When did we become so weighed down with stuff? Were we always this way? Having clutter fill our lives is the exact opposite of self-love, because instead of living and feeling the joy in our hearts and minds, instead we are carrying years, and for some, even a lifetime of meaningless crap which is blocking our creative flow, financial flow, limiting our connection to our own source energy, and leaving us no space to really love ourselves.
I spent a few days with my gorgeous cousin last month and for both of us, we decided our word for the year is SIMPLIFY.
I have been on a mission of de-cluttering and letting go like a Mofo!
Nothing is free from this ruthless process! From cups and plates to clothes, books and furniture…it is all going. So far, I’ve kept the husband and kids, but we’ll see how things progress.
Even though we are by no means finished, I feel so much lighter, freer and feel like I have so much more energy, clarity and time in my day. And get this… I know where almost everything is! Crazy I know!
Our home is easier to tidy and the energy feels better than ever! Does our home still get trashed? Yes, everyday!
I have a tiny human who makes it her mission to pull everything she owns out at once. I also have a teenager that has a bin she won’t empty until it’s pointed out that it’s starting to take over her room, which also has 7 glasses and 3 water bottles at any one time. And that’s okay because before I culled the glasses, she used to have 14 glasses in her room; so we’ve halved it and that means we’re making progress!
And me, well sometimes I just can’t be arsed doing the dishes. It’s a home not just a house anyway, so I like to think of it as ‘lived in’. Sometimes it’s so ‘lived in’ you would think we had a whole village tribe taking up residence here.
Yep, I’ve had books on de-cluttering, organizational tips on simplifying and watched countless YouTube videos following experts in the subject like Peter Walsh, Oprah’s de-clutter guy, thinking – if it was good enough for Oprah……
Well, some of those books didn’t make the cut either, and you can now find them at my local Vinnie’s.
I feel like I have been on this path of simplifying for awhile now, but this time I’m really assessing what works, what we need and what is just taking up unnecessary space in our home, our heads, and our energy etc.
Starting anything can be hard when you have such a big project, because it can feel overwhelming, almost like you’re doomed from the beginning. I decided to start with one area in a room each day. I started with a bookshelf, then I moved on to the fridge and the pantry and before I knew it, I had done most of the kitchen cupboards and taken my first load to the local op shop. Winning!
Afterwards, I kept going into the pantry and admiring at my handy work, and I kind of wanted to get visitors to walk into the pantry and marvel at my accomplishments, I felt so proud!
I also wouldn’t have minded a trophy or award, I would’ve even settled for a high five, you know, a lil’ something for my efforts. I really don’t get why no one else in my home got as excited as I did with my achievements.
My husband and I both work from home and so his space was next on the (s)hit list, and when he walked in and seen I had already made a huge start, I watched as the colour drained from his face. Me, I had the beats pumping, I was excited and I knew he would love it when we finished. There was quite a bit of resistance from him initially, he’s always been more resistant to change than me, I bloody love it though, and sometimes my excitement doesn’t quite match the anxiety I give my beautiful husband at the thought of undertaking such a big task. But to his credit, we were only an hour or so in and he was letting go like a Mofo too! It was awesome and very cathartic for both of us.
When we finished his room, he was so happy and as always, grateful for the less than gentle shove from me. That’s kind of always been the dynamic in our relationship, I’m keen as a bean, trust the process and my gut, I’m just like a bull in a china shop attacking life, while he’s still sitting there, pondering, contemplating, and processing the idea, while I am already halfway through implementing it. This has been a source of great frustration for both of us over the years, he’s happy to think, and think, and re-think, and then there’s me – impatient, sometimes impulsive and rather than patiently waiting on the big fella for the green light, I floor it through the amber light, only stopping if I really have to.
I think this combination works for us though; it’s made me more careful with decision-making and him a lot more open to and accepting of change.
So the moral of the story kids is to just start. Honestly you’ll be stoked you did. Maybe you’ll become a Ruthless Ruth just Iike me, and completely aligned to and excited by change, or maybe you’re more like my Cautious Charlie and just need to get started and take action and then the alignment comes. Either way, I think it’s literally what that expression means to “take a load off”, because that’s exactly how it feels.
Next was to get rid of my floor-drobe and actually use the pretty awesome closet space we have instead of using the floor.
I have had a bit of a laugh at some of the stuff I’d held onto, like the tiny bikini I haven’t worn for about 15 years (ahhh good times) and every size of jeans possible including jeans that are 3 sizes too small, that might fit me one day. All it was doing was making me feel shit about myself because I couldn’t wear the things in my wardrobe, and every day I was reminded that my weight and coincidentally my mood, had gone up and down over the years.
I chose not to shame myself for the decisions I had made in the past regarding things I’d hung unto, because that was then, this is now, and right now I want to continue to move forward, feeling good in the process.
Now, I don’t care what size the jeans are, as long as I feel good in them. If my weight goes up or down, I’ll buy new jeans. I want to feel good, AND I also want to eat chocolate cake.
Here are the options I gave myself after throwing out lots of jeans that no longer fit:
1. Go to the gym and then buy smaller jeans
2. Go to the gym so I can eat the chocolate cake and wear my current jeans
OR my personal favourite
3. Eat the cake and buy bigger jeans.
The point is it doesn’t matter, the only thing that does is feeling good!
It’s the start of a new year, so it’s the perfect time to get cracking. Here are 7 tips in letting go like a Mofo!
1. PICK A DRAWER/CUPBOARD/AREA
Pick something that won’t take long, something simple, like a bathroom drawer, a bookshelf, or bedside table. It’s about moving forward and sometimes it’s easier to gain momentum with a smaller task.
2. GET STARTED
Pump up your favourite beats and get cracking.
3. KEEP GOING
Don’t stop until you have finished that one task. Consistency is the key, and you’re looking for progress not perfection, so do one thing every day. It makes sense to do it incrementally because that’s how the clutter made its way in. You didn’t accumulate everything in one day, one week, or one month, so don’t expect to let it go in that timeframe. Keep it real Sistas, it’s far kinder to yourself! And absolutely NO SHAMING!
4. SORT & DO THE DROP IMMEDIATELY
Okay, this is important, anything that needs to be recycled or put in the rubbish do it immediately.
And please remember giving to good will is awesome but they really don’t want your bally, hole-filled, stained trackie pants, or one shoe, they are not a dumping ground for rubbish, they are charitable organisations that give to the needy, and people may be needy but they don’t need your old jocks, odd socks or broken toys, put that shit in the bin. Load your car with the good things you no longer want and need and deliver it straight away, don’t drive around with it in your boot for 6 months like I have done before!
If you have things you can sell, do it, or things you’ve borrowed – return them.
5. MAINTAIN & DELEGATE
Each day admire your handy work and maintain that drawer, cupboard, shelf, it will take minutes. I’ll be sending you a virtual high five, and if you like I can send you a certificate for your efforts.
Give every person in your home an area they’re responsible for maintaining and share the load.
6. CRACK A CAN AND CELEBRATE
At this point you’ll be feeling pretty chuffed with yourself, and so you should, crack open the Tia Maria and put on the footy franks and crank those beats even louder, dance, sing and celebrate!
Move onto the next room or area you want to tackle and repeat steps 1 through 6, and there you have it, you my friend are letting go like a Mofo, congrats!
Enjoy the process, love Lizzy x
I am a bit of a hippy, a lot of a foodie and a lover of all things beautiful :-)