Truth be told, I am not a “neat” person. I am organized in the I “over-plan” sense, but hardly in the way of “stuff.” Yet, the topic of “de-cluttering” has been entering my world quite a bit lately, so it appears I should attend to it. A client sent me a quote which I liked quite a bit-
“Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.” ~Eleanor Brown
I keep trying to de-clutter, throw things away, donate what can be donated, keep things picked up… This can be so tough in the life of having young children, both my husband and I working…but I think that at any stage in life, this can be challenging – making time to let go of that which is no longer useful.
I think it is the effortful part of this that makes it difficult. Rather than working, playing, relaxing- taking the time to go through the drawers, closets, and wherever else you store the things that you never use is often the last thing we want to do.
Oh how this reminds me of the personal development work of “de-cluttering” our mind of negative beliefs, thoughts that disempower us, and emotions that we are holding hostage in our body. This releasing of negative energies can be so much like the work of decluttering our homes, our closets, letting go of our “stuff.”
It’s not always easy, it is less appealing than lying on the couch watching Netflix, and yet, it is the thing that once addressed, we can feel so much lighter, clearer, and relieved.
How do we motivate to do any of the work involved in both physical and mental decluttering?
Ask yourself first “What is my goal?” “How am I hoping to feel when this is accomplished?”
Then “What am I making room for?” “What is the purpose or desire I have for my life that I am not allowing space for right now?”
Once you have found some motivation, come up with a plan to start to de-clutter. Maybe for you, one day per week to work on a specific project. Or maybe you have 3 major projects to work on, decide which is most important and start there.
Like all endeavors, the first step is most important. Once in motion, you are more likely to stay in motion. Make a date in your calendar and stick to it-plans as important as a lunch date with a friend. Then use bins for the things to be donated, garbage bags for well, garbage, and remember that if it no longer does its desire function, it is not worth saving…or donating. No one else wants your old crap if it doesn’t work.
If it is more emotional de-cluttering that you seek, find the stuck points. Is your body experiencing pain or discomfort? There are often emotional ties to holding onto “baggage” in your body. Are there thoughts that you know in your heart are not beneficial for you?
Emotions that feel challenging to regulate? This can be even more taxing than the actual, physical stuff in your home. Make a list of that which may need some attending to.
Prioritize these things, just as you would as if it were to: clean out the linen closet, organize the toys in the basement, and throw out old nail polishes. But instead, this list may be more of: figure out why my neck is still so tight, address anxiety about work, and attend to insecurities about my body.
Taking the time to tackle that which is cluttering our space, our mind, our life is not always the easiest thing to do, but once it is done, or at least begun, we start to feel a sense of accomplishment and often it inspires us to keep going.
The first step in the right direction takes the most effort. So as you are reading this, take 5 minutes. Think of what in your life could use some decluttering. What do you need to do next to start? Take step one today if you can. Then really follow through this time. Watch as you start to breathe deeper and mind starts to feel clearer.
Don’t put this off! Do not allow yourself the defense of “There is not enough time” or “I’m too busy right now, I’ll do it when things slow down.” Things are NOT going to slow down any time soon, unless you create the time to focus on yourself and your life as you hope it to be.
I will join you in this-I have plenty of de-cluttering to do as well. I think we all do. Let’s create space for receiving all the great things that are to come.
If any of this is true for you and you are seeking guidance in moving through the “stuck” points, I’d love to talk more with you. If you are ready to make big changes, transform your old belief system and start to live your life with true confidence: