"Less is more". People say this all the time. You probably say it all the time. We typically use this phrase in terms of fashion. You know, when your friend clunks on a chunky necklace in addition to those huge dangly earrings? (Less is DEFINITELY more, Martha. Please take that necklace off.) But this saying applies to more than just fashion. It's especially true when we think about stuff. What do I mean by "stuff"? (No, not what Kylie Jenner referred to as "stuff in her New Years resolution to "realize more stuff") What I mean by stuff is things that you own.
This is actually a slight paradox. The less you own, the happier you actually are, given that your basic necessities are met. Owning too much leads to clutter, which often leads to feelings of stress and being overwhelm. Now you know why you feel so stressed out when you look at your overflowing closet with "nothing to wear". You probably own way too much! You'd probably have a much easier time choosing an outfit if there was less stuff in your closet. The key is to declutter. Get rid of stuff you don't need. There is actually science behind this if you're interested in looking it up. Otherwise, just take my word for it: Less stuff = less stress = more happiness.
So how do we do this? If you're serious about decluttering, keep reading for steps on decluttering your life and living a minimalistic lifestyle.
1. DO NOT BUY IT
The first step is to reduce unnecessary purchases! I'm not telling you to stop buying food or clothing. You obviously have to feed and dress yourself. What I'm saying is to really evaluate your purchases and consider how much you REALLY NEED that bag of chips or that pair of black skinny jeans you already have 2 pairs of in your closet. Things to think about include: how much do you really need it? Can you live without it? Will you still love it 10 years from now? How many uses can you get out of it? Don't buy it if you don't REALLY need it or love it. One rule of thumb I always follow is: always walk away. If you're still thinking about it a day later, go get it. If you're not, then you really don't need/love it.
Key things to stay away from: FADS.These are short term trends, like off the shoulder shirts, chokers, you can probably identify more examples. Fads are the absolute worst when it comes to useless stuff you will later end up hating and not wearing. I can't even count how many shirts I bought because it was "trendy" and the next day it was "so last season" and I'm left with this ugly shirt I didn't even like in the first place.
2, Ok. You bought it. Now it's just in the way.
So you bought something you didn't actually need. Been there, done that. Don't worry, no one's judging, we all make poor choices. If the item is not being used and just taking up space, get rid of it. Get rid of it strategically, of course. Give it away, sell it, donate it, whatever you want. Consider donation boxes throughout most major cities, or clothing charities and projects like the Salvation Army or New Circles. If none of that is possible, see if it can be recycled or re-used. There are so many great DIYs you can do with old clothes (blog post on this to come ;))Worse comes to worst, trash it :( but this is ill advised so just try not to buy it in the first place.
3. Buy less
Note down what you're missing and only buy what's on the list. Every time I wander into a store without a game plan, I over purchase. I buy random stuff I genuinely don't need and bought out of boredom and stupidity. This is what advertisers want you to do! They make products that make you feel like you need to own. DO NOT FALL FOR IT! RESIST! IT’S A SCAM! Stick to your list! You will save soo much time, energy, and money, I PROMISE.
4. Change your mindset
Do not focus on materialistic things. Find a hobby. Spend time with your friends and family. There are so many other valuable things in life than goods, such as experiences, happiness, love, health, knoweldge. Go do something, go learn something, go love something, go to the gym. All in all, refrain from defining success by how much tangible goods you own. You'll never have enough and you'll never feel satisfied. We have unlimited wants, after all.
Finally, I want to leave you with a quote I love:
"Collect moments, not stuff".