I used to be trapped in a career and lifestyle that buried me in anxiety and physical stuff.
After 2 years, I knew that path wasn’t my forever lifestyle and I wanted to free myself of all the stuff weighing me down.
While I couldn’t just quit my job, I COULD start ridding myself of all the things that I owned, because they were owning me.
I went from a house completely furnished and cluttered with jam packed closets, to just me and my suitcase and my tiny car, traveling the world. Now I realize not everyone is looking to get rid of ALL of their belongings, but we all know how it feels to look around us and feel a weight on our chest because there are so many THINGS we are responsible for. I’m here to share how I have done it so far.
Here’s my 5 Steps to Start Lifting the Weight Off Your Life:
1. Start with clearing your counters.
Imagine the refreshing, peaceful feeling when you look around you and the counters in your house are EMPTY. I don’t mean to toss the toaster in the trash. I mean to look for all that extra “stuff” that has become invisible. Papers, cords, toys, dishes, loose change, shirts, boxes of food, all that stuff that just happens to be sitting out. Put the food in the pantry, put the cords and devices in a drawer or office, put the toys in the kids room, load the dishwasher, and use a box if needed to hold the rest of the stuff, even if just for a couple hours. Now……Sit in that room and look around at how empty it is. Take a deep breath (you still have all the stuff it is just put away for now). Enjoy the emptiness and feeling of declutter. Does it feel good? Let’s go to step 2.
2. Get an empty box for every room and just set it by the door.
Or just put one empty box by the front door to the house. Look for things throughout the afternoon that have no use to you or your family and put it in the box. Find SOMETHING. We all have outdated extra things laying around. Don’t worry about whether it goes in the trash, for sale, or given to a friend. Just put it in the box and know that it’s now “Removed.” Later on, you can deal with where that item ends up. As you start to fill that box, and other boxes, notice how you feel as you have one less item to be responsible for.
Need help on this step? Download my Resource Guide for Getting Rid of Clutter containing the BEST book to help you say goodbye to all those things you are holding onto.
3. Get the free app CamScanner for your phone. This simple photo taking app turns your documents into scanned PDF’s or whatever you want to do with them. Simply snap and share with your own email address, camera roll, etc. Using this app, you can start to convert notebooks, journals, lists, and other documents that are cluttering up your desk or office space into online documents. You no longer need a printer or scanner or massive filing cabinet with the invention of smart phones 🙂 As a matter of fact, my documents are now downsized to one small carrying file. I use free sites like Google Drive to store and organize all my documents in the cloud.
4. Begin donating.
Go through the boxes of stuff you have collected to get rid of, and start taking one bag or one box to the local thrift store. I just took mine slowly, adding more bags to the corner of my front room as they were ready for drop off, and taking a small bag or box or small trunkload of belongings. You don’t have to be massive about it, just throw some clothing items into a bag and drop off for donation while you are running other errands. I promise it feels better to take one small bag every month or so, better than watching the donation corner grow into a massive pile. Often times I didn’t even speak to a store clerk, I simply drove to the gate/drop off zone, set my bag of unwanted items next to the door, and left.
5. Selling items, and a word of caution.
Here is the truth = Nobody wants your stuff. I mean this, no matter how neat or pretty or valuable you think it is, nobody wants it. They all have too much stuff of their own and are dealing with the same overcrowding and clutter in their own homes. Did I sell some things? Yes. I sold electronics and a few valuables on Ebay. I sold some jewelry at the pawn shop. And I sold some things in garage sales. It’s a LOT of work. I mean literally hours of work to sell, negotiate, and arrange the swap of your items for money. Proceed with caution. Many of the things I sold online didn’t sell the first time I posted them, and some things never sold. The jewelry I sold at the pawn shop gave me a laughable amount of cash, but it was better than nothing in my quest for minimalism. And possibly the most important thing to know about garage sales: You will put forth a STRENUOUS amount of physical, emotional, and time spent gathering, advertising, organizing, setting up, and taking down a garage sale. And after ALL that work, you will be lucky if you sell half of the items for sale. Half. Think about it, after all the work of pricing and hosting a weekend garage sale, you will still have a full truckload of furniture and items that did not sell. Be ready to take it ALL to the thrift store and give it away. I hosted 4 garage sales over about 2 years, each time cutting my own amount of belongings down or in half. I would make 70-150 dollars if I was lucky. I am glad I did it. And I am glad I never have to do it again. I am not saying “don’t sell things” I am simply saying be prepared for nobody to want them at least half of the time.
Getting rid of the extra stuff is freeing. You will feel great when you have extra space, less junk, and nothing holding you back from being able to change the rest of your life as soon as you are ready. I take minimalism and apply it to every aspect of my life: my food consumption, my monthly bills, my wardrobe, it can even be applied to relationships in some aspects. Once you start the process, you may get addicted to the dream of yourself and your family owning the basic necessities and being more free to enjoy each other, to enjoy life, and to focus on things that matter. Minimalism starts slow and builds over time. I recommend following these steps, learning more about the weightless lifestyle, and don’t forget to follow me on social media as I travel the world with my tiny car and suitcase.
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