by Bridget Baker 

Life changes. You may have experienced a breakup, a new baby, a marriage, a job loss. Something big has changed, and your current surroundings, wardrobe, and environment may not reflect who you are now. As you envision a new you, you may be thinking, “It’s time for a makeover!” Well, what about a different approach? How about a make-UNDER?  

Often when we try to improve our lives, we think we need to add more, but what if the key to making over our lives was in having less, in doing less? Start with the foundation of not only decluttering, but in finding the peace created by letting go of what doesn’t inspire you, gets in your way or just doesn’t fit your lifestyle anymore.   

Minimalism is not just about assessing your physical “stuff.” It’s a philosophy, a way of life, and a foundation for a more simple quality of life. Now, who doesn’t want that? When you get all of those items that are cluttering your view out of your way, you can see what’s underneath and focus on what is truly important to you.   

Here are some areas in your life that may be due for a make-under:  

Your Wardrobe:  

Let’s start with your closet first. Pull everything out of your closet and onto your bed or chair — and I mean all of it. It may seem overwhelming to tackle your wardrobe all at once but bear with me. You are cleaning the slate so that you can create. Clean the floor of your closet, the walls, etc. — whatever you need to do to feel like you have just moved in. Then, go through items one by one. Will you wear it? Does it fit? Does it fit into your lifestyle now? Make a pile for donations, and if it’s valuable enough, you can sell the item online. Be honest with yourself about how each piece fits into your life now, rather than into a life you once had, and let go of what doesn’t support you. I recommend hanging all of your clothes, so you don’t have to do any folding, except for pajamas, socks, workout clothes, underwear, etc…. 

Your Beauty Routine:  

Are you using more steps and more products than you need to when you start or finish your day? It’s essential to buy fewer products that are better quality and simplify your routine. Is there a face wash that can double as a makeup remover, for example? Do you have to blow dry your hair every day? What products do you love, and what products do you “think” you should be using (that aren’t doing much for you)? Empty that makeup drawer and assess one item at a time. Then, be conscious of what you purchase. Do you need a new moisturizer when you still have half a bottle of the one you love in the cabinet?   

Your Garage:  

Cleaning out the garage can be a tough one for some people. Rather than being used to store cars, garages can often become warehouses for unfinished projects and discarded hobbies. Summer is the best time to clean out your garage and set up a place for everything. Rather than buying more storage bins or adding shelving units, it may be that much of what is in your garage doesn’t need to be there at all. Have a garage sale and give your items a new home to someone who would genuinely benefit from and use them. Pro tip: after the garage sale, donate what’s left, rather than hauling it back into your garage for some future sale. Let. It. Go.  

Your Decor:  

Did you decorate when you moved into your living space years ago, and now nothing seems to feel like you anymore? Rather than thinking you have to change everything, start by paring down. What decor did you purchase because it was trendy at the time, but now feels played out and uninspiring? What knick-knack is gathering dust rather than bringing you joy to have displayed in your home? Clean the slate. Take down everything that you don’t love. Experiment with bare walls for a while. Does the room need to be a different color? Do you need to have something in every corner or every wall? Give your space and yourself some breathing room to create what is next by letting go of what you don’t love first. See what feels right to put in the space next, or enjoy less clutter in the room. 

If you know that it’s time to move on from a job, a relationship, or a way of life that is causing you stress, it may be time to simplify. Focus on what’s important, and then piece by piece, strip away what is not essential. To have more time, do less. To have better relationships, eliminate distractions. To have a simpler life, why not try living with less? 

bridget baker | web presence sherpa| productivity hacker | digital nomad | freelance blogger |minimalist adventurer | speaker |

my mission: be clear. be simple. be you!