I love to sew and I’m pretty creative with the dresses I make. Because those dresses are my own personal creations they fit well and match my creative style. Or they did.
But we are ever-growing and changing and hitting my 30s during a worldwide Pandemic brought me something I didn’t expect. A style revolution. I’m not saying I completely changed but some things, deep inside me, changed and all of the sudden some of my creations were no longer speaking to me.
If I am honest those dresses were part of the old me. I can’t see them in my future. I needed to learn how to stop living in the past and how to let go of sentimental items in general. When I was able to do that I was able to let them go.
It’s Time To Realize If You’re Living in the Past
Who are you now? Have you changed? What are your present priorities, values, and goals? Does your stuff match your current life situation? How can asking yourself those questions and living in the here and now help you declutter your home and even your life?
Let’s talk about how to get honest with yourself about who you are now.
That way you can declutter so your stuff matches your CURRENT life situation. It will also help you look to the future and bring only what you need for that greatest of adventures!
Who Are You Now? How to Stop Living in the Past With Your Style
As I mentioned before, I started to notice my style changing during the worldwide pandemic. And no, I don’t just mean my desire to wear stretchy pants at all times. I noticed myself drawn to softer lines and cleaner looks. I still love color in my wardrobe but I started wanting fewer frills.
Do you feel like you have changed? Do you want to represent yourself in a new way? Whether in clothing or in your home décor, are you no longer identifying with what you used to love?
Let me ask you if you were still wearing the styles you loved in your teens would you feel right about it? Most likely you would not. So why are you planting yourself in a style that no longer speaks for the person you are now or the goals you have?
Now I am not saying you have to get a whole new wardrobe. Who can afford that!? I certainly can’t. And I do still like some of my clothes. But, I’ve decided to give myself permission to let go of clothing and décor that represents who I used to be and replace it with things that match the person I am now.
In some cases I have not replaced the items I let go of at all. I have just lived without them. And guess what? I didn’t need that many clothes or throw pillows anyway!
Who Are You Now? How to Stop Living in the Past When You Do Different Things Now!
Your old 4H Jacket, your kid’s baby clothes, the paint supplies from that class you took, your college textbooks, and your relegated ski equipment. Are these things that really play a role in the life you are living today?
Sometimes we hold onto things that we loved once. We hold onto equipment or clothing for things we no longer do. Why do we do that? Because we feel like letting go of those things closes a door. We feel like if we finally let go we are saying that we will never ever do those things, or be that person again. Is that true? There are two ways to look at it.
Firstly, in most cases, it is true that a chapter in our life has ended. We no longer paint, have babies, or go to college. Those chapters of our life ended a long time ago. Letting go of the souvenirs from those parts of our life does not end the chapter. Time already did that.
It’s important to remember though, that letting go of the stuff we no longer need does not delete our memories. Those memories, and the way those experiences shaped you as a person, will always be with you! When you remember that you will know to let go of the past by letting go of the things from it but keeping the memories.
The second way you might look at letting go of things for activities that are no longer a part of your life, is that you aren’t doing those things any time soon.
But if you decide to get into skiing again or you suddenly get a renewed interest in painting, you can get things that you need for those activities at that time. You don’t have to lug that stuff around in the meantime.
When you learn how to stop living in the past and let go of all the junk that belongs to it it can be very freeing. It not only helps you declutter the garage, it opens you up for anything! Who knows what the next chapter of your life will hold? Maybe you will even find something new to love!
Learn How to Stop Holding Onto An Imaginary Future
Do you have any books on your bookshelf because they make you look like a well-educated worldly-wise person? Have you actually read and enjoyed those books or are they just there because you think they will make you look like the person you wish you were?
Maybe you have a very fancy dress hanging in your closet with the tags on for the fancy occasion you dream of going to one day. When do you think that “one day” will come?
Sometimes we buy stuff for a version of ourselves that doesn’t exist. Sometimes we keep things for a future self that is smarter, thinner, and fancier than we really are. We may even force ourselves to wear or read or use those things and we know that they do not feel authentic to the person we are.
If there is anything in your home that represents a person that you are not, it’s time to let it go. You can’t go through life like an actor in a movie.
You are the person that you are and no amount of pressure from objects in your home is going to make you someone else, so stop pretending! I promise you will feel better when you accept yourself and start living in the here and now.
Who Are You Now? Stop Living in the Past and Work On Your New Goals!
When you were a kid you wanted to be a rock star or a pro athlete when you grew up! But now, now you have different goals. When you look at the things you are holding on to which person do they represent?
Or does your stuff represent a person you never wanted to be? I think that happens to a lot of us. As life puts us in a rut of getting by we get stuff that we want in the moment but that doesn’t represent the person we want to be in the future.
I’m not saying that you should get rid of stuff that is actually useful in your daily life. As long as I live in the high desert of New Mexico near Colorado I am going to need winter clothes even though I won’t need them when I reach my goals.
What I am saying is, take a look at your stuff, and the quantity of it. Are you keeping a lot of stuff that you mindlessly acquired over time? Maybe you are dragging around a bunch of things that don’t align with your current goals and values. Are those things going to hold you back from achieving your goals? Will they be hard to let go of if the door to your dreams opens?
It might be time to dramatically reduce your possessions so that you will be more flexible and ready to reach your goals. You might also want to stop wasting money on mindless shopping. That money could be spent on working towards your goals!
And it’s easier than you think to get rid of your stuff! You don’t even have to have a boring yard sale!
It’s Worth It to Ask “Who Are You NOW?”
It’s amazing to think how much we live in the past or the future. We keep things to hold on to our past even though our memories are always with us. Sometimes we buy things to help us be a person we aren’t and may never be. We are constantly worried about everything except the present.
But let me ask you, would you start an epic road-trip adventure without looking at a map? And would you start your journey in a place where you used to be or a place where you might end up one day? No! You would start your journey in the place where you are now.
That is why it is so important to stop and ask yourself; “Who are you now?” You need to know who you are now to be able to progress, grow, and move forward.
Until we learn how to stop living in the past we are going to be hauling around a lot more than we need to. Sometimes our ties to what we used to be or what we wish we were by now, can blind us to the amazing potential we have living in the here and now.
Looking to the future is important. If you aren’t growing you aren’t living. But to get to the future you need to examine your life and see if the way that you are living, in the here and now, aligns with your goals for the future. If you see that your life isn’t going in the right direction it is time to stop and redirect your priorities and your daily actions so that you can reach the goals you have!
When You Know How to Stop Living in the Past You Will Be Able to Declutter Your Entire Life!
I know that when you stop and think about who you are right now and where you want to go you will be able to let go of everything that holds you back from achieving your goals!
When you start living in the here and now you can declutter things from your past that are weighing you down and filter out false perceptions of yourself that keep you from living authentically.
If you need help knowing how to declutter your home and how to bust through all the excuses you make to keep junk I created the Fearless Decluttering E-Book and Printable pages to help you declutter and organize your home so that it serves you in the best possible way! Learn more about it here.
But what if you want to simplify your entire life? If you want to make minimalism a way of thinking and living I wrote the Doable Simplicity E-Book to help you simplify your stuff, your schedule, your chores, and your goals!