5 Steps to Minimal Living

When my organizing clients find out I live as a minimalist on a sailboat, they are often in awe and fascinated. How do I do this? is the essence of their many questions. If only I could figure out how to explain that you can do this too! I hate when I can read on clients´ faces, ¨Minimalist living sounds great, but it´s not possible for me,¨ because that is simply not true, at any stage in life. If there was one golden nugget of wisdom I could share about Simply Rich Living, it would be that it is a way out of the struggle. I have looked over my past and broken down how I got to my lifestyle into five steps:

Step 1: De-clutter.

Step 2: Identify and Acknowledge what´s not working for you.

Step 3: Repeat.

Step 4: Non-Do.

Step 5: Meditate.

Step 1: De-Clutter

 

My minimalist, tiny home, meaning-driven lifestyle all began with de-cluttering. I was 16 or 17, had luckily discovered a superb de-cluttering book, and never looked back. Living clutter-free is a no-brainer, you may know or learn soon. It´s a way out of the struggle. Removing the physical crap out of your home quite literally gives you the energy to remove the other, less tangible crap out of your home, too.

I´m writing this blog post in my home, currently sailing from Cuttyhunk to Martha´s Vineyard. I almost chose to not go on this incredible getaway, because my partner and I have been going through some hard times. But as I reflect on my choice now, I see that not having things with which to procrastinate, a big house to clean and maintain, a television to escape into, quite literally forced me to face our issues and resolve them – with enough time to not miss out on what we both love to do together. My clutter-free life not only forced me to face my issues, but also just as much supported me in obtaining some clarity I needed. What we both wanted beneath the hurt feelings and confusion was to move forward and sail together. Now here I am, feeling so happy and grateful for this divine vacation on the water, island hopping, free of worry. I know without a doubt that my simply rich lifestyle once again supported me in attaining my deepest desires.

Declutter Letting GoCan you think of an area in your life where you feel stuck, or it tends to be a struggle? A strategy you may have not tried yet is de-cluttering. The connection is not always so obvious. You can start anywhere in your home, office, or car. Choose a drawer, pile of paper, or one small area in a room. Use the diagram as your simple guide. As you continue to de-clutter your home, notice if that area of your life gets more unstuck. Let me know in the comments section below!

 

De-cluttering is a life-long practice that keeps you in the present time. And surprise! Step 1 will organically lead you into Step 2. Step 1 gives you the energy and willpower to do Step 2 – identify and acknowledge what´s not working anymore in your life.  Step 1 gives you clarity to identify the real struggles (such as, ¨I habitually over commit myself¨) underneath the superficial ones (¨I can never find the important papers I need¨).

There are a lot of excellent resources out there to help with de-cluttering. You can do a little Google searching to get started and find what speaks to you. My de-cluttering bible is the book I wrote about in this blog post. There are also these people known as professional organizers who love to support you your de-cluttering process, and remind you to hold compassion for yourself.

Sending you luck with Step 1! My next blog post will be Step 2.

 

Declutter Letting Go Simple Living

About Sara Luisa Valverde

Supporting people in organizing, time-management, and simplifying has always come naturally for Sara. She´s had the opportunity to hone this skillset in her professional career, most recently while supporting three (incredibly busy) senior professors at Harvard Business School, and while working within a clinical research team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Since June 2015, she has worked as an independent yoga teacher, specializing in un-learning habitual posture patterns that get in one´s way. Sara honors the act of organizing as both an internal and external process. Her approach is to keep it simple, so you have the mental and physical space for maintaining clarity and peace of mind. She loves that her services in professional organizing bring together two passions: internal and external de-cluttering. She thrives on living a minimalist lifestyle, living as a full-time liveaboard on her beloved sailboat.

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