Big or small…just take that first step


Reviewing and simplifying one’s life seems like a daunting task even on a good day. Just thinking about doing it make most people tired; they imagine going through that ton of stuff accumulated and they think ‘not now’ or ‘too tired’ or ‘let’s wait till summer’. The excuse list one conjures up sitting in an armchair can be endless and very convincing. Very few get past the thinking and wanting and get on to the doing.

Start small, think big

The thing that motivates one to get from thinking to doing is to ask ourselves why we are doing it and how we would feel once we have done it. If that desire to implement the change and get to the desired state is strong enough, we would get off that armchair and start doing- in a small way or in a big way- it doesn’t matter. We have taken that first step and we just need to take the next step and then the next. For myself, it was the strong desire to feel freedom and to feel lightness through having less physical stuff, fewer commitments so that I can have the calm, space and time to focus on what is important and of value in my life. I realized life is too short to get bogged down.

Once I have set my sights on something, I tend to go about it in a big way. So it is with the simplifying and de-cluttering of my physical belongings. I set aside a day for each room in the house and made sure I went through every single item, piece of paper, piece of clothing, every jar etc. and put them in the ‘Keep’, ‘Recycle/Donate’ or ‘Bin’ piles. On the last day, I did a thorough spring clean. I have not missed anything which I’ve donated or binned since.

Others might find this approach a little drastic and overwhelming especially when they are not ready to let go of the stuff emotionally. In these cases, start small. It could be just clearing out your wallet or handbag, clearing the coffee table or a drawer in your kitchen. Just start somewhere and when you are done, see how you feel. Happier? Lighter? A sense of accomplishment? If you like the feeling, carry on with the decluttering bit by bit or move on to doing more.

There is no right or wrong method or pace of doing it. The important thing is to start.


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