During the last two months of 2016, my personal life had taken a pretty steep dive. I have always coped with massive life changes by doing two things — changing my hair and changing my space. I changed my hair, and for the first time in my adult life, I choose a pretty mute color and style, as compared to a typical hair appointment for me. Looking back now, I think that was because of the way I was so drastically and quickly cleared out my physical space.
I threw out easily 10 fully stuffed trash bags, countless boxes and piles of things from my bedroom and closet. I removed nearly 21 years of life and baggage, the past 10 years of which were fueled by unimaginable heartache since my father passed when I was 12. And now, the past two years of life, hope, doubt, second chances and dreams I had with someone came crashing down around me. My health was already in a rough state before this.
And somehow, within a month’s time, I finally let go of so much hurt and so much pain. I can’t put into words all of the things that left me when I had finished taking out my last bag and my mom completely redid my bedroom. I bought things like a coat rack, a rolling hamper, a new computer chair. I finished my home office. I asked for a vacuum cleaner for Christmas! (This is my least favorite and near-impossible chore for me.) I felt so free. I felt like I had a clean slate, a fresh start. I had some control in my life again, and I could take full control of this situation.
Take control, I did. I bought things. Yes, I shopped till I dropped. I took advantage of every good deal I could find. But this time, I’m spending money on things like my new hobby — planning. I’m spending money on things that I absolutely need, things that bring me joy, things that have value, and things that will last. Currently, I’m all about buying things I’ve always wanted. They are statement pieces for me. It’s been a blast!
You can do it, too. I encourage you to start today. Start with where you are. Think about what you need. If something brings value to your life, absolutely do not get rid of it. But if you’re keeping things for the sake of keeping things. I encourage you to think about clearing up some of that space in your life. You will feel so much better and your space will look better, too. Purging yourself of these things makes it possible for you to fill yourself and your space with new hobbies and new passions.
If you feel like removing physical things is too much for you right now, for one reason or another, I also did this on my social media and with my cell phone. I deleted apps, contacts, messages, emails, and anything unfollowed, didn’t bring me joy, make an effort for me, or put some value into my life. Turn off notifications that you don’t need or that stress you out.
Don’t be afraid to create new memories.
You can listen to me talk more about my journey into minimalism and mindfulness here: