5 In Life

Out with the Old

While Autumn is not here yet, it is definitely in the air. And every time I start to feel the shift of seasons, I am ready for a clear out. Over the past week, I’ve been sorting out my desk, clearing unloved books from my shelves, and ditching the clothes that no longer fit or aren’t worn enough. Truthfully I’m not the cleanest person, but when I get in these moods, I am all in.

There is something liberating about clearing out the old, the things that have served their purpose, or that just didn’t work out for us. We live in a society where we’re told to want more – buy the latest trends, use the newest model of technology. We’re led to believe that having more means your worth is higher. But I beg to differ. I love the minimalist idea, although I don’t think I could ever go that bare bones. It’s tempting at times, but there are certain things that I do love to have. I like my array of face masks, my mountains of books, and the variety of my wardrobe. I thrive with routines, but I equally like to switch things up to keep it interesting.

I was talking to my therapist the other day about my phases with consumerism. I’ll openly admit I love shopping and often I’m the sucker that falls for whatever product an online content creator is suggesting. Just the other day, I watched a Favorites video on YouTube and caught myself opening up a website to buy a lip balm that I didn’t need. I have at least 4 lip balms that I know of between my nightstand and my purse. I really, truly, didn’t need another. Yet I opened and closed that website at least 3 times adding it to my cart and then changing my mind. Ultimately, I came away without it (phew!), but that is not always the case.

On the flip side, lately I have leaned towards the other end of the spectrum. I’m bored hearing people talk about products. I follow a lot of other bloggers on social media and I find myself frustrated as I scroll through my feed. I don’t care about your latest haul, the new shirt you bought, or the lipstick you’re loving. Tell me about your struggles, your dreams, what you’re thinking about at the moment. That’s what I’m interested in. As that’s where I stand right now, I feel this need to purge my own belongings.

I’m simplifying. I’m shedding. I’m making space. We have to let go of some things to make space for new things to move into. And in this case, not literal things, but ideas, emotions, opportunities. I already feel lighter from selling 2 boxes of books, filling a trash bag with clothes, and organizing papers dating back to 2015.

Proof of my paper organizing

 

When my space is light and free, I start to feel that within myself. Now that I can finally see the entire surface of my desk, I have space to breath, to think, and to wait for inspiration to strike. I’m not distracted by the clutter around me. I’m focused. I still have more cleaning to do (I’m not ignoring you, stuff-under-my-bed), but I feel better already. I have the room to channel my concentration on creating, which is perfect because this week I have officially started writing my book. Stay tuned for adventures on that front.

I invite you to start your own clearing process. You don’t have to go full Marie Kondo, but start with your closet, your desk, your bathroom, or where ever you feel like you have the most clutter. Get rid of the stuff that is no longer serving you and reorganize what you have left. How did the cleaning process feel? Was it liberating? Or did it just feel like a chore? If your answer is yes to the latter, I recommend putting on music or a podcast in the background.

After the cleaning itself, notice how you feel in the space over the next few days. Now that you cleaned your bathroom, did an idea come to you in the shower? Was picking an outfit for the day less stressful? Did you tick everything off your to-do list now that you’re desk is neat?

If you don’t have the time for a clear out now, then at least think about what you’re relationship is with consumerism. Is it a definitive relationship or does it shift and change? Where do you stand right now?

This post is specifically about a physical clear out that can help with a mental one, but this is also a great time to organize other aspects of your life. You can evaluate your relationships, your mental health routine, or even do a more literal detox with your diet. Follow your instinct, whatever is calling you or sounds appealing. For me, that was a clear out of possessions, but that doesn’t mean it will be for you.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions for clearing out the old and making space for the new.

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Ashley
    September 8, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Love this post. I keep watching The Minimalists documentary on Netflix, not because I’d ever actually be one but because it inspires me. I hope a lost of things, I’m getting ready to purge. I can’t wait.

    • Reply
      Madison
      September 8, 2017 at 7:44 am

      It is a beautiful documentary and yes, very inspiring even if you don’t intend to fully embrace the minimalist lifestyle. Good luck with your purge!

  • Reply
    C Dill
    September 13, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Great post. Yes, I agree with you. Clearing out the old can be liberating. We can feel liberated from our things, and also from our emotional attachments.

    After reading your post, I’ve done the same with my desk. If you want, you can see a photo on my Google plus profile: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104503855601924069669

    What do you think about the Buddhism?

    • Reply
      Madison
      September 13, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      I’m glad you were motivated to clean too. As for Buddhism, I’m not educated enough on it to form a full opinion. I like some of the beliefs I know of, but don’t know enough about it as a whole.

  • Reply
    My Quest for Less – The Awakened Moon
    October 11, 2017 at 9:00 am

    […] serious cleaning frenzy for the past month! If you’ve been here before, you may have read my Out with the Old post about clearing out, making space, and evaluating my relationship with consumerism. I basically […]

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