There has been a big focus on tidying up and decluttering in the last few years and with that can come some misconceptions. Read on to have those misconceptions moved out!
- It is a focus on what you’re keeping. It is not a focus on all that you’re getting rid of.
Think of this like looking at your music library and you want to make a kickass playlist of head bumping, foot tapping melodies. Just like a playlist you don’t focus on the songs you’re leaving behind, but by focusing on how nice it will be to listen to all your favs without Celine Dion bursting in to remind you your heart will go on. Decluttering is a focus on keeping those items you want to cherish, not a determination to downsize.
- It is removing belongings from your life. It is not spring cleaning
Marie Kondo, the magic master herself, says “Tidying is the act of confronting yourself – cleaning is the act of confronting dirt.” As you prepare to conquer your stuff, don’t be surprised if you confront your past, present and future self while you’re doing it!
- It is getting curious about who you are. It is not judging who you were or who you have not yet become
Tidying up is the act of going through your belongings and discovering what you love and cherish right now. Not who you were 17 months ago, not who you hope to be next September, who are you, and what do you love, right here, right now.
Often decluttering can bring up emotions of guilt, shame, judgement and fear. Instead, just like making the playlist, it doesn’t matter if you used to be obsessed with Celine and now no longer care for her ballads. Allow your past self to stand for itself, and embrace who you are, and what you enjoy today.
- It is putting your priorities and your past in order. It is not about who can have the least amount of items at the end
Tidying up is not about the number of bags that get donated, or having fewer hangers left hanging in your closet. Decluttering is all about surrounding yourself with things that reflect who you are right now, and that you enjoy in your present circumstances. Changing your mindset from “what do I want to get rid of” to “what do I love and reflect who I am” is integral to this process.
- It is a time to reflect and process your belongings as a reflection of your choices. It is not an excuse to keep everything
Remember what made you want to start this process. Something about the way you are currently living and the belongings you are surrounded with is bothering you. Otherwise you would not be interested in decluttering, you would be satisfied. Get curious about how your belongings are not serving you. Remind yourself of this often throughout this process
- It is about pursuing a home that reflects you. It is not about copying and pasting someone else’s lifestyle
Think about spaces you enjoy being. It could be a park, a campground, your favourite restaurant or coffee shop, a hotel lobby. Reflect on what you enjoy about those spaces. Is it natural light, simplicity, vibrant colours, relaxing environment, good smells, or greenery? What about those elements is missing in your current home? How can you make your current home more like your favourite space?
- It is about figuring out how you’d like to live in your home. It is not about downsizing
There’s no need to force yourself to let go of items! If you want to keep your entire encyclopedia collection, go for it! There is no minimum or maximum requirement. The only goal is to cherish the items you choose to keep.
- It is about honouring and being grateful for your belongings. It is not about carelessly discarding mountains of things
As you discover items that no longer serve you, instead of tossing them into the pile, you reflect on how much this item served you in your time together. Think about when it first came into your life, how much it meant to you, the lessons it taught you, and wish it well as you donate it to make someone else happy. This is a crucial part of this process,
- It is about making space for what you love. It is not about organizing
Clutter obscures what’s most important. Discarding that which doesn’t support your ideal lifestyle creates space for treasured possessions to be used more often and enjoyed. As a bonus, it leaves room for future joy-sparking additions.
10. It is a clarifying process, it is not exhausting and overwhelming
Yes, looking at a pile of your clothes can seem overwhelming, but the new found space, the clarity of your values, and the appreciation for your belongings is a worthy goal to push on!