Minimalism: what is stopping you from minimising the stress and clutter in your life, and how to overcome it
“Minimalism is intentionality… it is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it” – Joshua Becker
I hope you felt motivated to start implementing minimalism into your own life after reading my previous post, ‘What is minimalism, and how do I incorporate it into my life?‘. However, I understand that once the novelty wears off, excuses can begin to pop up and all of your well-meaning plans can fade off into a “I’ll do that tomorrow”.
Here are some common excuses that will stop you from minimising the stress and clutter into your life, and some tips on how to overcome them:
You don’t think you have enough time
If you’ve been putting off minimising your possessions because you’re under the impression that you need to set aside a few days to do a big clear out, you need to change your mindset! A few minutes here and there is much more productive than putting it off until a rainy day. If you have a few spare minutes, here are a few quick and easy tasks to tackle:
- Clear out your underwear drawer
- Find 5 items in your wardrobe that you don’t wear anymore
- Quickly delete old numbers from your contact list
- Throw away out of date condiments in your fridge and pantry
In fact, I’m sure once you’ve finished reading this you’re going to spend more than 5 minutes scrolling on your phone. So choose one of those tasks now, put the phone down, and get going!
You don’t know what to do with all of the stuff
There are a few options when it comes to what to do with your stuff once you’ve finished decluttering. In terms of physical possessions, you can donate, sell, fix, or throw away! I find that when I’m decluttering, I need to be committed to actioning what I’ll do with the items on that day, otherwise they end up sitting in a corner of the house and annoying me more than they did before!
A good tip is to be realistic about whether or not you’ll get they money you want if you sell something, and whether the amount you’ll get for it is worth the time and effort of selling it. Sometimes I’ll have good intentions about wanting to sell some clothes, but they end up sitting around the house for months before I get time to put them up for sale. Realistically, it would have brought me more joy to donate them and have them out of the house sooner rather than later. If I have a bag of clothes for donation, I’ll drive them straight down to our closest donation bin and put them in it that day.
It’s too overwhelming
My biggest tip is to start small, and to start in places that aren’t sentimental. Using the examples above, the fridge or underwear drawer are great places to start because they’re relatively small tasks, you don’t hold much sentimental value to the items, and you can throw everything you discard straight to the bin! Once you start, I can guarantee you’ll become addicted and won’t want to stop. Don’t over think it, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just start somewhere small and be proud of what you manage to get done.
But… I like my things!
There is nothing wrong with liking your possessions, or collecting certain things. My two foolproof “rules” for keeping space for things in my life are: “Is it useful?” and “Does it make me happy?”. If a certain thing applies to one of these two rules, it can stay (within reason)! These rules can be applied to objects around the house, clothing, relationships, extracurricular activities etc.
When sentimentality comes into play, it can be difficult to know what to do with an item that you’re holding on to. I’m a very sentimental person, and keep a lot of things that hold memories for me. For example, I’ve kept every single card and note that Nick and I have ever written each other. However, I keep them store neatly so they aren’t taking up too much space or an eye sore, and I make sure that we pull them out regularly and read them. Otherwise they would just sit in a box and serve no purpose! If we bring them out and go through them, we are able to reminisce and bring back happy memories, which for me totally justifies keeping a whole heap of scraps of paper!
If you’re holding on to something which is sentimental, think to yourself: Does this actually bring back nice memories for me? Am I holding on to it out of obligation? Can I integrate it into my day-to-day life, or have it out on display? Will someone else benefit from having this more than me? Figure out a plan, and start to get more joy out of your sentimental possessions.
I hope that I have given you the motivation you need to overcome these road blocks to incorporating minimalism into your life, and good luck with minimising the clutter and stress in your life. If there is anything else you feel is stopping you, feel free to send me a message or pop something in the comments!
Photo credit: Pinterest
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