A Time To Simplify: What Inspired Me To Start Decluttering

live simply coffee mug

A few weeks ago, I came across digital marketer Neil Patel’s article about letting go of his condo and most other material possessions in favor of living out of a suitcase. You can read the article here. It got the wheels in my mind turning and I started thinking – practically obsessing – over things in my life I could get rid of to experience a greater degree of freedom.

Being Introduced to Minimalism

The concept of minimalism is not new to me, nor would I consider myself anything close to a minimalist. About a year ago my wife picked up a book about Konmari (a Japanese concept of decluttering), which kicked off an interest of getting rid of things that don’t create happiness and/or lack utility. My interest in decluttering quickly turned into regular contemplation of the “weight of my life,” which I define as the quantity of stuff I call mine that would otherwise be complete junk to everyone else. Despite this preoccupation with materialistic mass, I did little to declutter or remove “weighty” objects from my life. Then I read Neil’s article and was inspired to take getting rid of stuff seriously. Here was someone I could relate to, a digital marketer, and someone who had a proven track record of success. Patel has the means to buy pretty much anything he wants, but chooses not to. I found that extremely motivating.

I have a wife and child, so living out of a suitcase is neither practical nor helpful for us. Furthermore, it would be inappropriate to assert some minimalistic edict on my family. However, this doesn’t mean that I have to hold on to things like a stamp collection, duplicate photo prints, books I’ve read once, or clothes I wear once every two years. That unnecessary clutter could go. With that in mind, I set out on a path to get rid of as much as I possibly could; listing items of some value on craigslist or eBay, while giving other things away to charities or thrift stores.

How is it going?

So far, it’s been going really well for me. Not only do I feel like my life is lighter, I feel a renewed desire to invest into my mind and my relationships. I feel happier than I did before and more energized by what might lie ahead. I still have a long way to go in getting rid of things I don’t need, but with this first step I feel like I’m better suited to embrace what’s ahead.

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