Clean Up Your Room

One teen's personal experience with decluttering and minimalism

Words by Mathias Elgaard

First, I want to address an issue that seems to be widespread. Minimalism is not about getting rid of all your stuff. Quite a lot of people think that in order to become a minimalist you need to live with only a certain number of items. I was in this group of people, so when I first became interested in minimalism, I tried to get rid of all my stuff, just to see the clutter slowly coming back.

So I listened to three people: Jordan Peterson on cleaning your room and Matt D’Avella and Marie Kondo on minimalism. I followed Marie Kondo’s book and kept only what sparked joy in my heart. What a transformation. When everything was out on the floor, I thought to myself: How did I get so much stuff? Stupid as I was, I did not realize it was as bad as it was. After keeping only what sparked joy, after throwing seven 45-liter bags of junk out, after remodeling and repainting the entire room, I felt free.


It felt like a giant pile of stones was finally taken away from me. Clarity flowed through me. Here is what happens when you clean up your room: You go through yourself by going through your room. Your room is an externalization of your mind.

When your room is clean, your mind is clean. So go clean up your room, and clean it up completely.

Mathias Elgaard

The person who wrote this is called Mathias. Mathias is a 14-year-old boy who recently has thought about getting his life back on track. Mathias lives in Denmark, Silkeborg, with his family. He is a daily listener of Jordan Peterson, Matt D’Avella, and Jocko Willink.

Mathias Elgaard

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Inside Minimalism is our series of exclusive essays on simple living. Each essay is written by our team of writers who are passionate about helping you craft a simpler life. Supported by their own personal experiences, we want to inspire and encourage you to clear the path of life’s stuff, so you can get to where you really want to be.

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