Can you declutter your life, not just your stuff? These 10 minimalist ideas will help you create space for what matters most in life.

Life Declutter: 10 Minimalist practices for starting over in life.

My friend and I sat down for a coffee date the other day and she said something so profound, in such a simple way. She told me that lately she’s been wondering what she would keep in her life if she could declutter it. Think about it, if life were a cluttered shelf and you removed everything from it, what would you choose to put back? Which parts of your life would be neatly packed up and sent away? It’s an interesting concept and one I think we could all benefit from because, whether we realize it or not, our lives are pretty cluttered. To break it down, I put together 10 ideas for how we can work to give our lives a declutter that allows us to start fresh.

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Does something feel off?

In 2014, I had to face the fact that a lot of parts of my life were out of alignment. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake this pesky feeling that I wasn’t fully living life the way I was supposed to.

When I sat down to read Wayne Dyer’s book, Wishes Fulfilled, he talked about an old spiritual practice of dying to our former selves. In other words, if we want to be someone different, we have to be willing to let go of who we have been up to this point. Call me crazy, but this is kind of like a life declutter, am I right? Click here to get my top 50 book recommendations.

Of course, this deeper concept of dying to our former selves is kind of deep and a little hard to navigate. I mean, how many of us know what limiting beliefs we are carrying around about ourselves? How do we know which thoughts aren’t serving us? What things did our parents tell us about ourselves that aren’t necessarily truth? It’s kind of tough to sort out. That’s why I started by decluttering my closet; It felt like an easier way to start finding myself.

Let me ask you, does something feel off? Do you have this nagging feeling that there is more that you are meant for? Are you craving deeper meaning and purpose in your life? If so, keep scrolling, because I think a life declutter is just what you need!

Can you declutter your life, not just your stuff? These 10 minimalist ideas will help you create space for what matters most in life.

What isn’t serving you?

Instead of attempting a deep dive into the depths of our soul, why not start by simply asking ourselves the question, What isn’t working for me?

Unfortunately, for myself, and I think for most of us, I had to get a lot of what I didn’t want, before I was able to realize I didn’t want it. It wasn’t until we moved into our dream house, I had the photography studio I had always wanted, and I was wearing the smallest pant size I had ever worn, that I realized all of these things were totally wrong. I had to accept the fact that I had spent my life chasing the wrong dreams.

“I think everybody should get rich and famous, and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

-Jim Carrey

Are you clinging to clutter?

There is something we all fall into called the Sunk Cost Fallacy, which is where we will cling to something that isn’t serving us, simply because we’ve already invested in it. Think about that friend who has been in a 5-year-long, toxic relationship, but doesn’t want to back out now because they already share a dog, an apartment, and a bank account. Walking away might be tough, even if it would ultimately be the right decision.

Whether we realize it or not, we all do this with different things. When our family made the decision to downsize our house by 2,000 finished square feet, we had to face the realization that there would be a lot of (literal) sunken costs.

This is why I so often encourage people to use decluttering their physical possessions as a baby step to self-growth. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to challenge ourselves to let go of that old pair of pants that don’t fit than it is to walk away from a relationship that no longer fits.

What are you clinging to that is ultimately dead weight? How can you work to shake free from this thing?

What good things do you need to create space for?

Naturally, when we are so hell bent on clinging to the things that we currently have, we don’t allow ourselves to create space for the things we may truly want.

When it came to our big house, I had the realization that if I insisted on owning the bigger home, I just might be sacrificing my marriage in the process. The finances, time, and effort that it took to maintain the house no longer seemed like a top priority when our family unit was at risk.

If you are too afraid to leave a job that doesn’t fit your needs, you will not be able to make space for work that truly fulfills you. It’s as simple as that. We have to be willing to declutter what doesn’t work, in order to create space for what does.

Can you declutter your life, not just your stuff? These 10 minimalist ideas will help you create space for what matters most in life.

