Cutting out the non-essential from my life

Do you ever find yourself coming back to certain ideas or approaches again and again?

Minimalism has been that thing for me as of late.

I’m pretty sure it started with my first clothing swap and culling the things I wasn’t wearing from my closet. I was shocked by the emotional attachment I had to my clothing and the subsequent feelings of lightness and freedom I experienced when I let them go. 

Around the same time, I discovered the concept of decluttering in the book, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch*. I became obsessed with clearing out old beliefs and stories in addition to cleaning up my wallet, desk, and home. Anything that didn’t make me feel top notch was out. 

Then I came across the concept of a work uniform and capsule wardrobe. I immediately fell in love. And while it felt extreme in some aspects, other parts felt extremely liberating, like having everything work together and only keeping things that are seasonally appropriate, make me feel good, and actually get worn in the closet. (Seriously, how cool does this 100 Day Experiment by Brooke Dainty look?!)

I have dabbled in a capsule wardrobe of my own a few times and am always fascinated by the mental and emotional response I have to an uncluttered (i.e.—roomy) closet. I find myself needing to fight the urge to shop simply to fill up my closet, even though I don’t actually need anything. 

My most recent foray into the world of minimalism has been through books. I’ve picked up several titles in the last few months that have really struck a chord and are wooing me back into a more minimalist world. 

Books like:

While some of the books have a more obvious connection to minimalism, they all talk about clearing out the non-essential in order to focus time and energy on the things that matter most (to you). Each book has also made me begin to question and reevaluate why I do things in my life and have allowed me to look at my life with new eyes.

Can’t ask for much more than that in a book, can you?

5 ways I'm cutting the non-essential from my life.

As a result of this exploration and a commitment to cutting the non-essential from my life, I have put together a few goals for the remainder of 2018:

  1. Continue to do my Sunday Ritual each week to make sure that how I’m spending my time is deeply aligned with what I value most. This will allow me to continue saying yes to the things that matter to me while also saying no to the things that don’t. 
  2. Regular time spent journaling and meditating. These two activities truly make a world of difference in my life and know that with them as regular fixtures in my life, I will continue to stay mindful and aware. Also, with self-care being one of my core values, it makes sense to have these activities be front and center in my life.
  3. Maintain a capsule wardrobe and only purchase what I absolutely need. I already know that I’ll probably need a new sweater or two for the winter and a new pair of shoes, as all of my dressier shoes are super high heels and not really comfortable. 
  4. Make a point of using what we already have. I have been tossing around the idea of a spending freeze (i.e.—not spending money on anything that isn’t necessary) for a while, but haven’t been able to commit for one reason or another. I do, however, want to make it a priority to use what we have — whether that’s food, memberships, and free local resources. The truth is, we already have SO MUCH that I know we won’t be wanting for anything.
  5. Keep our home clutter-free. There is something about a clean home that makes me feel at peace. Having a 4-year-old in the house certainly complicates things in the clutter-free department, but she isn’t the only reason our house is a mess. I want to make a better effort to keep our spaces clear of paper, toys, and general STUFF and put things back where they belong.  

What about you?

How do you feel about the concept of minimalism? Is it something you’ve tried to incorporate in your life in one area or another? What has your experience been?

“Sometimes the best way to discover what really matters is to release what doesn’t, and see what’s left behind.” Cheryl Richardson #minimalism #selfcare #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #essentialism

More about Emily Levenson

Emily Levenson is a therapist turned holistic health coach, podcaster, meditation encourager, and seeker of everyday magic. Emily recently kicked off her third #The100DayProject, focusing her efforts on daily meditation.

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