Clothing clutter is a silent thief.
It steals your time, when you have to root through piles of clothes to find something when you're late for work. It steals your money, when you buy a shirt that you don't need just because it's on sale.
It steals space from your life that could be put to such better use.
When your days are filled with energy being spent on trying to find clothes or deciding what to wear when you don't even like any of your clothes, it's easy to get tired. Being tired is a strain on your health and ultimately your happiness. To choose to own less and give yourself precious time and valuable space in your life, in my opinion, you've beaten the system.
The system tries to convince you that buying more clothes will make you happier. That having more choices is a desirable thing. I call BS. Simplify your life and limit the amount of brain power you need to expend on even the smallest choices and activities. This is a powerful choice, and one that will benefit you every day by lowering stress and wasted time.
So who is this message for? Who could benefit wildly from this?
I'm talking to you, the reader who has an endless supply of clothing stuffed into every dresser, closet and corner of your bedroom.
I'm talking to you, who tries on four different mismatched trendy outfits before settling on the same trusty blue t shirt and cute black jeans you always seem to end up wearing.
For anyone who simply owns more clothes than they need.
I've been there, I've done that, and I've been you... but no more.
What's the solution?
Own. Less. Clothes.
I haven't invented this ingenious idea, but I do highly recommend it from personal experience.
There are lots of blogs out there with extremely detailed and supportive ideas to help you lighten your clothing load. My favourite read for inspiration is the Project 333 Challenge, where you choose 33 items of clothing (and accessories) and mix and match and only wear from that small capsule for 3 months.
While I haven't taken part in this exact challenge, if you need really tight rules and guidelines, it could be just the trick.
If that seems like a bit much for you to start with (and remember, you can have the benefits of minimalism without the label and hardcore rules) below I offer some simple approaches for you to get started.
Check your closet for doubles
Sometimes, we purchase more than one of the same clothing items because we LOVE them and will use both without fail. Other times, there are two identical or almost identical items in your closet that serve no purpose and just take up extra space. Get them outta there!
Face the clothes that you always try to wear, but end up changing out of.
Seriously, why do we do this?? I used to keep clothing items for years that I never wore outside of my apartment, because of some strange attachment to them. There was some sort of hope linked to them, perhaps hope of me looking or being perceived in a certain manner. Who knows. Donate that sh*t, it detracts from your happiness.
Think of your clothing as a whole, as a collection even.
Take every piece of clothing you own (seriously, every single piece) and lay them out on your bed or floor. Does anything jump out at you?
Maybe you have a favourite colour to wear and you never even realized. Maybe there are three items that absolutely don't go with anything else, and those are the items you always try to wear but give up on.
Maybe (like me) you'll come to the realization that you look and feel best in a simple outfit like a cute t shirt and jeans, and you've been buying clothes for years trying to look a certain way instead of wearing what you love and feel confident in.
Wear what makes you happy. No exceptions.
Clothes that don't fit make you miserable. Be bold, donate anything in your wardrobe that doesn't feel and look good and make you want to shimmy your hips from side to side. Life's too short to keep clothes that bring you down.
Remember that trends are designed to keep you chasing.
Did you know that the fashion industry has moved from having four seasons to fifty-two? Fast fashion is designed to keep consumers wanting a new and different look as often as possible to spend more money. Often, the clothes that are bought on a whim because of their low price, come at the cost of another human's safety, living and dignity. Chasing trends allows someone else to define your happiness and confidence, unless you stand against the norm and choose for yourself.
Don't shop as a hobby or because you're bored.
Shopping has become a favourite pastime, something that is done for fun instead of necessity. But once you get used to only shopping when you legit need to purchase an item, you'll wonder how you ever wasted so much time before. Save your money and fill your days with activities that fill your soul, rather than drain your wallet. Remember, you already have too many clothes at home in the first place!
When you clear space in your closet, you make space for more time, money and joy in your life.
What's that one piece of clothing hiding out in your closet you can't seem to part with? Share in the comments below!
Oh, and if this article spoke to you, don't forget to like and share <3
Many people don’t have self-care practices simply because their expectations are too high in the beginning, so they never get started.
