The Healing Effects of Decluttering and Living A Minimalist Lifestyle

The Healing Effects of Decluttering and Living A Minimalist Lifestyle

There are so many benefits you can get from decluttering that are above and beyond actually adding physical space to your life. Our surrounding environments have a lot of impact on us emotionally, mentally and spiritually. If you live with clutter or too much stuff, it will affect your overall health and energetically block abundance and success. Removing what is not necessary or needed will give you the freedom, space and energy for new and/or better things.

Although I’m far from perfect, I try to apply minimalist principles to my life as much as possible. The art of minimalism is a tool to assist you in getting rid of items you do not need, or what does not serve you, in order to free yourself up so you can focus on what’s really important in your life. This tool ultimately brings more happiness, joy, freedom and abundance. It can be applied to your physical space, relationships, emotional baggage, addictive behaviors, finances, etc.

MY FRIEND’S CLOSET

My friend asked me to help her declutter her closet and get rid of clothing she did not need. Here is the list of questions we asked when deciding whether or not to toss or keep items, which can be applied to your own space.

  • Have you worn it in the last 12 months?
  • Is the article of clothing flattering?
  • Does it fit properly?
  • Does the clothing need to be repaired?
  • Do you like the item?
  • Is the item worn?

If you decide to keep an item that needs to be tailored or repaired, I highly recommend giving yourself a timeline to alter or repair the item. Otherwise, toss it. 

before photo of closet 1

BEFORE: Friend’s closet | tops

before photo of closet 2

BEFORE: Friend’s closet | pants/bottoms

before photo of closet 2

BEFORE: Friend’s closet | dresses and suits

after closet declutter photo

AFTER: Friend’s closet donations | 12 camisoles, 9 dress slacks, 2 jeans, 5 tank tops, 29 sweaters/shirts, 4 bags, 2 suits, 2 blazers

MY CLOSET

Although I had decluttered my closet this past winter and thought it was in good shape, I felt inspired by my friend and used my decluttering-momentum on my closet. I didn’t think I’d come across anything to get rid of, but I was wrong.

after photo of my clothing donations

My Clothing Donations | 5 tank tops, 12 shirts, 3 sweaters, 2 dresses, 2 blazers, 3 workout shorts, skirt, 2 shorts, 9 pants, scarf, swim cover-up, watch, bracelet and a ring

after photo of my closet 1

AFTER: My closet casual tops, workout tops, scarves and robes

after photo of my closet 2

AFTER: My closet casual and dress tops, blazers and dresses

after photo my closet 3

AFTER: My pants, shorts and workout bottoms

I pride myself in keeping my clothing to a minimum and try to only buy the basics or items I really love. Approximately 20% of my current wardrobe was clothing gifted to me. I also supplement my closet with clothing rentals.

I’ve been renting clothing for almost three years now. It all started with wedding season 3 years ago. I purchased a purple dress that I thought should get me through 7 weddings in 5 states. Once I started getting tagged in many photos on Facebook wearing the purple dress with different backdrops, I was mortified! I’ve started renting my clothes as needed ever since.

the purple dress

Me wearing the purple dress I bought, thinking I could wear it to 7 weddings in one summer without anyone noticing.

The two companies I use for clothing rentals:

Rent the Runway | Great for formal events and weddings. Use this referral link to get $30 off your first order.

Le Tote | For everyday wear and accessories, office and business clothing as well as dresses nice enough for weddings and events. Here’s a few reasons why I really love this subscription service:

  • You can pause the subscription at anytime
  • Your closet stays to a minimum and you have the freedom to add items when/where you want
  • Clothes are always in season
  • Your clothing doesn’t get worn out
  • You are always in style
  • Plan your outfit around your calendar of events and the weather
  • You personally pick what is sent to you
  • Ability to keep the clothing if you love it (I avoid this, for minimalist reasons)
  • You aren’t seen wearing the same thing over and over (like my purple dress)

Want to try out Le Tote? Use this referral link to get $25 off your first month’s order.

HELPFUL TOOLS AND TIPS

Additional resources I’ve applied to my space in the past:

  • Read this book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  • Follow The Minimalists blog. I highly recommend playing their minimalist game with a friend to get motivated to declutter your space.
  • I also rotate my closet to ensure I wear everything in it. When you wash and put away your clothing, hang it on the right side of your closet. When you wear things from your closet, select items on the left side of your closet. If you find yourself continually skipping an item that is on the left side of your closet, get rid of it. I learned this tip from my friend Chase. Follow his blog for his inspiring 30 day challenges.
  • There is a lot of information out there as well on how to feng shui your home and your life. Feng Shui is the Chinese system of laws that govern spacial arrangement and orientation in relation to a flow of energy (qi). The laws balance the energies in your surroundings to bring good fortune.

DONATE TO A GOOD CAUSE

When decluttering, don’t just throw away items. Donate to a good cause so the items can be reused by someone in need. Here are the charities my friend and I donated to when we purged our closets in the photos above:

About Laura

Laura is the creator of My Natural Healer. She was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in October, 2014 at the age of 28. Not only did she have thyroid cancer, but when her thyroid was removed, Laura found she had early-stage Hashimoto's autoimmune disease as well. My Natural Healer was created as a result of her personal experience, professional work in the healthcare field as a physician staffing consultant, combined with her love of wellness education and a desire to help others. Laura lives with her husband in Utah and enjoys being outside whenever possible. She enjoys traveling, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, white water rafting and almost any outdoor activity.


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