minimalism (+spring clean with me)
It is earth day yesterday (when this post was supposed to go up). In the past year I've been a little more mindful about how my actions and consumption impact the planet. From my diet to my coffee runs at Starbucks, to carrying my groceries, thrift shopping and definitely while commuting, I try to be conscience about my going in and coming out. Instead I don't consume meat, bring my own cold cup for coffee, try to remember to use a reusable bag (or carry everything in my hands) and take the bus. These are all ways that I'm really trying to be a better earthling. In today's post I wanted to talk about recycling; well recycling clothes to be more specific.
After visiting my local thrift shop I was made aware that clothing production and transportation creates a great amount of waste and pollution. Ultimately our landfills pay the price when we don't give our pre-loved items a second home (and support unethical brands).
Minimalism has changed the way I shop, declutter and think. To get rid of anything that I no longer use, wear or love. And to let go of things, clothes and thoughts that no longer serve me. The following is a step by step on how I regularly declutter my space. From my room, to my bathroom, my gym bag and the random pieces of paper under my bed, I could really use some tidying up. If you haven't read @mariekondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (or Spark Joy), turn up the audiobook and get to decluttering! Trust me, you'll thank me later...
Somethings have to go and sometimes letting go isn't as hard as we make it out to be...
Clean one space, one corner, one category at a time. If you're cleaning your whole apartment for example, start in the kitchen, then go through your mail, then the clothes department (shoes, scarves, winter coats ) etc.
Take everything out. Take all the clothes you own and put them on the bed. Take all the shoes out of the closet and write all the limiting beliefs out on paper. Get it all out in the open!
Would it be the end of the world if I got rid of this? Did I even know I still owned this? How often do I even use this? Do I love this? Does my surrounding bring me joy? Does this item spark joy?
Make a keep pile, a donation pile and a garbage pile- The keep pile is everything your head over heels in love with. The donation pile is everything that you once loved. And the garbage pile are things that are broken, ripped and can't be reused. Please do not confuse the donation pile with the garbage pile. Just because someone is less fortunate doesn't mean they would wear something you wouldn't dare wear yourself or pass down to someone you love.
Get to selling- I personally like to separate my donation pile; with clothes that my sisters and friends might want and a sell pile. A lot of people are scared of giving things away because they spent lots of money on it. Well I'm here to tell you that you can make that money back! When I didn't want my heeled Hunter boots I found a place that paid me to donate, and I'm sure you can find a place online or nearby too. (Psst don't buy heeled Hunter boots).
Emotions, emotions, emotions- We are more attached to our belongings then we realize. Maybe it was a gift you got from a loved one, a gift you bought yourself, something expensive, something name brand, your prom dress, a movie ticket stub from a date a million years ago and the list goes on. We give meaning to our things even it they no longer serve a purpose. They make us feel younger, better, richer, smarter, sexier, less sad, less alone, less empty, less poor, less boring and average or ugly or whatever you associate with owning useless crap.
Let it go- Holding on to certain items, certain behaviours, names in your phone, people in your friend group, followers on your socials can be associated to internalized and even subconscious limiting beliefs about yourself. About your identity and where you stand (or would like to stand) in society. What you want to prove to people who could honestly care less or are caught up in their own facade.
Make room for more- More space, more enjoyment of your space, more time to do other things other then clean, look for things and trip over random stuff. Make a list of why you want to declutter. What you would hope to get out of this. Who's life would this improve if I did this? Do you need more counter space, a tidier place to have people over or just want to give it a go. Write it down!
Visualize it- Visualize the new space, the new mentality and the new energies. What do you want to feel after you clean? Set your intention for your space.What do you want to make of it? Do you want candles, plants on the ceiling, a yoga corner? See it, smell it and get to work!
No need to replace- When you go to donate clothes, you don't have to replace what you gave away. You don't have to fill up that empty space in your closet, drawer or what have you. Leave it empty. See how it feels to not have the things you thought you needed. Do you feel relieved, anxious, lonely, happier? Avoid shopping as much and from unethical fast fashion brands (opt out for your local thrift shop). See what it's like to go without and trust me, you will survive.
Energies- Whether you believe that items possess positive or negative energies, we can't deny that there's a huge difference when it comes to keeping an exes sweater and a current partner's sweater? What we surround ourselves with, we attract more of in our lives. If we are surrounded by negative people, images and thoughts, that's what we'll reap. But if we surround ourselves with pretty plants and paintings and people with pretty souls, then we'll feel a whole lot better then we would've in Exhibit A. Ask yourself if an item or a person or a thought brings up pleasant memories and feelings or unpleasant memories and feelings? Go even further by identifying the emotion, (sadness, anger, insecurity) and meditate on what arises. Be fully present with what arises.
Do I give cleaning a deeper meaning then most? Yes, probably. But I'm a cancer so I'm basically 99% highly sensitive. Highly sensitive to things being messy, out of order or unnecessary all together. Do I have a messy room Monday through Friday? Of course I do, but it's full of stuff that I love. Stuff I know I own and know exactly where they belong. Same thing goes for my emails, my texts, my contacts, my following, my time, my friends, my dates, my priorities, my pastimes etc. I intentionally pursue these because I want to. Because I thought it out and decided, that this is something I definitely can't live without.