Before I officially decided to move forward being an independent contractor, I had a Soulful Session with a fabulous wild woman named Iris Barzen. We discussed the decision I was facing along with my fears and goals. We shared the past and present while I shared my hopes for the future.
One thing I revealed was the daunting task of uprooting my my entire life. It took me a few years to build the life that I envisioned. I worked damn hard for it.This included all the “stuff” that I accumulated through the years. After college, I stayed and lived in just one apartment and started to fill up the space with stuff…junk to fill my life with seemingly “more value.” Apparently, I felt like with everything that I did, I had to have something to “show for it.”
With the new life change, the first step was to GET RID OF ALL MY STUFF.
(There is a reason why the word “stuff” is synonymous with the word “trappings.”)
Iris gifted me a book that would “ease my mind” about letting go of all my trappings. It’s called Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists
It’s a memoir of Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. Best friends who used to work the dreaded 9-5 (in sales no less), made over 6 figures and had 3-bedroom condos filled with…a lot of stuff – things that ultimately didn’t mean much.! It didn’t take too long for them to figure out that “keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyle wasn’t fulfilling and decided to try out the minimalist lifestyle approach
Their mantra isn’t to live with nothing and zero possessions but to have “things” that are of value and importance to provide room for a more meaningful life.
After gobbling the book in two nights with a glass of chardonnay, I felt prepared, prepped, and excited to de-clutter my life. Here are my 7 ways on how to let go to live a more meaningful life.
- Start with the easy-peasy stuff!
I started with my junk drawer and got rid of stupid knick-knacks that were easily thrown out (old business cards) or replaceable (pens, hair clips). Next move on to anything that is gathering dust or unused. Mismatching dishes + cups from college can go now that you have a new matching set.
- Books: If you read like I do, you have an entire bookcase dedicated to feeding your soul.
For avid bookworms, it’s HARD to get rid of your collection but with the invention of e-readers, it doesn’t make sense to keep THAT many books laying around. Choose the ones that you will never read again – stuff you’ve read in high school or god awful books that you will never pick up again and donate.
- DVDs: Get rid of them. I’m not sure WHY people have a collection of DVDs still in their house when everything is on the cloud now. If you must – rip them if you need to and save via the cloud.
- The dreaded C-L-O-S-E-T
For women, this will be especially difficult because you always think there will be an occasion to wear that one article of clothing. Don’t. If you haven’t worn it in a year, don’t bother. If it’s outdated or out of style, throw it in the donation box. Be merciless!
- Sentimental Stuff
Everybody has them. Go through and see what’s really important. If you have your entire stack of written essays from college, pick a few to be treasured and trash the rest. Stuffed animals? Keep a few but not all. Love letters? Pick a few to put in a folder and not an entire shoebox. Take your time – save the sentimental stuff for last.
- Get rid of the “just-in-case” items
- Get rid of crappy or unhealthy relationships (including friendships)
Surround yourself with relationships that are full of loving support, mutual trust + warm encouragement. Oh and laughter. If a relationship is constantly draining + adding no value, then it’s best to be like Disney’s Frozen and LET IT GO! *throws snow everywhere*
:: When you walk away from a draining or pointless relationship (whether it’s with a significant other, friend, co-worker, etc) it makes room and time to meet people that will add value + more positive light in your life.
The number of people that you can have a close relationship with at any given time is five people – considered to be your inner core (source). Everybody else is on the outside of that and so forth – like an onion. These people will switch places with the outer circles and rotate in & out of your life – that’s normal too. Whoever those people are, keep them! Let everybody else go.
Personally, when the Purple Heart Pickup donation truck came to get all 20 boxes + bags of my STUFF, I felt. so. happy. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and then I realized that I still have more stuff to let go in the next few months. Ahhhh! 🙂
Have you done a massive de-cluttering of your life recently? How did it make you feel?