Help

After a brief, but lovely, conversation with a commenter on my last post I have decided to share the first steps in my process of ridding myself from unwanted/unused things. 




Step One: Reality/Timing/Forgiveness



Part A: Coming to terms with reality. 

Quite often whenever I read about minimalism it’s like people just had a break through. That “A-Ha!” moment and all of their problems were solved. For me, that wasn’t the case. It was a steady progress of learning about my belongings, different approaches to organization, and a deep assessment of my values. 

I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy. Trust me — I know that this is difficult. Nobody said that it would be easy. Facing yourself and your choices can truly be eye opening, but at the same time it can take a toll on your emotions. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve had panic attacks sitting in a pile of stuff that I thought I needed
Take as much time as you want. This leads me to my next point. 

Part B: Timing is everything and nothing. 

I think that this process might be the most difficult one on this list. 

Think about how many years you’ve had your stuff . Think about the time you’ve spent collecting, organizing, washing, cleaning, sorting, etc. all of that stuff. Now think about how much time it will take to inspect those items, clean them, sort them into piles, and rid yourself of your possessions. I crafted a plan. I constantly reminded myself to set aside time to go through things. 

Part C: Be kind to yourself. 

I know this may seem silly, but I struggle with this daily. Sometimes I beat myself up over the amounts of wasted money, time, effort, space, peace of mind, etc., but I have to remind myself of the fact that I’m not perfect and I must forgive myself and treat myself with kindness. I think that half the battle is accepting yourself completely. 

Step Two: Logistics & Strategies  

 

Part A: Plan, Plan, Plan! 

I’m blessed to work and be trained in logistics and organizational theories, but I doubt that the majority of people have my mastery. Which means that you’re going to have to have a plan. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it seems! You need a starting point, goals, deadlines, and long-term finished product results. 

Whether you start in the kitchen, with clothing or shoes, bathroom items, or by sorting linens, it’ll be a starting point! Getting started might be a bit difficult, but once you begin to wade through the chaos it will begin to make sense in your mind and become easier to part with items you never expected to be able to part with. I know it sounds absolutely insane, but I promise it works! 

I used to be the kind of person that held on to everything. Whenever my mother passed away I kept all of her shoes and clothes. I thought they could still be used, and while they were great quality and well taken care of, I found myself staring at them with sadness and pain. They were a constant reminder of not having her. What I really wanted was to her in the beautiful dress or brush against the floor in those classic boots. 

She was elegant and graceful, but I was more of a bumbling hoarder. I had to start there. 

Part B: DO IT 

GET OFF OF YOUR BUTT AND DO IT. Don’t procrastinate. Life is short, we only get one chance. Live your life on purpose. Do the things that you promised yourself you would do, whether it’s sorting cans to donate, reupholstering that chair, or admitting that you’ll never fit into those “skinny jeans”. Just because you have those jeans doesn’t mean you’re that person. You are who you are, embrace the situation and charge onward to your well thought out living situation. 

Step Three: Congratulations 

 

This is an endless cycle, a lifestyle choice. If you’re serious about it then you’ll commit to it! If you’ve committed, CONGRATULATIONS! 

What worked for me was discussing it. Tell people about your progress and discussing future goals. At one point, people kept coming up to me asking what was different. Well, I was. I was a better version of myself because I no longer felt like I was drowning. I felt like I was floating. 

One more thought, don’t buy bins, file folders, cubbies, separators, containers, or anything else until you have assessed the belongings you are keeping and know that you’ll need those things. Storage containers are usually never the problem, you are. So look the mirror, look at yourself, and ask if this person looking back at you is the person you want to be. 

As always, what brings you The Blys? 

Love, 
AC

Help

6 thoughts on “Help

  1. Tarrynn D says:

    Thank you so much for this post, Carol! I’m just beginning my minimalist journey and need all the help I can get. I used to pride myself on being able to go weeks without repeating an outfit, but I’m finding in this transitional period of my life that having so much “stuff” is weighing me down. Over the past few months, I have been carting bins, boxes, and bags of things I don’t use down to my local Goodwill and I feel good about the progress I’ve made thus far. However, I still feel like I’m drowning in things. After reading your article I realize I need to create a plan so I can accomplish my goals in a timely fashion. I’m looking forward to reading more of your insights on this process and how it helps bring order to your life.

    Like

    1. Tarrynn,

      It means the world to me that you took time out of your day to read my post!

      You are truly a spectacular human being and you have made a major impact on my life. I’m blessed to be able to share a bit of perspective with you.

      I was the same way in the past! I hardly ever repeated an outfit and was extremely proud of that. These days people never notice hat I’m wearing the same thing I did last week. In fact, I get more compliments now on my fashion choices.

      During my initial purging I took six full car loads to donation locations! I still take about a box of items per week to donate and always have a donation pile/stack/box in my home. I feel that the most difficult items to donate are the not the bulky items in the beginning (you usually don’t want those anyway) it’s the items that linger over time and get discarded last. That 30th trip to the donation center, that’s when it begins to set in. That’s when the guilt happens. Forgiveness is key. Seriously, be kind to yourself.

      The Minimalists have some awesome ideas that I use frequently! I’ll list the ones I use the most below.

      • 20/20 Rule – <20 minutes <$20 to purchase this item I rarely use I can most likely get rid of it.
      • Packing Party – Pack everything away in boxes, label, and see what you need over 3 months. Whatever is there after the 3 month period go over and see if you truly need these things.
      • Value : Keep the things that add value to your life.
      • Just In Case : Getting rid of "Just In Case" items.

      As always, I'm here for you. Just a comment, DM, text, email, @, letter, or phone call away.

      Love,
      AC

      Like

  2. Brilliant! This well-written post encourages the reader to reassess their possessions.
    Most of us have stuff which we have no need of, and we don’t always notice how they weigh our lives down. Getting rid of the surplus is liberating.
    One of the things I think about when I’m having trouble letting go of something, is how the money raised from selling it in a charity shop may benefit people in need. It may go towards providing clean water for drinking, or educating a child, or helping a family to start a small business selling goats milk. I live in the UK, and we have masses of charity shops, each one raising money for their particular charity. I volunteer in an Oxfam shop, and that’s where most of my surplus goes.
    I couldn’t resist giving my beloved Oxfam a plug. 🙂
    Could I reblog this in a couple of days, please…

    Like

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it and gave me the courage to post it. Of course you can repost it, I just ask that you credit.

      In the US there are lots of options too! I’m so glad to hear that Oxfam provides a great deal of help to those in need.

      Love,
      AC

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always credit – it’s automatic when you reblog, anyway.
        Reblogs never get the same amount of traffic as original posts, but it should give you a little well-deserved publicity. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Making it write and commented:
    And now for something completely different (pardon the Monty Python Cliche)… I thought I’d give the rant about my adolescent angst a rest for today, and post something practical, found on my travels across the blogosphere.

    Ana Carolina is a new blogger who has a desire to inspire us to embrace minimalism and chuck out our junk.

    Bravo, Ana Carolina, for giving us the Blys.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s