7 simple ways to embrace minimalism and de-clutter your life

This week my entire life is in the process of being whittled down into 2 suitcases that I will be living out of for the next 4-5 months while I travel and and land in my new home city, San Francisco - and uh yes, I am beyond EXCITED!

I’ll admit I’ve been wondering how, or if this was going to be possible, but I know that of course it is and I’m now really looking forward to the freedom of not being weighed down by anything I no longer need. 

I’m using this as an opportunity to strip back and completely overhaul everything I own.

And as I’ve been going through the process of de-cluttering my life and ridding everything I own, right down to the bare essentials, it got me thinking about how easy it is to find yourself living in amongst clutter that we blindingly assume as our state of ‘normal’. 

My intention going into 2016 is to strip back the layers, edit and simplify every area my life.

Have you been feeling a similar nudge?

As the year draws to a close now is the perfect time to reflect on what is no longer serving you and create space for opportunities + ideas + to gain a renewed sense of energy.

During this month, I will be sharing ideas on how you can simplify + detox your life to give yourself the best possible start in 2016.

To kick things off, I have 7 simple ways you can de-clutter your life, starting today.

De-clutter your home.

Dedicate a weekend to cleaning out your apartment or home and don’t be afraid to edit it ruthlessly, getting rid of everything you no longer use. 

Empty out your living space, workspace + bedroom with everything non-essential - be ruthless in this process - if you don’t love it and it’s not good for your soul, lose it.

My rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it or looked at it for a year then it’s probably something you can live without.

Then go about organising your belongings in a way that feels mentally refreshing. I’m a big fan of IKEA storage boxes (like these) to organise odds and ends. 

  • Toss newspapers + magazines more than 2 months old. 
  • Donate any clothing or shoes to charity that no longer makes you feel good. 
  • Create a storage system for any important documents; or better yet digitise everything so you no longer need to keep the paper version.
  • Gather up any items not belonging to you and return them to their owner.
  • Do an audit of any books or old CD’s you’ve been hanging on to and either toss or donate them to charity.

Clutter-free feels good. You will feel calmer, confident and have a renewed sense of energy to invest in things that genuinely light up your soul.

Un-plug.

Given our constant state of connectedness and a social media economy that’s always on and never sleeps, it’s enough to leave you feeling stressed out, exhausted and overwhelmed.

I’ve been forced to create my own personal boundaries for how I interact online as I’ve felt the gentle nudge this year that it was not doing anything positive for my mental health.

Here’s my challenge for you: take a full week off social media - and instead channel your energy into writing in your journal; getting outside + connecting with people in person.

If that feels like too much of a stretch, take baby steps by setting a rule that you don’t check your phone before 10am; turn off all notifications + leave your phone in aeroplane mode from 9pm - trust me this is incredibly liberating!

Sometimes it can take disconnecting to realize how capable you are of existing completely without it - not to mention doing wonders for your productivity and creativity.

set boundaries.

We teach people how we want to be treated and there comes a time when its necessary for your own sanity and out of respect for yourself, that you need to create firm boundaries of what you will and won’t accept.

Be clear on your own personal values and don’t allow other people’s toxicity drown out your joy. Say no when you mean it and let go of unhealthy relationships.

de-clutter your digital space.

Just as your physical space gathers up dust and things you no longer need, so too does your digital space.

  • Go through each of your digital homes and trash any old files or images you no longer need.
  • Clean up your desktop + hard drive + use Dropbox or cloud based server to store your documents so you’re not using your hard drive.
  • Organise your documents into a folder system where you categorise based on your requirements - separate into Life/Personal and Business etc so you have two distinctly different folder structures for each.
  • Rinse + repeat for your mobile phone, iPad or tablet as well as your computer.
  • Aim to get to zero inbox. Be ruthless in deleting emails that you no longer need. The only items in your inbox should only be what you need to action.
  • Move any emails you need to hang on to into folders so you can locate them easily when you need to.
  • Unsubscribe from any newsletter lists that are clogging up your inbox and not adding any value.

Let go of your past.

You are not what happened to you: you are who you choose to be. 

Free yourself from the burden your past is weighing on you and let go of the stories and limiting beliefs that have been holding you back.

It's easy to assume the identity of the stories we create about ourselves - but I urge you to question your story and take back your power. 

Give yourself permission to create a new story aligned with the vision of your future.

De-tox your mind.

Here’s the truth: most of the things you are worrying about will probably never happen. Focus only on what you can control - anything you can’t change, let go and free yourself - it is only holding you back and stopping you from enjoying the present.

Be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Do you support yourself with love and kindness? Make the commitment from now on to become your own best friend and the fearless cheerleader of your life

Remember: you are responsible for the energy you bring - show up with joy + watch how it transforms your world.

Forgive & let go.

Holding on to anger, frustration or feelings of resentment are not serving you - they are only weighing you down.

Give yourself the opportunity and free yourself from the burden of people who have hurt you or let you down.

Forget about right or wrong - at the end of the day what’s done is done and holding on to the past and letting it dictate your future is stopping you from becoming the person you are meant to be.

Open yourself up to the freedom and space to move on and take back your life.

I'd love to hear what thoughts on embracing minimalism - what areas are you looking to simplify in 2016?

Love,
Rachel x