The art of letting go
Just writing down the title I have just remembered that Supermayer were telling me this already ten years ago. “Let’s get do it, relax! Let me go…”. At that time I was just dancing this song and hearing the words, but not really listening as this sentence did not resonate with me at all in the way it does now.
If ten years ago someone told me I was going to sell more than the half of my belongings at my 30’s, probably I would have panicked. So how this mindset twist started for me? Play the song as the perfect soundtrack to continue this reading and discover it!
The key point was one year and a half ago, when we moved to our new house at the same time we were launching Otter. Bringing Otter to life after months of incubating the idea was the moment I really felt this new chapter in my life was happening. Six months before that I quit my job. I remember at that time I still felt a mental and emotional transition from work on a daily job with a monthly salary to a mix of feelings from freedom to fear and uncertainty in my new freelancing path as a founder of my own business. Awesome and scary for me.
I felt I was swimming on an emotional cocktail made often by opposite emotions. From love to fear, mental focus to self doubt, strength to procrastination, joy to anxiety… It’s seems very entertaining, right? Yes it is (sometimes), and also tiring after a while feeling the craziness that comes to our minds sometimes. So my minimalism mindset didn’t came as an inspiration after reading a Marie Kondo book or discover a minimalist blogger who does a home tour and teaches you how to declutter your wardrobe. It came as a natural response for me with the need (and urgency) to simplify my mind and my life-cocktail at that time.
I don’t know how about you, but I’m a very atmospheric person and the space that surrounds me affects directly on my mood, either is a coffee place, the office I’m working from or the hotel room when I travel. So in my case the main space I’m related with is our home, and that’s why I thought that it could be a good place to start simplifying things. Moving from a house to another at that time was the perfect opportunity to also realized I had many things I didn’t really need, so that was also a sign I had a materialism luggage in my life. I had the need to let go things to create more (mental) space in my life.
I invite you to take a look around once you arrive home today. Observe the things surrounding you and realize which is the purpose of all the items you see. Functional, emotional, or just is there without reason. With a quick view you will notice if your body needs to let go things around you or not. I think this is a very personal thing to do, and all of us find peace or calm in different ways, so it’s up to you to find what fits you the best and how make more space in your life if you need it.
Otherwise, having less things around you have a positive effect in your life, as you have less things to pay attention to and your eyes and mind are more able to relax with the views. And objectively you don’t need to spend time tidying your home as everything in there has a purpose, even if it’s just for making you feel good.
You can read interesting information around the emotional and life changes you can experience with that. Nevertheless I would like to share with you a very practical perspective about this, as sometimes an objective result motivate us to take action. So I will share with you my 3 main practical reasons to do a super material life declutter as they have been a strong personal motivation for me along the way:
Getting some money back
This has been a big one for me. In my case I decided to start selling my things mainly in Wallapop and also doing few markets at home and at events. I have been doing that for almost two years now and since today I have back 4.107€ thanks to letting go around 250 items. Clothes, decoration items, kitchen items, furniture and I even decoration rocks for 10€! If you decide also to become a “personal pop up” selling your things (which takes a while and you need patience) my recommendation is to put all the things you want to sell in a box or suitcase. You will be able to visually declutter the space and feel the change in your home. And also concentrating all this items in a place that doesn’t annoy you they will be organized and ready to sell.
Yes, you need to invest time uploading nice pictures from your products, spend time negotiating with people and of course receiving them when they finally want to buy. It’s true that when something goes out from your home is when you really are free from that, but keeping that stuff in a box or a bag for a while and selling them little by little is worth the wait vs. getting rid of it immediately.
This has been something like a side project for me, and as it worked it became the first investor of my startup. You are thinking on finding a financial partner or ask for money to FFF to start your next project? Maybe you can sell the things you don’t really need first!
I din’t read yet Mary Kondo’s book but I read some articles about her philosophy and also a couple of youtube videos where she explains the main idea of her methodology. She talks about decluttering your life not going from one room to another in your house but doing it through types of things (books, kitchen items, clothes…). The first thing she says you have to do is to put all the items from the type you choose at the same place. The goal of that is that you will have a visual impact and really realize how many things you have. It works!
As I start my vital decluttering with clothes it was such an impact (and even shame) seeing a mountain made of clothes in my bed. After you see that and being aware of what you keep and organizing the rest to sell it, donate it, etc. you will think twice before buying something in the future. You will know exactly what you really have in your wardrobe and it will be easier to know if you need another black t-shirt or not. I live in Barcelona so I have so many awesome shops I can go simply while I’m on the way to the co-working I work from. The best thing you can do in my opinion? Just walk and enjoy the views, not going into the shops unless you need something. Oh, it is just mid-season sales or something tempting? Doesn’t matter. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you suddenly need it. You are the driver of your walk, so you decide.
Freedom & time for things that matter
You can measure time. So think about how many time you spent last month looking in online or physical shops. For me do this deep detox of things that I don’t use or clothes I not wear have shown me how much time I have invested buying (or just thinking on) things I don’t really need or doesn’t bring joy to my life as Marie Kondo could say. We don’t realize until we stop doing it how many impulsive consuming actions we can do during the day. I don’t have the intention now to start debating about the crazy consuming society were we are living but just bringing some light saying that you have the chance of taking control of that by just starting reflecting and decluttering your own wardrobe. Start from yourself and your own perspective and you will see the changes in your life.
Just stop seeing going shopping as an activity or a plan for Friday afternoon you make space in your life for other things, things that matter more to you now. I love fashion and decoration, but now I’m not interested in the last arrivals in my favourite brands. I have unsubscribed from their newsletters to avoid FOMO and the automatic desire we feel seeing nice things we could love wear. When you reflect about your priorities it’s just a matter of being consequent with them. Maybe it is spending more time with your family, or have time to read, or start working on a new project. Whatever it is, you will find more space for it in your life once you make a step back on the consuming “just because I like it” lifestyle.
Once you start having a minimalist mindset in some area of your life and really go into it, it’s easy that organically you will expand it to the rest of areas of your life. Food, work and creativity, friendships… I started with my material life, and what I shared with you is the most practical and objective benefits I have found from that.
So if something I wrote here resonates with you, I invite you to start decluttering everything in your life you feel it’s a burden for you. Maybe is your wardrobe, maybe is your relationship with food, toxic relationships… just take a moment to reflect and realize what it is good for you. And most importantly, enjoy the process.