This year I am on a mission (again) to declutter my life and change some habits. All things that make me breathe harder, all things that make me produce these deep ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ coming out from within my chest. Sometimes I am not even sure about the reason, I just feel overwhelmed by too much going on, constant rush and stress, unfinished things, full sink, worries about the future, my mind racing 100 miles per hour. I feel I always have a perfect solution for a friend’s problem, but never for my own. Do you know what I mean?
I want a change but I realize it would be much easier to make that change if I knew exactly what I mean. But I don’t. Except that I know I want more space, and I don’t mean a bigger apartment. I want more space emotionally, I want to clean my mind, to be more peaceful and healthier. I trust that would lower the stress, which as a result would make me happier.
So I am starting the decluttering with small steps and one thing at a time:
1. (Really) Declutter the apartment
Donate, sell or throw away what I never use. I keep saying this is a priority but it only partially gets done. Today, when looking for stamps I found a yellow rubber duck, plush Ugly Doll, earmuffs, a strap from a purse (I don’t even have that purse anymore) and bazillion knitting needles. All these items moved with me 5 New York apartments. (These items and a thousand more). The only time I ever see them is when I pack for a move.
2. Limit personal spending and don’t bring any stuff, except groceries, in (for a long time)
I feel overwhelmed by how much I own, especially clothing.
I have 46 dresses for various occasions, 22 pairs of pants (I actually stepped out now to count), bunch of tops, shirts and jackets. I probably have 25 pairs of shoes. Even though I spent a fraction on all of that by shopping smart, I feel I definitely went overboard. I think in some ways I was trying to make up for the times when I owned 2 pairs of pants and 2 pairs of shoes (true story). Still I find myself wearing 2-3 dresses, same pair of jeans and same flats over and over again. 90% of my closet stays untouched. I don’t think I am any happier having that much, as compared to how I would feel having half of it. Quite the opposite, in some way it makes me overwhelmed, less mobile (in case of a move) and quite guilty knowing I could have spent that money wiser making the dream of financial freedom a reality much faster.
3. Declutter my mind
by saying what I mean and meaning what I say. This one is always work in progress. Whether a big or a small matter, whenever I don’t stay true to myself it haunts me for days. Do you sometimes say ‘yes’ to your boss while screaming ‘no’ in your head? (This usually results in working overtime). Do you say ‘everything’s ok’ when really it is not? Do you say ‘yes’ and immediately try to come up with an excuse to turn it into a ‘no’? Yep, that’s me half the time.
4. Prioritize my health
I am pretty sure if I dropped of a heart attack right about now, the world would still go round. One of my colleagues would take over my shit and I would be mourned for a week (possibly less). I am trying to convince myself that it IS possible to still care for what I am doing for a living and not stress myself constantly. Things will keep happening, some of them will fall through, visas will not get approved on time, meetings will get canceled, flights will get delayed. I NEED TO STOP STRESSING OUT. (breathe in and out, in and out..)
And physical health:
5. Start ‘to do’ lists with the things I am dreading most
Oh man, sometime I feel I torture myself voluntarily. Literally I would dread of doing something and procrastinate for a week or more (having nightmares at night and sweating during a day), just to learn it was not such a complicated thing once I actually do it. I am getting on this one starting tomorrow morning (namely, after procrastinating for 4 weeks, I will be calling travel insurance to submit a claim, dreading those 17 pages long forms and having fun getting supporting documentation from the airlines). But once done, DONE. Peace.
Just these ideas to start with for now. Please share what things would YOU put on your ‘Decluttering’ List?