Minimalism – A Cure for Anxiety?

There’s a huge part of me that wants to be a full-out minimalist. CLUTTER is a huge problem for me – mentally and emotionally. I get overwhelmed by clutter – every flat surface of our house seems to be a magnet for gathering papers and all other forms of clutter.

Life has ramped up for me a bit now that I’m back in school – this means my base level of anxiety has ramped up a bit too. My normal tolerance level for clutter has decreased because I’m already a bit more anxious than normal. I’ve shared a blog post (above) about a woman who mentions that her anxiety and depression got so much better when she discarded a lot of her things. She also gives good perspective on not forcing your significant other or family members to join you on your minimalist journey – rather you support their need to keep more things than you, and they support you in your need to free yourself of things – it’s a compromise (there’s that dreaded word!)

I also recently finished reading the book, “Goodbye, Things” by Fumio Sasaki, and I’m SO ready to just throw away everthing!

I’m really motivated to do this minimalist thing, but when I start going through my stuff, it’s actually a lot harder to get rid of things than I hoped it would be. Not to mention it takes TIME to do this. (Something we all have an abundance of, right?) It’s easier to just let things pile up and stuff things in the closet or garage. It’s easier to just buy a few more boxes or storage bins and call it quits.

The moments I have taken the time to go through my things, I’ve found it’s really easy to second-guess yourself and find a reason why you MIGHT need it someday, or you worry that you’ll regret getting rid of it.

A few helpful takeaways from the book:

  • If you’ve been wondering if you should keep something or not, that’s a sign you should just get rid of it.
  • The author claims 95% of the things he has gotten rid of, he has not regretted. And a few items he did regret, he could easily replace by going to the store or ordering online.

I try to keep these things in mind while going through my stuff – there’s a few items I passed over that I know I probably should put in the giveaway pile. I have things I have kept from my elementary teacher days, because I wonder if I’ll ever need them again. And I have more than a few boxes of purely “sentimental” items…

This is a post to mark the start of a journey – I’m hoping to have a garage sale in May with a ton of items! I’ll try to remember to take some before and after pictures along the way.

Any minimalists out there? Was there any impact on your mental health when you downsized and decluttered your space?

(Paraphrased from book) “Happiness is not a destination, like reaching the top of the mountain or crossing the finish line – it’s a choice you make daily to be thankful and grateful for what you have.” We fall into the lie that “if I only had ______, I would be happy.”

P.S. I also just (like literally a minute ago) got an email about a new book by Gretchen Rubin coming out in March 2019 called Outer Order Inner Calm. You can bet I will be reading that!

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