Do you ever find that because you’re not a perfect yogi or a serene mountain top meditator that it’s not good enough so you practice even less? This goes for decluttering your home and making space as well. You’re not a perfect minimalist, so why even bother trying?
My yoga practice has suffered for great lengths of time in the past because I didn’t meet myself where I was in that moment. Instead I shamed myself for not going to hour long yoga classes multiple times a week at a studio, so I never got on my mat at all.
Pressure to meditate perfectly can have the same effect, the inner shame and comparison game can have you believe that you’re not doing enough. This can be fueled by the ever present barrage of magazine worthy perfection we are fed on our social media feeds.
We see perfection, we shame ourselves for not being good enough, and we continue without growing on our path.
There’s got to be a better way.
If you’ve read through any of my past posts (such as this one and this one) you know that I believe perfection should never be the end goal.
Giving up on perfectionism means you don’t have to be a hardcore yogi or minimalist to learn from these practices and apply them in your own life. You can be you, learning and growing, slowly incorporating life improving practices into your life, at your own pace, in your own time.
When you let go of perfectionism, you make way for a supportive, healthy and ever-changing practice. This is where real growth can happen.
Below I share some practical ideas for you to get started with three of my favourite healthy practices.
Meditation is such an amazing practice. There’s science to back up how good it is for your brain, it can be a completely free practice to take up (you literally only need yourself to do it). There is a huge amount of different ways to practice, and yet so many people that know of its benefits struggle to maintain a practice. Why?
Meditation can feel hard, and it can bring up lots of self judgement. Here’s where the perfection thing comes into play. You wouldn’t expect to run a marathon the day after you started jogging would you? Same goes for meditation. Let go of how long you think you “should” be able to meditate for.
Try this instead:
If you really want to develop a meditation practice for yourself, you have to start somewhere. So start simply.
Start with one minute a day.
Find somewhere comfortable and quiet, turn the ringer off of your phone and set an alarm for one minute. Close your eyes and breathe. When the alarm goes off, slowly open your eyes, take one more breath and move on with your day with purpose.
Try and do this for a month. At the end of the month, you will have meditated for 30 minutes! That might be longer than some will ever have meditated in their entire lives.
During this month, notice how your mind reacts to its one minute rest a day. Do you feel any different? This will be supremely personal, and you’ll only know if you try it.
At the end of the month, see where your meditation path takes you.
Yoga will look different in your body compared to anyone else’s, but we get scared we aren't "doing the poses good enough". While the poses in your typical yoga class give a framework for the shapes you take on, they are that way to offer healing benefits, not to look an exact certain way.
Often fear of not looking good enough or being flexible enough while practising keeps too many yogi hopefuls from spending time on their mat.
Try this instead:
Practice at home, for 5 minutes a day.
Start with any simple poses you know. Peaceful cat cows, stress releasing forward folds, even powerful warriors.
To turn yoga into a practice, you have to let go of expecting yourself to look a certain way. Be brave and practice at home instead of the studio.
Get to know yourself through your yoga practice. This is magic. This is the power of yoga.
It seems scary to develop a home practice, but you can start with simple, safe movements that will allow you to get in touch with how your body is really feeling every day.
Minimalism (or Simple Intentional Living) can easily become a comparison game. If you think you have to own under a certain amount of possessions or live in an empty, lifeless home to be a minimalist, you’re missing out on the multitude of benefits this way of thinking can bring you.
Try this instead:
Focus on your own life, your own space and look for an item that you truly have no need for. You don’t use it, you don’t plan on using it. It’s just … there. Then donate it.
Do this every day for a week. One item a day for week.
Remove seven unneeded and unused items from your home in a week.
Reflect on the fact that another human may come along, purchase one of these items and get great joy from it. Isn’t that better than it lying around your house?
At the end of the week, how do you feel? Do you notice that you or your home feel any different? Do you want to keep going?
Small, actionable steps in your path to more intentional and healthy living will serve you more than unattainable perfection.
Through our smallest actions, we build confidence, we make progress, and we grow.
Leave a comment below if you give any of these achievable actions a try :)
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