We all know that moving is a great opportunity for new beginnings. A time to remake your life. But a lot of the time we find ourselves trapped in old habits, bringing the life we hoped to leave behind right along with us. Now, I can't tell you how to change who you are. But I can tell you that a lot of who we are is shaped by what is around us. And luckily for you, if you're moving, you have a chance to choose what you bring with you.
Yesterday I wrote about minimalism and the steps I've taken to get there. I'd recommend you read that before we get started here, just to give you a foundation of the steps that I took. Now, with that in mind, I understand that you can't go back to when you were 10 and force your parents to get rid of almost everything you own... so I'm going to walk you through the easiest way to do it for yourself now.
Before I tell you how to get rid of the things in your life, I want to tell you something even more important: It doesn't matter if you know how to get rid of things. We all know how. Because if you walk into it with the mentality of someone who keeps their favorite basketball from when they were 9, you wont accomplish anything.
Take a moment to acknowledge who you are. Don't think too deep about it, but recognize that you are a summation of where you have been, where you are going, and who you surround yourself with. Realize that some of where you have been is holding you back from your future. Realize that a lot of the time sentimental items are only sentimental because they remind us of how things used to be. Back when times were good. When things were easier.
I used to cherish a letter that my mother had written me while she was travelling, because I was reminded of the mom who was gentle with me. Who held me when I cried and worried about me when she was away. As I entered my teen years she became a bit harder... which I am now extremely grateful for. It made me into a young woman who can withstand a lot of BS without cracking under the pressure of it all. I'm pretty self sufficient thanks to my mom's genius apron string untying. At the time, however, I couldn't see the growth that she was trying to trigger. I was too busy missing the mom I "used to have". (She's still just as loving by the way) One day I ripped that letter to pieces and ever since then I've felt a little bit more free. (Side note: my mom and I are basically best friends now. Accepting her toughness as a positive quality has completely changed the way I view her, and our relationship is the best it's ever been)
Your things are not just things. They tie you down. You cannot fly if you have a weight attached to your feet. You have to want to let that weight go.
The Process of Purging
The best way to purge is to take a look at what you use frequently. Keep those things.
I'd bet that there are a few shirts you haven't worn in months, a few pairs of shoes you avoid like the plague, and a few towels that are honestly just a little too worn out. Maybe there's a tattered old purse that you keep in your closet even though you'll never use it again. A chipped plate. A broken picture frame. Look around you and see all of the things that you don't use. The things that don't add value to your life.
Try putting one of those things in a trash bag. Then another. Then another. Realize that as you do so it becomes easier and easier. Maybe you'll finish your whole home, go back to your room to rest, and suddenly see 5 more things you dont want anymore. It's a process. But eventually, when you've let those things go, and you pack up the things you do want, cart them off, and you finally take in your new home for the first time, realize that not only do you not miss the old stuff, but you have a newfound freedom and lightness about you because you let those things go. Realize that stuff is just stuff after all, and it feels so good to have less of it.