For anyone who is in the process of decluttering or considering starting, remember this: decluttering is a means to an end, it is not an end in itself. We don’t declutter for the sake of decluttering. We declutter to get ourselves closer to a life that brings us fulfillment.
How exactly do we do this?
When we declutter, we get rid of things that are not necessary for our survival and do not add to our happiness. We empty our lives of things that give us nothing, but take our time, energy and space. We clear away these futile distractions in order to be able to concentrate on what truly matters to us.
Therefore, when we declutter, we need to be very clear on what we truly love and what we need. It’s not just about throwing away as much as possible and expecting to be fulfilled just because we’re living like a minimalist. Minimalism and simple living only bring happiness when we’re surrounded by the things that we need and love, nothing more…but also nothing less.
Decluttering isn’t a competition on who can get rid of the most things or live with the fewest possessions.
Decluttering is a personal process, and you should not compare your own experience to other people’s. We all have different lifestyles, needs and passions, so we should cater our material possessions to our own, and no-one else’s, demands.
Why strive to own just 100 objects, or 33 changes of clothes, or 2 boxes of stuff, if your lifestyle requires something different? It doesn’t matter if simplifying for you means owning one pair of shoes or ten pairs, as long as it makes YOU feel good and fits in with your lifestyle.
Simple living is about adopting a life that makes you feel comfortable and free, not one that limits you in any way, be it with too many or too few possessions.
Simple living is about FORGETTING about our possessions; it’s about moving them to the background of our lives. Our foreground – our energy, time and thoughts – should be about more important things, like our loved activities, our close ones, our daily acts of love.
When we start setting conditions to decluttering or simple living, such as only using a certain amount of objects or living with only a certain amount of possessions, we bring our stuff to the foreground again. Instead of stressing because we’re overwhelmed by our clutter, we stress because we want to fit into some sort of rules about how much and what we should use.
There are no rules on decluttering. The whole point of decluttering is to lift a weight off your chest, to simplify your life in a way as to empty your mind of unnecessary thoughts about useless things. It’s about making the space, time and energy to focus on life, rather than on stuff.
Decluttering should bring freedom, relief and space.
Decluttering is a tool to get you closer to a better life. Use it as a means to an end. And once you’ve decluttered, reap the benefits – go out and live!