My mission is to help women improve their health and improve their lives. We all deserve to have the quality of life we choose. While I focus on physical health and women’s hormones in my practice and in my posts, my recent journey with simplicity and minimalism has made me contemplate how these choices can affect our health.
My journey started in January 2015. I was intent on de-cluttering my home to get “un-stuck” and begin writing again (although my home is neat and not cluttered I knew I still had work to do). The idea is that physical clutter can block the flow of energy, as you use your energy to take care of your stuff or you are just surrounded by too much that distracts you.
So in January 2015 I promptly went to Target and got some really pretty colored fabric organizing boxes and basically organized (all over again) the stuff in my closets. I got rid of some stuff, but not much, and not much changed energetically for me either.
Fast forward to June of 2015 and I was still procrastinating and not writing much for my website. I knew I wanted to do more, write more, to inspire women to better health. I knew I needed to clear my physical space to clear my energy and open up more possibilities.
I had recently been engrossed in reading minimalist blogs (see below for my faves) that really got me thinking. Minimalism is not about getting rid of everything and living with nothing. It really is about keeping the things you use, love and bring you joy (even the things you need to have) and discard the things that are weighing you down. These things can be everything from a closet full of clothes that don’t fit (but you are hoping to get into one day), to multiples of the same item, books, papers, or just too many of anything, including items that remind you of the past (and not in a good way).
Minimalism and simplicity changed the way I looked at things. It really is not just about getting rid of the clutter, it’s about owning less stuff. So in June I went on a de-owning binge. In 10 weeks I got rid of at least 1000 items in my house, including about 50% of my wardrobe (shocking number, and that was just stuff I didn’t use, love, or need anymore!). I donated 20 loads to a couple of local charities, and also consigned shoes, clothes and jewelry, and threw out bags of stuff.
I also had boxes of my parents stuff, papers and momentos, and pictures. I moved my parents in with me in August of 2011 and cared for both at end of life, and it took me 2 1/2 years to even open the boxes and go through them. I had lots of tough and emotional choices about what to keep and what to toss, but ultimately I took care of everything in that 10 weeks. My fiance thought I was a woman possessed but I was determined to change my energy, and change the way I lived. When I was done my home felt energetically cleaner and more purposeful.
This process also had me contemplating my shopping habits. Save that for another post (!) but needless to say I knew that the point was not just about de-owning, it was also about not acquiring more stuff (to take the place of the stuff I got rid of). It was a whole new way of being, knowing that I had enough!
So how does this affect your health? Here are a few of the things I realized in getting rid of clutter and owning less:
- When you own less stuff, you have less clutter
- When you have less clutter in your physical space, you have less to distract you, physically, mentally and emotionally
- When you have less stuff to take care of, you have less stress (and stress affects you physically and can affect your hormones, see my post How Stress Can Wreck your Hormones for more details on how stress and your body)
- When you have less stuff you spend less, and have more time because you don’t have to take care of the stuff
- When you have more time, you spend less time acquiring stuff, and more time having experiences that you desire
- And when you acquire less stuff, you can keep more of your money to follow your passions
Overall I feel much better when I open up a closets and cabinets and see empty spaces, knowing that I have enough, and it’s ok to have space. I feel more peace and calm, and less stress about my home and my wardrobe, since I don’t need to acquire anything new, and when I do it will be in a very thoughtful manner.
And most important of all, I have cleared the space to write again. What could clearing your space open up for you?
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and are a couple of my favorite blogs on minimalism and simplicity……..