When I started decluttering eleven years ago, it was out of necessity. I had moved to a smaller home after a divorce and needed to let go of a few things.
I soon realized my material things held little value for me. Most of them represented a life lived for other people, or according to what I thought was normal or acceptable in our society.I realized my material things held little value for me. Most of them represented a life lived for other people. Click To Tweet
As I downsized my physical space, I began to see other places in my life that needed decluttering. Reducing the number of household items led to a desire to live a more simple life.
It’s not uncommon for decluttering a room to lead to a life-changing journey toward simplicity. Here are three ways external decluttering leads to internal minimalism.
As you determine what’s important to you and align your life with those preferences, you become more authentic.
You stop wanting to do things that don’t fulfill you. All of a sudden, you protect your calendar and only fill it with things that matter to you.
You say yes to fewer things which creates white space in your schedule. Now, you have time to sit and think rather than push away all your feelings to get on with things.
That time spent journaling or pondering your thoughts can lead to some pretty interesting discoveries. You might uncover a desire or dream that got buried long ago.
What did you love to do as a child that you no longer do? Now, you have time to work on projects or pursue hobbies that set your heart on fire.
It’s possible your goals have been put on hold or abandoned all together. Often this has to do with financial obligations that come from overspending on unnecessary things.
You’re stuck in a job that has nothing to do with your heart’s desire because you can’t afford to pursue something you love.
Once you start decluttering, you find out you can live with a lot less than you thought. You might even decide you could do with a smaller house and a less flashy car.
All these external changes lead to more freedom in the form of money in your wallet. Once you are out of the debt trap, you have room to think about what you really want to do.
Instead of distracting yourself with shopping or drinking wine to self-soothe, you pursue healthy habits that fulfill you.
You no longer seek to escape reality but find out how you can make it better.
The hardest part of internal decluttering is letting go of relationships that aren’t working.The hardest part of internal decluttering is letting go of relationships. Click To Tweet
Perhaps you decide to spend less time with those people whose values no longer align with yours. Or never did.
You might decide to set boundaries with some people who used to walk all over you. If you’re lucky, they’ll respect the boundary and the relationship will change.
But often, those difficult people won’t like your boundaries. They won’t accept that staying in relationship with you will require them to treat you better.
That’s when you have to make the difficult decision to cut ties, or limit your time with them.
When you stop spending precious energy on relationships that drain you, you’ll have more to give the ones that reward you.
Of course, some relationships by their nature require you to give more. Caring for children or elderly parents, for example.
But if you’re already depleted by those caregiver roles, do you want to give what’s left to peers who don’t appreciate you?
Spend more time on the relationships that fill you up and challenge you in a good way. Reduce or eliminate time spent in toxic relationships.
Now that you’ve decluttered your surroundings, it’s easier to see what else in your life needs to go. That’s how external decluttering leads to internal minimalism.