Lasting change starts from within. When we set out on our Decluttering Journey in 2015, I don’t think I was fully prepared for the intense internal changes I would experience. In fact, if I had known from the start that decluttering was more about my heart and my head than my space, I probably would have started much sooner.

The truth is, I’ve written this simple book to help you start unwinding the thought patterns in your head that resulted in a cluttered space or home. It’s not easy work. It’s emotional, what I call ‘heart work’ and it must be done consistently if you are to see true success throughout this process.

While this guide is a start (congratulate yourself for this massive step!), I urge you to form habits that will push you to answer questions like ‘why do I need things to make me feel xyz?’, ‘when I think about money what is the first feeling I have?’, or ‘how can I form a more positive relationship with my belongings?’

Throughout this process, you will likely stumble. And believe me, that’s okay. The honest truth is that I stumbled hard after I had my baby. I felt like I needed to give her things and bring more things into my life. It was only when I realized she found joy in simply being with me and my husband that I gave myself another mindful reality check.

I paused. I reflected. I took stock of my emotions to help me let go of fears.

The pause-reflect habit is almost as important as the decluttering habits and that is also why I’ve built some of that into this book. You will find your own path and rhythm, but I hope some of my guidance gives you reprieve.

One word of warning: you will probably experience intense emotions as you journey to declutter mindfully. One of the greatest realizations is the answer to ‘why’ we are truly holding onto material possessions. Deep diving into that answer can unleash fear, resentment, anger and grief. My best advice is to feel those feelings, and breathe through them.

Feel the way they make your body react. Become aware and then choose to declutter those feelings from your life, just as you are decluttering items. This is the path to freedom. This is the path to joy.

This is the path where you decide what is worth it for you.