Some of you may be asking yourselves, why are you sharing this somewhat personal very unattractive process? Why are you making a fool of yourself, documenting it, and showing us that you have lived in squalor for a vast majority of your young adult life? What is the purpose Anna???
And to that, my short answer is: transparency. I want to show that not everything is picture perfect, and that it is okay to need to evaluate yourself every now and then. Last month I deep cleaned my bedroom and closet. I was super inspired by Marie Kondo and the vast number of people on YouTube who posted their own closet/room clean outs. What I was not expecting was to have a spiritual journey of sorts (call me dramatic, but it really has revolutionized my life) throughout the two weeks it took me to fully clean everything.
Before I dive any further, I say this in my video as well, I am very aware that I am blessed to be in a position where I am making an 18 minute long video and a blog post about throwing things away, and cleaning out my closet. I am grateful for this, and it is my reality. I know many people in my life who also have way too many “things” or shop impulsively and I am making this post and video as a way to raise awareness towards conscious shopping and more thoughtful consumerism. This is in no way supposed to come across like “bragging” or being obnoxious or insensitive to people who may have less things. Having a lot of things does not mark success or quality of my items/life.
Ultimately I got rid of six garbage bags of junk, old clothes and stuff I simply did not need. Some of the clothes I donated, some are listed on my Poshmark (here) and some were in such bad condition that they simply needed to be disposed of. Enjoy these very unattractive and cringe worthy before pictures:
Here are my biggest take aways:
- Be a more conscious shopper. For now on I will only be making purchases of things I actually NEED or that serve a purpose. I will only shop from sustainabley focused companies. To find out more about this shopping philosophy refer to this article from ManRepeller (A List of Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Shop).
- Organization can improve your mental health. Having a cluttered, crowded or unclean workspace and living space can increase your anxiety and make you feel less energized. (I also run a large part of my business operations out of my bedroom) My productivity has increased so much since organizing and cleaning everything. I felt much more light and clear headed the more I got rid of things.
- It is okay to be sentimental, but be reasonable. A lot of emotions due to sentimental attachments can be attached to our clothing and that can stir up a lot of negativity when you put things in garbage bags or get ready to sell things. When I was cleaning, I made a huge MAYBE pile which I went back to in two weeks to double check if I wanted to toss or keep certain items that held more memories.
- You don’t have to be a minimalist. Maybe I need to clean my closet out again in a few months, or maybe I missed the point of Marie Kondo’s method, but I do not think I will ever be a “complete” minimalist. I love a pop of color, I love having one or two extra party dresses, and I kept some pieces that I felt were “archive” pieces to my wardrobe. You don’t have to be a minimalist, but a cleanup of this proportion will help make you more conscious and help realize that you don’t need so many things.
- Winter is the perfect time to do this. Whoever said spring cleaning was the time for a cleanup was mistaken. Taking the time to tear my living space apart in the winter months, when I am trapped inside going stir crazy was the best decision I made. It helped my seasonal depression, kept me busy, and since I was basically trapped by the weather I had to take it seriously. Also, I forgot how dusty things get in the winter when I open the window less and spend more time indoors!
- Less is more. Having less clothes in my closet allowed the clothes I kept to be worn more. Cleaning out my entire closet really reminded me of some pieces I had forgotten about. I feel I know the pieces I need to look for when/if I decide to shop again, and I was able to curate my style more believe it or not.
If you watch the video you may notice that I updated my bedding and mirror situation a bit since it occurred. Have you done a huge closet clean out? Am I blowing this out of proportion in my head? The video is long but I really wanted to give a comprehensive overview of the cleanup process and I swear there are some funny moments!
Run & Follow Social: