How Decluttering Can Clean Out More Than Your Possessions

Material reduction for mental and spiritual gain

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Clutter is something that gets on my nerves. You could say I am somewhat of a neat freak. A couple of years ago, I realized I accumulated so much stuff I rarely used. My closet was full of clothes but I tended to wear the few items I really loved. After reading Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” I decided it was time for a purge. I was recently divorced, sold my house, moved into an apartment and had a storage unit full of items I would probably never use again. It was a liberating experience and something I believe everyone should do from time to time.

While doing this, Marie Kondo suggests to group items in similar categories as opposed to rooms. She also recommends physically touching each item and asking yourself whether it brings you joy. After getting rid of a majority of your items, it makes it future purges much easier. It also made me less stressed and free. I could easily locate everything I needed and I wasn’t worried about wearing something because it was in my closet. If you’re looking for a change in your life try starting by cleaning out your house. Here are a few of the things I learned from the process.

“Love people, use things. The opposite never works.” The Minimalist

1. When we let go of items from the past it will free us for the future.

During this experience, I realized that most of the items I was holding on to already served their purpose in my life and it was time to let them go. It is very hard to move forward in life while clinging to the past. Getting rid of sentimental items can be especially hard. Going through old cards, photos, and keepsakes allows you to close chapters of your life that ended but you are still clinging to. It frees up mental energy for future endeavors and relationships. One of the things you will realize during the process is that every item you throw away or give to charity already served its purpose. They either gave you joy or taught you a lesson. Understanding this frees your mind for future growth and experiences.

“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.” Marie Kondō

2. It allows you to be grateful for what you already have.

There is nothing wrong with material possessions and I still have plenty of toys but when they become a priority is when life gets off track. For me, getting rid of unused material possessions helped free my mind to focus on what really matters in my life, grow as a person, improve my relationships, and help others along the way. If you surround yourself with items you love, you realize you don’t always need the hot new gadget or clothes. I learned that I would prefer fewer high-quality items instead of a lot of junk.

“In the scope of a happy life, a messy desk or an overstuffed coat closet is a trivial thing, yet I find – and I hear from other people that they agree – that getting rid of clutter gives a disproportionate boost to happiness.” Gretchen Rubin

3. It will help reveal your passions

Doing this purge of items led me on the path to where I am right now. I kept all of my old trading journals and notebooks from my years in the financial markets. As I began to go through them, I realized how much smaller they got each year. I wasn’t putting in near the work I had over the years and this was because I lost all desire. I realized that all of the books I read on investments and trading served their purpose and needed to go on to someone else to use. I also realized how much joy I found in areas I was currently studying; fitness, movement, breath work, and mindfulness. At that moment I knew I needed to make a change and started my journey to figure out how to take the leap. It took me over a year to quit my job after completing this process and I’m glad I did.

To Sum It Up

As we move into spring, it is time for rebirth and renewal. If you are having trouble moving forward in your life or feel stuck, try doing a major spring-cleaning this year. While you may believe that it will allow space in your home for new items or to clear out clutter, you begin to realize that it allows your mind the space it needs to move forward in your life. You will become more grateful for what you already have and it will help reveal your passions.

Call To Action

If you enjoyed this post, signup for my free weekly newsletter The Long Game. The Long Game is a newsletter for people that want to grow and challenge themselves. It is about the drive to better ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually while having the curiosity to enjoy the journey. If you are looking for more individualized help, please contact me. As an XPT certified coach I can help you achieve a well-rounded lifestyle involving breath work, movement, and recovery.

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