There is a process to learning the skills of minimizing. It’s creating new habits and we all know, habits take time to make routine.
I’ve been minimizing for about five years now. I thought I made fantastic progress on my first 30-day challenge, and I did. I reduced my items by what I was ready to reduce at that time.
Fast forward five years and four 30-day challenges later and the items that I minimize from my home now are completely different from the items I reduced years ago. Okay, well, they need to be different because I already got rid of those items, ha ha. But, I mean, that what I let go of now, are things I wasn’t ready to let go of then.
When I’m working with a client, I assure them that what they choose to part ways with or not has nothing to do with me. I don’t make those decisions, it’s not my stuff. There’s no judgement. How can there be? I respect whatever decisions my client makes about their own belongings because that’s the way it should be. My job is to challenge the thought process a little bit, offer new ideas, keep the project moving forward, and the biggest part of my job is emotional support.
I also remember my own process and know that the first time through is just the beginning. The more often we repeat the process, the more we dive in, the more we realize we don’t need all this stuff and we become more willing to let go. Learning these lessons takes both time and experience.
In posts prior, I’ve mentioned the switch that goes off in our mind when we feel the benefits of lightening our load. I’m going to repeat part of that sentence — when we FEEL the benefits. Minimizing causes reduction in stress and overwhelm. And those feelings can come on pretty quickly. It’s that switch that flips and then we “get it” on a different level. This switch is difficult to explain and really needs to be experienced for full understanding. But the process is worth that release of tension.
There’s no reason for this process to be painful or difficult. There’s no reason to part with items that we’re just not ready to part ways with. Start with the easier stuff. Ask the questions that make us consider our mindset, that open us up to more ideas. Decide if the answers apply now. They may only apply later, or never.
Over time, the process becomes easier and what’s really important to us becomes more and more evident. Minimizing isn’t something that you just do once. It’s a process that as learned, eventually becomes habit, which then becomes lifestyle.