When Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life premiered on Netflix, I binge-watched it in one day. One of my favourite scenes was when Emily Gilmore, shattered by the death of her husband, decided to do a major spring cleaning and get rid of all the things that "didn't bring her joy."

This scene was humorous, but it also rang true to life. It made me wonder: why do we keep things that don't bring us joy? When I came home after university for the summer and did my spring cleaning, I decided to adopt this decluttering philosophy. I ditched all the things in my life that do not bring me joy–literally and figuratively. Let me tell you, I feel so much better. The following are just a few of the benefits of being minimalistic and decluttering your life.

We become more mindful

When we go shopping, it's easy to get away with purchasing many things. When you begin to go through your closet and realize how many items you haven't even worn, you realize how much money was wasted. Being more mindful when shopping will help you make better purchasing decisions, therefore saving money and keeping a more organized space in the process.

A simpler life leads to less stress

When we have a cluttered zone, we feel more stressed out. It's hard to relax when you have stuff all over the place that you have yet to sort through, or when the place you spend most of your time in is a disaster zone. By simplifying your life, you really feel more relaxed. You have what you need to be happy and live comfortably, and that's all that matters.

A happier outlook

By keeping the things that only bring you joy, you will spend more time in a joyful state. Gone are the days where you lose your favourite item at the bottom of a drawer, or forget where you keep a special momentum. It's time to stop saving certain items for a special occasion, and start making every day a special occasion. 

Quicker and easier to clean

Less possessions = less mess. Simple as that! Imagine only needing half the time it currently takes you to clean. Things are just more organized and tidy when you have less clutter.

More freedom and power

This one is a biggie. The more you begin to detach yourself from material possessions and useless things, the more power and freedom you have. You begin to feel more in control of your life and it becomes easier to get rid of things that no longer better you. People included.

How To Do It

Now that you realize the benefits of leading a minimalistic life, you may be wondering, "how do I actually do this?!" There are 7 steps I followed in my decluttering:

Step 1: Categorized all my possessions and worked one step at a time. For example, I started with clothes, then cosmetics, jewelry, random things, etc.

Step 2: Immediately took anything I realized I no longer needed and discarded it. This step helped me work with less stuff.

Step 3: Assessed everything and placed the items that didn't bring me joy in a separate pile.

Step 4: Assessed the joy-less pile and separated it into things that needed to be thrown out, given to someone I knew, or donated to charity.

Step 5: Then the hard part: assessing the joy pile and making sure all of this stuff really brought me joy.

Step 6: Put everything in the joy pile away in an organized and tidy manner. 

Step 7: Took everything in the joy-less pile and gave it away, tossed it out, or donated it.

And voila! My bedroom and bathroom are super clean and organized. I know where everything is and I feel like I lead a simpler and more joyful life. Shoutout to Emily Gilmore from Gilmore Girls for helping me come to this realization.