How to Prepare for Re-Entry

At some point our current crisis will come to an end, and we'll return to "normal" life.

Remember normal life, just a few short weeks ago?  We were busy – usually too busy – and anxious to keep up with what everyone else was doing, seeing, buying, eating, wearing, aspiring to.  We spent a lot of time shopping, and not just for things we needed like food, medicine, and toilet paper.  We weren't a community surviving together in challenging circumstances – we spent our time competing and comparing and desiring what someone else had.


A different perspective

This global tragedy has cost too many lives and too many livelihoods, but it has had an upside.  We've been given a break from our typical way of doing things, and suddenly we have the freedom to evaluate our lives with almost no external pressure to keep up with the Joneses or anyone else.

We've all been stuck in roughly equal circumstances, and we all have the opportunity to emerge from this difficult historic moment as better versions of ourselves.

But to do this, we have to be willing to cut ties with our previous FOMO-driven busyness and consumerism.  We need to be honest about our true values and needs.

5 areas to consider before re-entry

1.  Decide what's really important.

Most of us insist that we treasure family and relationships above all.  But did our previous lifestyle actually support that claim?  How often did family togetherness lose out to work, school, sports, screen addictions, shopping, and other activities?  Right now, we have the chance to re-align our choices and actions with our values.

2.  Evaluate schedules and commitments.

With almost all activities cancelled, we've probably had more rest and free time than we've enjoyed for years.  What was all of the busyness about?  Did it really add to our lives, or did the pressure and lack of focus diminish the benefits of those involvements?  Right now, we have the chance to thoughtfully evaluate each commitment and intentionally choose what to allow back into our schedules.

3.  Commit to creativity.  

When you add up time we spend binge-watching TV and videos, playing video games, and zoning out on music, you can see we're heavy consumers of other people's creativity.  Right now, we have the chance to put limits on that.  We can make time to use our talents and produce something ourselves, and bring something good to the world around us.

4.  Rethink your relationship to what you own.  

Since we've been forced to spend time at home, we've spent a lot of time face-to-face with our possessions.  How do you feel about all of the stuff you've amassed?  How much of it impedes the comfort and function you need at home?  How much of it is unnecessary?  Right now, we have the chance to remove clutter and commit to more intentional accumulation going forward.

5.  Analyze spending habits.

If we're enduring financial hardships, perhaps we've already started to think about this.  Why didn't we save more when finances were good?  Why did we acquire so much debt?  Were we using our money in ways that truly brought satisfaction and well-being?  Right now, we have the chance to reassess our finances and make better decisions about how to use our limited resources.

Choose minimalism.

If you're considering minimalism because you've recently been forced into owning less, I'm sorry for your situation.  But you don't need to view this as a disaster.  Owning less gives you the opportunity to find more freedom, more focus, and more energy to put into the things that really give meaning to your life. 

If you've been interested in minimalism for some time, I encourage you to be intentional about resuming normal life.  Consider what you've learned about yourself during this crisis.  Stay focused on the things that add value and bring joy, and discard the rest.

  • remove the stuff that's bogging you down
  • uncover a cleaner, more spacious home that welcomes and supports you
  • escape the consumer treadmill
  • overcome bad habits and practice better ones
  • highlight your favorite belongings and memories
  • find time for what you care about
  • discover a sense of freedom and accomplishment

You can be happier with less, and Uncluttered will show you how.

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Updated March 2023


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