You might remember that I’ve been taking stock of my possessions recently. I’ve given away and decluttered some things, but mostly I’ve focused on not bringing in new stuff that I don’t really love or have a specific need for. This has been going on for about a year now, maybe a little longer and though it’s hard, I think I’ve been doing pretty well with it overall.
To keep my spirits up about this lifestyle and to teach me more about minimalism and sustainability, I watch a lot of videos on YouTube. Everytime I watch a decluttering video, I feel inspired to review some of my own things or reinforced in my beliefs that this lifestyle is healthy for me. A few days ago I came across a video that I thought was really helpful. I’ll link the video for you all to watch, but to paraphrase, the creator recommended decluttering your fantasy life alongside your physical one.
We all have these ideas about who we could be, dreams and goals that we want to accomplish. Sometimes they’re realistic and we make a good go of them, but not always. And that lack of follow through can sometimes create physical clutter based on a fantasy that we never fulfill.
We hold on to clothes we aspire to fit into one day, the yoga mat we said we would wake up early enough to use every morning, the fancy coffee maker we ignore in favor of a local shop. We expect ourselves to grow into the physical things we bought to satisfy a fantasy, but it doesn’t always work out. And those unfulfilled fantasies can cost us money, provide a sense or reminder of failure, and contribute to clutter in our homes.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t dream or try to improve ourselves. But the idea of decluttering fantasies in order to hone in on the most achievable and important aspirations is the type of practical suggestion I thrive under.
My goal right now is to work on my physical fitness. I’ve had a love hate relationship with it for most of my life, but I know how valuable even thirty minutes of cardio is and so I’m doing my best to work towards a goal of regular exercise. That all said, aside from a pair of running shoes, I haven’t let myself buy any work out gear in the last two years. It might be annoying to hand wash my one sports bra between workouts, but until I get to a point where fitness is a regular part of my life (a point where I’m not foregoing it weeks or even months at a time), I can’t justify bringing in more things to support the fantasy idea of myself as an athletic person. Why should a hoard a drawer full of exercise gear I barely make use of, right? Even before I started downsizing, I instinctively knew this.
We need to ask ourselves what it is that we want more than anything else. We need to prioritize our energies and focus on developing a single new habit at a time, rather than spreading ourselves thin and trying to go for too many changes at once. We need to declutter these unrealistic ideas we have about ourselves and understand that actually achieving some of our goals will give us more confidence than any trumped up fantasy life ever could, as well as take up less space in our homes with things we don’t use.