Managing the Clutter (Mental and Otherwise!)
I have been MIA from this blog and it’s instagram for several weeks. And that’s okay! I have to try really hard to convince myself of that because my anxiety tells me that I’m failing at yet another venture of mine and no one will read or care about my blog if I don’t post for a few weeks. But of course that’s not true. You can always pick back up with what you’ve momentarily dropped.
Lately I’ve had to take a step back from some of my interests and focus on some life changes, the biggest of which was MOVING. I moved out of the cute little house I was living in with my BFF and into a nice ‘lil studio apartment with my BF. Its been pretty exciting! Its also been….overwhelming. What is stressing me out the most is dealing with the stuff that I own. So much STUFF. There is nothing like moving into a studio apartment to show you how much crap you are hanging onto that you do not need. I have clothing that I bought at a Forever 21 like 8 years ago that somehow hasn’t fully disintegrated yet. Time to let go. The sight of all the things I own in boxes and trash bags in the middle of the room is making my slight hoarding tendency very apparent to both me and my BF! (He already has his stuff pretty much all put away) I’ve been wondering where that compulsion to keep possessions comes from, and I think it’s my deeply seeded mentality of scarcity: the idea that it’s better to have more because there probably isn’t more coming. Every time I am contemplating getting rid of a pair of jeans, gripping them with my eyes closed to see if they ~spark joy~, a small panicked voice in my head cries, “But what will you wear? You have nothing else! And who KNOWS when you’ll be able to afford a new pair! You actually NEED these pants with the button that always falls off and the slightly ripped crotch!” No, no I don’t.
The opposite of lack is abundance, something that I have always had trouble accepting that I deserve and in many ways, already have. I have an abundance of amazing friends and family, skills, and stinky yet sweet doggie kisses from Lucy. I'm very privileged in several ways and to have my big problem right now be "too much stuff" is obnoxious, I know. But trust me, I'm not clearing out diamonds and mink coats. It's like, notebooks and crappy clothes I've had since I was a teen. I should also mention I'm donating everything I get rid of. Okay, I'm getting derailed here.
The point is, I have always been someone bad with money who scraped by, and that way of life is so deeply ingrained into my identity that to picture myself with everything I need and zero to panic about is almost hard to do. I can't shake the feeling of not having everything I need even when I DO have all that I need. Which is almost always. I'm scared that If I'm a minimalist I will run out of stuff and things will be bad, to put it plainly. Hi, anxiety! I'm attempting to change this fearful mentality. I’ve read in all kinds of self-help books to “manifest magic” and “allow myself to have the life I deserve", to "just let it go and put on a face mask, girlfriend!" but those flowery platitudes always seem so vague and are meaningless to me. Sorry, but I can’t manifest my bills getting paid on time or meditate myself into a bitchin' credit score. I’m more literal. I need actual steps to solve things, and for this whole fitting-all-my-stuff-neatly-into-a-studio-apartment issue I'm having and admittedly over-worrying about, my solution is to become more minimalistic. In my opinion, that will create more mental space for me to focus on other things if I'm not dealing with all this STUFF in my small physical space. Basically, I think there is a direct link between my mentality of lack and the fact that I hold on to every photo, knick-knack, and $2.50 camisole shirt that passes through my door, and it's stressing me out to look at it all! More on my budgeting journey on another day.
Back to my hoarding issue. I’m going to show you all how I am going to whittle down my possessions to a minimal amount and organize it all in my studio apartment. It’s not going to be easy. There will be tears. I will become frustrated and regretful that I took this project on. It will take some time. But if I can do it, anyone can--trust me. My living spaces have been messy and disorganized my entire life. Having clothes on the floor actually feels kind of cozy to me, or at least "normal". Being a minimalist goes against everything I have ever been. I’m going to have to shift my mentality on what it means to feel secure in my adulthood. Right now, it makes me feel safe to have an overflowing closet-even if I only actually wear 25% of it. Hopefully I can learn to find comfort in having the tidy pinterest-worthy space I have always dreamed of!
Here are some photos of my closet space, the piles of crap I have yet to go through, and the one slightly put-together part (the bookshelf). The stuff by the desk is my pile of items I've already decided to donate.