Are you keeping clutter for other people?

On top of our fears of letting go of things because of our own potential loss, a lot of times we insist on hanging onto things in order to appease other people.

This might look like keeping our schedules jam-packed so that we’re never having to say “No” to anyone. It might look like keeping a punch bowl that your great aunt gifted you for your wedding, even though you never use it. So often in life, we allow ourselves to drown in clutter in order to avoid having someone else feel a negative emotion. While it seems kind to worry about the emotions of others, the reality is that, if we continue to strain ourselves in order to appease everyone else, we ourselves will never be truly happy.

Even simply wanting to look as though we are successful, in order to receive the approval of other people, will hold us back from living a life aligned with the one we should truly be living. Remember, trying to live up to someone else’s idea of success will continue to keep you detached from yours.

Stop gaslighting yourself

Just like we will argue with ourselves all day long about why we should keep the miscellaneous garbage in the junk drawer of our kitchen, we will gaslight ourselves into staying uncomfortable, in our comfort zone, for fear of change. Like I always say, an unused item is already garbage.

If you feel like you’re being called to change your life, your life is potentially being put to waste the longer you stay put where you don’t belong. Even if you don’t feel called to make a massive shift in your life, allowing yourself to create space can be transformative. Don’t waste your time or efforts striving to maintain something that wasn’t right to begin with.

Get crystal clear about what you want

Once you know what you don’t want, it gets easier getting clear about what you do want. Boldly claiming what we want for our lives can be scary, because, if we say it out loud, we then have to face those underlying fears that make us worry it will never actually happen.

Instead of putting too much pressure on the situation, start to think about it like you’re going through your cupboards and preparing for your next grocery trip. Clear out any old or outdated foods, see what you still have left, and then make a list for the new items you’ll need to buy.

In life, it might not be as easy to hand-select a new career as it would be to pick out a bag of potatoes, but I promise you the better you get at being picky about what comes into your life, the faster you’ll align with a life that truly feels good to you.

Take a step back

Sometimes when we feel something is missing from our life, we tend to do that thing where we hyper-fixate on the stuff that is missing. It’s almost as if we are putting a puzzle together and all we can look at is the blank space where some pieces haven’t quite fit together.

Instead of zooming in on your blank spaces, try taking a step back and observing the whole puzzle. See where other pieces have perfectly fit together or fallen into place. Notice what is working, and keep an eye out for anything else that might fit.

This doesn’t have to be a challenge, or something you do on a time limit. Life is an on-going process until it isn’t. You have plenty of time to observe, to take it all in and to decide what is here to stay, and what needs to get decluttered.

Can you declutter your life, not just your stuff? These 10 minimalist ideas will help you create space for what matters most in life.

Continue to reevaluate

In life, as it is in your closet, you will continually have to filter through and reevaluate what needs to be decluttered. What fits one season, might not fit the next. Be willing to let go and understand that letting go is part of the flow of life.

Imagine if every river was blocked by a damn–nothing would ever get through. Water systems would stop, transportation would suffer, and parts of the land would start to dry up. Decluttering does not mean you are losing out on something, it means you are simply allowing the river of life to flow. When you are in the flow, you are allowing life to take you where you’re meant to go.

Start where it feels easy

As I mentioned above, learning to declutter the big areas of your life, like relationships, jobs, and limiting beliefs, can feel really tough. If it feels too overwhelming to start with the big stuff, why not commit to simply clearing some physical clutter? You will still face limiting beliefs like, “What if I need this someday?“.

With every physical item that you let go, you challenge yourself and get more comfortable living outside of your comfort zone, which is where real change can begin to happen.

If you need somewhere to get started, grab The Gentle Art of Letting Sh*t Go, a No BS Guide to Clearing External Clutter and Creating Internal Peace.

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Can you declutter your life, not just your stuff? These 10 minimalist ideas will help you create space for what matters most in life.

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