The image of living minimally paints a picture of tranquility, peace, and freedom from all things valueless. But the tricky part is getting to that point. How do we detach ourselves from the items that hold sentimental value or we've cathected through the years? As a concept, minimalism seems pretty idyllic and easily-attained, but when it comes down to it, the things we've stash away in our cupboards and boxes have more of a hold on us than we first imagine.
Even though we rarely, or never, dig out the things we tell ourselves we must keep – the old ticket stubs, notes from our exes, our old favourite CD, t-shirt, or necklace – there's an addiction to them that holds us hostage in our own lives. A sense of blackmail that has you feeling guilt, loss, or tension at just the thought of letting go of something that really serves no purpose in your life.
The trick is to switch your mentality to a more positive outlook. Instead of thinking about what you're losing in the process, hold a picture in your mind of what life will be like without these items cluttering up your space both mentally and physically. Focus on what you'll be gaining – time, space, wellness – and let these be the things that guide you. In our modern culture, we're surrounded by things that tell us we need more – magazines, adverts, film – and it can be difficult, at first, to disengage without total isolation. So, instead of simply allowing these things to become part of your every day, make a conscious decision about what you're willing to allow into your life, mind, and subconscious. Whether it's listening to mindful podcasts instead of reading the newspaper or a magazine, watching inspirational YouTube videos rather than flicking through advert-ridden television, or reading a book rather than going on social media. Each act is a wonderful opportunity to grow and inspire and deciding what you want to fill your life with – including your space and mind – is another step to clarity and self-assuredness. Once you're confident in what gives you value, deciding what to keep in your space will become a lot simpler... and joyful.