Are you dreaming of a new life? A new life without the burden of all those things surrounding you and weighing you down?
Are you longing for something, anything, to change your life?
Minimalism is seductive isn’t it? Imagine living simply, feeling like you can breathe fully and completely, having the capacity to deal with life AND do the things you really want to do.
Instead you’re just moving from one day to the next, one pile to the next, doing the same old things every single day, your energy and attention completely used up by just managing your home and day-to-day life.
How much do you want it? Really want it? That simple, minimal home which frees you to explore, well, anything else on which you choose to focus your energy.
Sarah is a client of mine who’s first statement to me was “I’m DESPERATE to be a minimalist!”. During our initial conversation it was clear how excited she was at the vision she had of her minimal future life. She was completely overwhelmed by her home and the cost of the large storage unit she had kept for years was starting to really bother her.
She was very honest with herself, she knew she never used the things in the storage unit, it was full of might-come-in-handy and one-day-we’ll-have-a-bach stuff. Her house was full. Literally, every cupboard, every drawer was completely full. So she had added storage, filled boxes, installed shelving on every wall in every room. And filled them too.
When we discussed the amount of work and change of mindset required to begin the process of decluttering she said she was happy and excited to get started and had plans for rehoming the things we removed from her house. She was thrilled when I arrived and very positive about about our plans for the day and how we’d proceed.
However when we started work Sarah started changing her mind about items we had just decluttered. She started to feel anxious and our work changed to reorganising rather than decluttering.
When she first contacted me I wondered if she was prepared for such a huge change. It became clear to me that Sarah was not really ready to do what it takes to create a minimal home and that was fine. We needed to find out what was going on and how I could help her achieve her dream.
We all have a script in our heads which tells us who we are and Sarah’s script was at odds with her dream. We spent some time talking about how we might work towards what she truly wanted. One of her deepest beliefs was Need. Sarah believed she needed everything she had gathered around her and felt afraid and vulnerable when it came to giving up her things.
We do not need everything we own, just because we own it.
Intellectually we know this. We know that we live in luxury compared to the lives of many others and compared to our parents and grandparents lives. Our basic needs are well and truly covered. There are many theories of happiness, one of which is decreasing levels of perceived happiness with increases in accumulated belongings once our basic needs are satisfied. (Best to Google this theory to get a really good explanation!)
On top of that, Too Much causes stress because we have to manage it all. Each of us has a different level of tolerance for Too Much. Sarah’s immediate need was relief from the overwhelm that she felt from the sheer volume of her belongings and the constant work required to keep it under control. The underlying beliefs and behaviours that caused her situation also needed to be dealt with to truly resolve her issue.
Feelings of overwhelm, dissatisfaction, restlessness and frustration with your home are signs that something needs to change. That ache that tells you you’d really rather being doing something else instead of constantly managing all the things in your home is telling you it’s time. Time to make bold and brave changes.
Remember the question I asked at the beginning? How much do you want it? Do you want it so much that you can do something small, something meaningful right now? And do it again?
Be brave. Take a baby step. Declutter something that drags your spirit down. Use your uncomfortable feelings as your motivation to start on the minimal path.
Those feelings are pushing you away from Too Much.
Choose to do the things you want to do instead of waiting for it to magically happen. Start now.
Your dream is pulling you towards a simpler life.
Start to get rid of the things that cause the uncomfortable feelings, begin to shed the things that are holding you back.
Sarah is a hard working and organised person, it was only her restricting beliefs that were holding her back from her dream of freedom. Those beliefs made Things her security blanket. But she is far more resourceful and capable and amazing than she gave herself credit for.
Now she can start to live the life she wants, moving away from all that was suffocating her dreams, at a pace that works for her. Moving towards her best life.