To me there is no magic art to decluttering. It is mentally exhausting, mind-blowing work. It is putting your hands on everything you own, or at least everything you own in one closet.
It has taken me years to figure out how to declutter and why it’s so hard. My latest big move has kicked me in the pants and pushed my clean-out skills into high gear. But, for years, I couldn’t (and didn’t) figure out where to begin.
Here are the mistakes I was making that kept me from finding my path to non-attachment and from getting rid of what I don’t need.
1. Feeling Attachment to Other People’s Attachments
I tend to over-empathize and see too much in the object in front of me. That means that when my mother brings me something new, I tend to see beyond what it is.
An old teacup of my grandma’s becomes a container for all the emotions related to her. This makes you feel heavy in spirit and clouds your journey. Acknowledging the object and what it stands for and then putting it in its proper place and proportion will help you let go.
2. Forgetting That Things are Things
When my husband’s mother died, I realized that her things were just that — things. She was gone; her things weren’t going to bring her back.
Also, I had for so long thought I would dishonor the gift giver by getting rid of an unwanted gift. As a result, my basement was always stacked with unused junk.
3. Losing that Internal Connection
I didn’t think about my own likes and dislikes and how my life flows. I was getting bogged down in what I thought other people told me I should use or need, and lost what I really used and needed. This line of thinking is dangerous and can seep well beyond the closet.
Things are tools, and a few sometimes have some sentimental meaning. In the end though, we separate from all of it and connect with something bigger.
It’s no secret that decluttering the mind and the closet often goes hand-in-hand. Likewise, movement can cleanse the body and creates a clarity that brings it all together like a giant housecleaning of the soul.