Reduce stress, increase space with 11 tips for clearing out
LA is the promised land of reinvention, right? However, it’s pretty difficult to show your best when it’s buried under all of the possessions from the past – like all of the cookware you bought a decade ago because you wanted to start a catering business and the Mountains of fitness equipment from back then through your personal trainer phase, plus the sketchbooks, fabric and idle sewing machines from your time as a fashion designer.
Therefore, the first step is towards a new you get rid of the old one. Of course not everything; History and feelings matter, even with Angelenos, but a relic memory from our past is very different – and far more meaningful – than the boxes of who-knows-what we haven’t opened in years and our hallways and expensive storage rooms clog units because we just can’t throw them away.
So if we are looking to make 2022 the year of reinvention, it is time to start developing strategies to tidy up our homes, our closets and, yes, our rides. You know what i’m talking about Most Angelenos spend hours driving a day. Our vehicles are a big part of our identity. Now answer this question: When was the last time you saw the floor in the back seat of your car? Are you carrying groceries home in your passenger seat because there is no space in your trunk?
It might be excusable if your trunk was full of emergency rations for the Big One earthquake, but if you’re like me, your trunk is likely full of stuff you never found the time (or place) to clear: Boxes from the office, clothes you’ve always wanted to return, gifts you never wanted, or jackets you’ve forgotten. Cleaning up the car can make your day-to-day life better, if only by reducing your embarrassment. Then why is it so difficult to start with?
Because many of us haven’t thought about how getting rid of things can improve our lives, including reducing our stress levels, says Joshua Becker, founder of the Get minimalistic Move. “We live in a society that keeps telling us: ‘More is better.’ So we fall into this belief trap that if we have more stuff, our life will be better. We don’t change until we have a lightbulb moment and come up with something about what our life could be like actually improve – how we would have more energy, time, focus and less stress – if we had less stuff. “
Becker’s epiphany moment came after he spent a full Saturday afternoon cleaning his garage while his young son played alone in the back yard. “I realized that all of the things I owned didn’t make me happy, but worse, they took me away from the things I loved most,” he says.
Aside from opening up space for reinvention, tidying up can also be a way to connect with other Angelenos, including the neighbors next door or in the hallway who you may not already know. That is the guiding principle behind the Buy Nothing Project, which started in 2013 in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Liesl Clark and her friend Rebecca Rockefeller started a Facebook page with the idea of reducing the amount of waste in our lives by bringing items to your community – a “hyperlocal gift economy,” says Clark.
“We posted it as a question to our friends and neighbors,” she says. “We called it ‘don’t buy anything Bainbridge’ and said, ‘Before you go into the store to buy this item, just ask it here at your trusted neighbors. For example, if you want to buy Legos for your children, see if someone has any that they want to give up because they’re done with, and lo and behold, people have just started giving things over and over again. ”
The idea was to build relationships within a community while recycling items that are no longer needed. The goal is to create communities of people who live within one to ten kilometers of each other – greater distances for areas of lower density.
“It’s very helpful for people trying to downsize,” says Clark. “We have a lot of people in the simplicity movement taking stock and getting their lives under control, and this time of year we are certainly seeing a huge surge in the items on offer.”
Are you inspired and ready to take the plunge? Here are 11 tips from Becker and the Buy Nothing aisle to encourage less clutter and more time to do the important things.