and accomplished.
So if you’ve really been feeling the call to simplify your life, please take this as an encouragement to embark on this super tangible way to do just that! All you need is a couple hours or even a full day out of your weekend to jump start this process and see what happens!
Having physical clutter in our life so often creates mental clutter too. Your effort will reward you with so much more time than you invest by making your life and space that much more easy and efficient to navigate.
Not needing to utilize precious time and energy to consistently clear space after that initial simplifying is such a gift.
Imagine how you could better use that abundance of time that you otherwise dedicate time and again to cleaning and organizing. You can invest in more connection with the people you love, fuel and nurture your passion projects, discover more room to spend time outdoors… the possibilities are plentiful!
Having a clear space gives me a sense of freedom and deep alignment with myself. My minimalist journey has provided time and space for me to establish routines and positive habits of self-love, care and self-expansion that have opened so many doors in my life.
There’s a freedom in waking up in a clear, open space. It avoids the stress that comes with waking to witness immediate demands of what you need to achieve that day, whether its folding the ever growing pile of clothes in the corner of your room or trying to find your nail clippers in that ambiguous, tangled “junk” drawer in your bedside table.
Often, people tell me they lack the time to better care for themselves. Consider this a call to action! How can you be more efficient in your life so that you can create the space for vital and important care? You can begin showing up for yourself by first simplifying your environment.