Living the minimalistic lifestyle isn't about who can live with the least amount of stuff, it's more about what deserves a place in your life. This can be applied to material items, your schedule, your spending and even your relationships.
Ask yourself ‘Why do I want to keep this? What value does it add to my life?'
When we pose this question on material items, such as clothes, we always have reasons we're holding on to certain items. Like that dress you wore once, 6 years ago, or those 4 pairs of winter boots. ‘Well, I might need it some day' or ‘What if my weight goes back up? I'll have them available'.
Sometimes, we hold on to things because we feel obligated to do so. It was a gift and I don't want to hurt their feelings. Or we have deep emotions attached to the item.
Change your way of thinking
When we change our way of living, we also need to change our way of thinking. Essentially we need to retrain our brain to think a new way.
Instead of allowing guilt, external obligations or deep emotions control our attachment to material things, we need to replace them with self acceptance and the question of how this is adding value to our lives.
Start with your closet
Most of us have favorite clothes. We wear similar items most of the time. Take a look at that and sort through all the clothes you don't wear. Do they ‘fit' your style? Will you wear them in the next month?
Granted, we all have clothes specific to a season. So, take that into account. I'm going to keep my long johns for winter, even if I clean my closet out in the summer. I'll need them and I'm definitely not going to go buy new ones every year.
Create a vision for your wardrobe and define boundaries around that vision. If you envision simple, comfortable clothing; then you have your boundary set for keeping that type of clothing. If you wear skirts mostly, that's a boundary to set. Bright colors, neutral colors, dark colors, slacks, jeans, t-shirts. All can be added/subtracted from these boundaries.
Defining boundaries takes the stress and emotion out of the decision. You now have set ‘standards' instead of allowing your feelings control what you keep or remove from your closet.
Are you ready to start?
Like me, I'm sure some of you are reading about minimalization because you're trying to decide if you want to make this change. Others are ready, but just feel overwhelmed. Then, there are those who are going to jump right in, head first.
No matter which category you fall in, you are not alone. There are so many people looking to improve their lives and this is definitely one way to do just that.
I encorage you to read my previous posts on the minimilistic lifestyle as well as future posts in this series. Join me on a journey to add value to our lives and share with my your struggles and successes along the way!