“Less is more.”
Do you bump into things as you move through your space? Does your space look serene until you open the closets or a drawer? Is your family growing but your house is not? Are your papers driving you crazy!? Enjoying the coziness of your home is one of life’s little pleasures, yet at the same time your place can often feel so full of stuff that you cannot completely relax. Your home and belongings are alive with energy, and that energy affects you. Clutter and disorganization can have a profound effect on your; health, prosperity, success, relationships and creativity.
Clutter is anything that is unused, unloved and unorganized. The more cluttered your space gets, the more cluttered your mind will be. Clearing the clutter in your home will; save you time and money, give you energy, eliminate feelings of overwhelm, reduce stress, bring positive changes, give you peace of mind and restore harmony to your home and life. I initially started decluttering because of something my mother used to say, “Clean out the old to make way for the new.”
So, what exactly is decluttering? It means to remove things you do not need from a place (usually untidy or overcrowded), in order to make it more pleasant and more useful. Cleaning your home is an excellent way to bring balance to your consciousness and to your life. What is it about our hearts that make us cling to things that break, fade, and wear out so tightly that we won’t let go? I know, it is easy to become seduced by our possessions and let them run the show. However, decluttering, is not just about getting your desk and closet in order, which does raises the vibe in your home, but going through your clutter and letting go also relieves you of all the stuff you are hanging onto from past careers, relationships, and unfinished business.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot loose.” – Jim Elliot
When we begin to declutter our lives, often it is because we long for some kind of peace, some space, some relief from the chaos … or perhaps it is to start to lead a more intentional, beautiful life. Something magical happens when we dive into the decluttering process you start to learn about yourself.
But first the practical side. You are going to go through everything, the drawers, the closets, under the bed, you get the picture. If an item has been tucked away you will need to decide that if the energy that an item in your house gives you is still positive and worth using, keep it. If the energy an item in your home gives you is negative or indifferent and/or you do not see yourself using it anytime soon, thank the item for the times it gave you, and either throw the item out or give it away. Here are a few facts about decluttering that you did not expect.
Decluttering causes us to confront some key relationships we have to our things, to ourselves and to the world around us:
- We learn that clutter often represents our procrastination and avoidance patterns, and if we are to address the clutter, we must shift those patterns.
- We realize that we place a lot of power in objects: the power to give us identity, a sense of value, a sense of who we are; the power to give use security, hopes for the future, memories, love, comfort
- We learn about our attachments to things, and how to let go. This takes a lot of mindfulness, and some realization that we have happiness within us, and letting go of objects is simply a practice of that realization.
- We start to pay attention to what is truly important to us, and that will shift over the course of the process. When we ask the question of what’s important, we can start to live intentionally, and once we start living in line with those values, we evolve our understanding of what we really value. It changes as we take action.
- We start to deal with the shame and guilt that come up from our clutter, from our procrastination and avoidance, from our years of mindless shopping. The shame and guilt get in the way, but they can also spur us to reconsider our patterns, to start the process of shifting them.
- Accept Where You Are in Life. Often times we purchase items for the person that we see ourselves being one day would use. This is not a good practice because having these items when we are not currently ready to use them and it is only adding to the clutter in our rooms. Thus, when decluttering you must be honest with yourself and accept where you are in life at the time.
Lightening your load to an amount where all your belongings either, make you happy, bring you comfort, serve a useful function, and fit properly in your space, will bring a burst of positive energy into your life. It will be easier to make decisions, stay organized, be successful, and live the life of your dreams.
I have started down this path.
** Published May 2020 in Madison’s Capital City Hues newspaper, in my Art of Now column.