Most people know that the decluttering process isn’t always easy. While I’m a big fan of just turning off your brain and tapping into joy like Marie Kondo suggests, anyone who has attempted decluttering often knows that there can be a lot of fear and resistance tagged on and we’re not really sure why. The crazy truth is that letting go of our things can quite literally be a grieving process. Not because we are people are so obsessed with our material items, but because we have accidentally given them meaning beyond just stuff. Here’s how to spot these misalignments and how you can course correct in a way that feels freeing and not frightening.
People often find it really weird when I share that my minimalist journey didn’t really start with the desire to get my house in order. It’s true, that when we moved into our big, beautiful 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom dream house, it wasn’t long before I found myself drowning in the overwhelm of trying to keep it up. There was always something that needed to be picked up, updated, cleaned…the entire process seemed never ending. That alone sent me into the occasional random bursts of decluttering madness, for sure. The truth is, we didn’t really have a lot of stuff to begin with.
For the last few years I have been working at building a business while homeschooling my kids, running my household, seeing my family members through depression, caring for a dying step dad…And all the while I’ve had this gnawing thought in the back of my mind that I’m missing out – I’m not building my business fast enough. I’ve now come to the realization that we are always building something, it’s just that more often than not we are so focused on what we are not building that we just might be missing out on the pretty spectacular stuff that we are building!
Ya know, no one really likes to read stuff with the word “die” in the title, but nothing else is really going to convey my message quite as strongly, and since I’ve made peace with this dreaded word, I’m gonna go ahead and let it be. The thing is, most of us, especially those with kids, want to make sure we are leaving something behind when we go. One of the most commonly Googled things is how to leave your house to your children when you die. If you are hoping to gift your kiddos a house, might I suggest looking into Swedish Death Cleaning before you do — there I go again with that word. The thing is, a lot of people leave their children behind not only grieving the loss of a parent(s) but also having to now deal with cleaning up all their parent’s sh*t. So, if you don’t want to leave your children grieved and burdened, it might be a good idea to do a few declutter sessions before you make your grand exit. But, that’s besides my point. I want you to actually leave more behind when you die! I know I sound like I’m contradicting myself, but just hear me out…
I think at some point we have all been that kid living in a total fantasy world. Maybe you were a super hero who was fighting dragons or bad guys. You could have been the princess like me that all the hottest dudes in the land were willing to go to war over. NBD. Whatever the dream or unrealistic fantasy, for most of us that kind of just fades as we get older. We get caught up in our school work, are told the expectations that are set for us to immediately become adults and somewhere along the way life loses its luster and potential. Uhm, but the thing is, it’s still just as much a reality as it was when you were a kid and I’m gonna need you to listen up. Extraordinary living — like you imagined when you were just a tike, is totally a thing that is obtainable now and minimalism has continually helped me edge my way closer and closer to it…or maybe I’m full fledged in it? You decide.
There is no denying that most of us are spending our days desperately seeking happiness. Ask any random stranger on the street what they want for their lives and there is a good chance they will answer, “To be happy.” In a recent conversation I had with my son, we were talking about the heavy topic of death. During our conversation I took the time to give him my best advice on the subject and that is to live a life that is filled with BIG happy. I confessed that for the first 25 or so years of my life I settled for a lot of little happies and in an attempt to have him be smarter than me, I shared with him what the difference between these two was and now I’m sharing with you.