Do you need it?
We know that self-worth is important. Not having strong or positive feelings of self-worth can lead to bad decisions to be made out of fear; an unhealthy habit of comparison; and ultimately, not feeling fully accepted by your peers. There are so many things that could shake your feelings of self-worth--failure, rejection, pressure from society to be a certain way or look a certain way, etc...but have you ever thought about if your stuff is adding to or manifesting those negative feelings?
Ask yourself: Have you ever bought something because everyone else had it and you had FOMO?
Have you ever felt like you were falling behind your peers because you didn’t have this thing or that? Have you ever went shopping because you were feeling bad (about yourself)? Have you ever bought a piece of clothing to impress someone else? If you answered yes to any of these questions (we’ve all been there), it might be your desire to find acceptance and/or impress others manifesting itself in the things that you buy. Over time, these things often become clutter because they were not bought out of necessity and with the wrong purpose. To put it in Marie Kondo terms, they do not spark joy in you; and the truth is, they may not even spark joy in others. That clutter may be a symptom of not feeling like you’re good enough, or you’re not worthy of love.
There is a lot of research that says clutter is distracting and creates an unconducive environment to work or rest. It takes up physical space and also space in our brains. With clutter around, it distracts us from what we need to or want to focus on. We also become less efficient and more stressed. So, why is it so hard for us to get rid of it? Clutter comes from two needs: a need to remember the past, and a need to be prepared for the future (aka all those just-in-case things we have hidden away in drawers or displayed on shelves). This means though, if we are surrounded by clutter, we will have a much harder time living in the present.
Our clutter can easily tell a story about us: who we were, who we hoped to be, things we’re afraid to admit that we regret purchasing; things we hoped to do but never got around to; etc. If clutter is more than just having too much stuff, then minimalism is more than just having less stuff. Why would you want to surround yourself with things that take your away attention from the present--who you are now and what brings you joy now? Embarking on a journey towards minimalism might help you find your self-worth. Without the clutter to distract you, you can focus on you. The process of decluttering forces you to evaluate and confront your past choices. It makes you more aware of your spending habits and how closely tied your emotions are to your belongings. This awareness is an important first step to self-acceptance, and eventually to positive change. By letting go of your clutter, you also let go of the person you were or could have been, and start to embrace the beautiful and radiant person that you are.