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Real Self-Care: Tidy Up

This post is part of a month-long series on Real Self-Care for world-changers. It’s about the experimentation: figuring out what works for you and following your heart. Simple, messy and everything in between. Self-care should be custom, intuitive, feasible and kind – to serve your actual life.

Tidy Up: shedding what we no longer need

Last winter, I went through a process of dramatically simplifying my belongings. I felt weighed down by the things that were taking up space, both in my apartment and in my mind. It felt like a constant task to keep the clutter at bay.

After spending a few hours on Pinterest fantasizing about tiny homes, I decided to undertake a 28-day home cleanse. As with most projects like this, it was daunting at first, then freeing. Now, tidying my home is a fairly quick process. I don’t need to spend hours chasing my belongings from one surface or storage area to another: they go back where they belong, and I’m done!

I often hear the argument that “self-care” means spending money or buying stuff. In this case the opposite is true: I’m much more discerning now about how I spend my money, what I accumulate, and how much of my energy goes to things, rather than people and experiences.

This doesn’t mean my home is boring, either: it’s still full of things I treasure, that evoke fabulous memories. But if an item doesn’t bring me joy, serve a purpose or seem beautiful to me, then it doesn’t belong. Tidying my home has turned it into a sanctuary, rather than a storage unit. It’s free of things I don’t want or need, so I can actually see what is meaningful to me.

When I come home, I can relax in a space that is clean, orderly and uncluttered, rather than spending my time shuttling items from one place to the next. That leaves time for practices that deepen my relationship with myself, rather than my belongings.

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