If there’s one thing we could all do less with, it’s stress. And when it comes to clutter, it’s a major stressor that is often overlooked.
But trust us – even though you may not consciously notice, that old water bottle that’s sitting at the bottom of your gym bag could be adding to your stress levels.
That’s not a joke.
Studies show that physical clutter (AKA things you don’t need) can actually increase stress and affect your ability to focus.
Honestly, why waste your life living with things you don’t need or don’t even like that much.
Convinced? Okay, good.
Now, before we get into it – there are some things you should know about minimalism:
Minimalism isn’t about giving up the fun stuff and living with the bare minimum.
Look - there’s no need to be extreme, alright? If you’re going to live with the bare minimum, then all you really need is food and water, and that’s just called survival, not being a minimalist.
Actual minimalism is about being intentional with your items.
It’s about getting rid of the stuff that you don’t like, (or hate, if you’ve got pent-up frustration towards those gym shorts that ride up, don’t tell us you don’t know what we're talking about…) so you can focus on the things you really love.
See what we mean? If you only keep what you love, you’ll get to have the fun stuff, and you’ll probably appreciate those items more because you won’t have clutter competing for your attention.
Now, like any minimalist operation – you’ll most likely need to start with a little decluttering.
Straight up – empty the contents of your bag. We mean everything.
Marie Kondo, Queen of Organisation and Author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, recommends putting all the items in one place so you can see everything and be shocked by how much you actually have. This way you’ll realise just how much you need to get your life together, and you can use that motivation to stay organised.
Put back what you love
Next, you can put back the items that you need, and in Marie Kondo style, items that bring you joy. Okay, I get that it’s really, really hard to find joy in a pair of socks (unless you have some awesome socks, and if you do, you’re clearly winning at life).
So, if finding joy in your socks ain’t your thing, maybe just the fact that you managed to get rid of the junk in your bag is something that makes you feel happy. And really, that’s a pretty big win.
KonMari your clothes
Okay, this step is arguably one of the most important steps in making your gym bag look all kinds of Pinterest. If you need to pack gym clothes, work clothes, even your towel, use the KonMari method for folding. Not only will you feel organised-as-hell, but you will also be able to make more space in your bag so you can actually see where everything is. Fantastic, functional, what other reasons do you need, really?
Be more conscious
Minimalism is all about being more conscious of your possessions and of what you do. It’s about treating your items well, and being mindful of the things that surround you.
The moral or the story is that if you treat your items well, they’ll treat you well. If you let go of clutter, and things that you don’t need, you’ll have more time to focus on what’s important. You know, like not having to crop your gym bag out of your selfie shot.