At the beginning of 2018, I vowed to really start getting rid of things — mostly things in my closet, clothes that I hardly wear. While I did get rid of piles of clothes, my apartment still seemed full of stuff.
Once I started working for myself, one of the projects I wanted to work on was continuing to get rid of that stuff. This was never about Marie Kondo, but more about the fact that I’m now working and living in my apartment, and if it’s a mess, then my mind feels cluttered.
So, I’ve since listed more than 60 items on eBay and Poshmark, and have sold many of them. This sends items out of my house, and also gets rid of my ridiculous stash of shipping supplies (side effects of having an Etsy shop).
When I told myself I was going to start getting rid of stuff, I was just thinking of a few things off the top of my head. But once I started selling things and cleaning out my apartment, I kept finding more.
What I found was that… I’ve got a lot of physical baggage.
Many years ago, when I was actively dating and learning the ropes of relationships. I wrote a lot about getting rid of baggage — emotional and physical. I had a clear-cut method for getting rid of the actual stuff: I would ceremoniously carry relationship crap, including books, ticket stubs, pictures, etc. to the dumpster behind my apartment.
To deal with the emotional baggage, I saw a therapist.
Both of these methods worked for me. I learned a lot about myself over the years and I made it through many-a-shit-breakup.
But as I’ve really started to clear stuff out, I’ve found that I was housing loads of physical baggage that was in disguise. For example, a boyfriend bought me a nice silver ring one Christmas. When we broke up, I sold the ring on eBay and used my earnings to buy myself a ridiculous pair of sexy, over-the-knee stiletto boots that laced up the back of the thigh.
Yeah, they were cool and I wore them out a few times. But they have since sat in the back of my closet. Instead of being a symbol of my strength and powerfulness as a single woman, they still reminded me of him.
In my closet and jewelry box, there were many examples of this, including some Tiffany’s jewelry given to me by my former step-mom, clothes gifted to me from an ex-friend, and even things I wore to a job I hated, or the worst: clothes that no longer fit me.
All of that has since been sold online and the money has gone into my business account to pay my bills. Done and done.
I hate admitting it, but even the dramatic curtains in my living room held baggage — I bought them one Saturday morning as I tried to distract myself from knowing that my then-boyfriend was in bed with another woman.
These curtains (and even the curtain rod) are now at a Goodwill three blocks away.
Since selling things — even the things that haven’t sold yet are in a designated box hidden in the bowels of my laundry room — I’ve noticed that it’s much easier to step into my closet. The energy is different.
And this got me thinking. A few months ago, a friend had switched to eating a vegan diet, but also said she was starting to look into vegan leather.
“Everything has an energy to it,” she said.
The more I think about it, the more it’s true. It could be about how it was made, where it came from, who it was from, or what it means to you.
So, I took this same mentality and I tackled something I haven’t touched in years: my email account.
I had 61,000+ unread emails. I knew most of them were likely promotional and subscription-related, but I also felt like I miiiiight come across emails I didn’t want to see — old job emails, failed job applications, emails from exes, and… emails from my dad.
But, over a week’s time, I slowly hacked away at it… and I got to INBOX 0. Never thought that would happen, and I was surprised at how much weight it took off my shoulders. I can look at my phone and not see that giant red number glaring at me.
I know there are still likely other areas of my life than could use a clearing out and a breeze of burning sage, and I’ll get there. So far, though, everything feels good.