D is for DeClutter
There is a minimalist movement happening. I came across it a few year ago when I was on my own journey to declutter. It was right before my 35th birthday and was so tired of having so much stuff. I had a bag of stuff that had followed me from apartment to apartment all the way from Maryland to Florida and continued to follow me from apartment to apartment and finally to my current home. I had enough.
Growing up, I lived in chaos. I lived with a mom who struggled with depression, anxiety, and hoarding. She claimed that she wasn’t a hoarder because she didn’t save old newspapers. She was a “collector” and her stuff was “valuable.” If you needed a Japanese Kimono or an Indian Sari, she had them. If you needed a pair of taps shoes or ballet shoes, she had them in every size. The problem was that she would have to find them. She had so many “collections.” She had a collection of elephants, llamas, pewter, milk glass, depression glass, candlesticks, teacups, picture frames, aluminum, just to name a few. I would have to make up stories when friends would come over because I was so embarrassed by all of the stuff everywhere. I would tell them that we were cleaning out and I would make a joke of it saying things like “yeah, my mom has everything.”
My 35th Birthday
So, for my 35th birthday I bought two books on decluttering. One was organizational ideas and the other was an audiobook called Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern. This audio book changed my life. I have probably listened to it at least ten times. I started applying some of the principles from the book. I have learned to let go of the things that don’t bring me joy and aren’t useful. I have worked on my guilt of getting rid of something that was a gift or something I paid “good money for.” I also got rid of anything that zapped my energy. One of my favorite lessons I got from her book was that every item needs a home and to set up your home like a kindergarten class and have specific stations for things. She also says to make organization work for you and to create natural ways to organize. For example, I have to see everything otherwise I forget that I own it. For this reason, I don’t have very drawers. I have a lot of bins. Lol.
Becoming a Minimalist by Joshua Becker
Around my 35th birthday I discovered a blog called Becoming a Minimalist by Joshua Becker. I have been so inspired by his story, his blog, and his books on minimalism. I am not currently where I want to be in my minimalist journey, but I’m a lot better than I used to be. I will probably never actually become a minimalist, but I love and use the minimalist principles. The main principle that inspires me is to get rid of clutter so you have more time, money, and energy for the things and activities that you love and bring you joy.
Every now and then, my house starts to get extra cluttered and my husband will make the comment “momma’s coming out” in reference to my mother’s influence. It is a painful, but effective reminder to refocus on decluttering.
Julia Manfre is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. She has a Master’s of Education degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Florida Atlantic University. Julia is a psychotherapist, the owner of Self-Care Solutions, a private practice that specializes in empowering women, a podcaster, she hosts the Self-Care Solutions Podcast, a blogger, and a Keynote Speaker. She has years of experience working in substance abuse treatment, crisis, trauma, and women’s issues.
Julia’s mission in life is to empower women and girls. She was a product of divorced parents and was raised by a single mom. She grew up in the DC area or the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) as it is affectionately known, in a small town in Maryland. She was brought up a die-hard Redskins fan. She loves beading, sewing, ballroom dancing, and Wonder Woman. She is passionate about women’s right and women’s empowerment. Julia is married, has a 6-year-old daughter, Lily, and three guinea pigs named Wuzzy, Lovey, and Yum Yum.