This week for something a bit different. I got the chance a while back to speak to the lovely Cassidy Avalo on her ultimate tips on how to simplify your life. Cassidy is the founder of @Life_Simplified the gorgeous Instagram page known for its inspiring simplicity in all areas; from a capsule wardrobe to green beauty and ideas for a more simple way of living.
Before you can start clearing mental and physical clutter, you first have to assess what is truly important to you. Once you’ve listed your top priorities, then you can recognize what the excess is. The whole point of simplifying is to get rid of what you don’t need to you can make room for what brings you joy.
2. Start Small
Physical and mental clutter are definitely linked! When you clear your space, you are in a sense also clearing your mind as well. However, it can definitely be overwhelming to think about where you are now and where you want to be. For that reason alone, some people never start the process at all! So it is important to remind yourself it is a PROCESS. There is no time limit or number of items you need to adhere to.
Figure out what is just right for you. You didn’t accumulate all your “stuff” in one weekend, so it’s unlikely it is going to take one weekend to go through and get rid of it all. If you don’t know where to start, just pick an area or category and go from there! For me, I started with my clothes. For others they start with the bathroom or kitchen. I recommend starting small, and using those mini triumphs to motivate you to keep going. It might be smart to start with the less sentimental things first and work from there.
Really think about what you want your space and life to look like. What does it feel like? How do you want to feel in it? What’s missing from that space/life that is taking up room currently? Visualizing what we want the end result to look like can help you to get rid of what doesn’t fit in that mental picture. You CAN have your ideal space and life.
I like to collect inspiration on Pinterest to keep me motivated and on track in the decluttering process. When you feel stuck, go back to that mental picture and seek inspiration. [Tip: We tend to be motivated by the things we view often. Why not search for and follow bloggers, YouTubers or influencers that practice minimalism or intentional living? Chances are, you’ll gleam a lot from them!]
4. Do I Love or Need It?
One question that I keep in the back of my mind when going through my belongings is, “do I find this to be useful or believe it to be beautiful?” In other words, “is this a tool or a treasure?” I like asking myself this because it reveals what contributes true value in our lives. We shouldn’t feel the need to waste space on things we don’t even like or use. Be honest with yourself, and if it doesn’t fit in either of those categories, you have full permission to say good-bye and let it go.
5. Purchase With Intention
In order to heal the wound, you have to first stop the bleeding. This means…stop spending frivolously! By giving into sales and impulse shopping, we bring more clutter into our home. This is a very important part of simplifying. You can get rid of things all you want, but if you’re still continuing to bring more into your home it just becomes a vicious cycle.
This takes re-thinking the way we view shopping. Instead of being a “Compulsive Consumer” become a “Conscious Consumer”. Invest in sturdy items that will last a long time.
Choose quality over quantity. Look for things made from sustainable materials like metal, wood or glass instead of plastics. When shopping, go with a list of the things you need and ONLY stick to that list. Instead of being restrictive, I feel this method really gives you more power as a consumer. When practicing this way of shopping, you’ll be able to see past the tempting sales and have money left over for what you really love or want.
6. Celebrate The Little Things
We’ve already established that simplifying our life is a process and takes time. But remember all that decluttering and cleansing is to help you achieve the life you really want.
In reality, life is best spent with the people we love, doing things that bring us joy and celebrating the little moments in each day. When we lessen what we need, we become truly rich. When you’re not lost in the shuffle of life and you have time to slow down, you can notice and appreciate all the little things that make a life great.
I hope I was able to provide some simple ways to minimize the clutter in your life! I believe anyone is capable of doing this and the process is so worth it to have a life that you’re proud of and that makes you happy. Feel free to follow along with me on Instagram @life_simplified to learn more tips for simplifying your life!