Monday, October 1, 2012

Taking a Step Forward

Whenever I hear people do something drastic or unconventional, I always ask what the reason behind is. Often times, they say, "Nothing, I just want to be different." Now, there's a response that does not resonate with me.

I was never a rebel.  I live in a world where the prevailing social norms are to be followed.    

Until, it hit me.  The person I've become, wanted to make a difference.  A difference that starts from within, in hopes that during the process, will inspire others to shift their focus from constantly acquiring things to making time and space to actually do things.  To create memories.  Having that mindset made it all easy to take the first step into simplifying my life.  

This journey didn't come about overnight.  Exactly 8 months ago, I started a journal about self image as a way to fully know myself and develop characteristics that are ideal to me.  Part of it was designing a capsule wardrobe (details of which will be featured in another post) according to these guidelines: 

  • aesthetic (let's be real, we all want to look good)
  • comfort
  • practicality/ functionality

Making a list of what is essential is very personal.  No one else has the power to dictate what stays or goes.  So you need to have a clear vision before you take the plunge head first.  Once that's all sorted out, the dirty work begins:

  • take out all your clothes, shoes, handbags and products out of their respective storage.
  • same goes with books, accessories, tchotchkes and the like.  
  • make four piles.  Donate, sell, keep and trash.
  • be vicious and go through each and every item.
  • toss them into the respective pile.
  • clean and sanitize all sides and surfaces of your closet, drawers, dresser and shoe storage.
  • neatly arrange items back where they belong.
  • applaud yourself for a job well done. :)

For someone who considers herself an emotional shopper, it was surprising how little emotion went into the purging process.  Inevitably, our natural tendency to hold on to certain things with sentimental value will slow down the process.  I had to sit, take deep breaths and think hard, but the closer I got to achieving the goal, the more compelled I was to keep going.  It is amazing how it suddenly became clear to me, as the clutter goes, I realized that I am at my most comfortable knowing that everything I own, I own for a reason.

In a way, it was like turning over a new leaf.