We're coming into Spring and some of us have more time on our hands in lock down - I appreciate some don't! Perfect opportunity to clear out the clutter in your home, you'll feel the difference, not only in your home but in your body and mind/emotions too.
Think of clutter clearing as symbolic of letting go of the old so the new can come in. Even if you only allow yourself one hour each evening – make a start – do a drawer at a time: that wonderful Chinese cliché : a journey of 2,000 miles starts with the one step.
I am not a Miss Goody Two Shoes where this is concerned, in fact call me Miss Squirrel, I am forever clearing clutter but my tiny little house is like a Tardis and there always seems to be something else I discover I am hoarding! I may not be exactly Zen now, but there is a certain order to my ‘mini-clutter’! Mind you I love clutter clearing, and every single time I do it, I not only feel better mentally but something great seems to happen in my life, it is as if I have created an energetic space for that good thing to come into.
I have to say however that being in lock down, this is my fourth week, has given me a totally different perspective of acquiring 'things', a much healthier one and I think, because there are no deliveries or postal service where I am, I may well have cured my Amazon addiction. Late at night I would always find something that I just couldn't live without!
Clutter derives from the Middle English word ‘clotter’ – to coagulate. That is just what clutter does, it coagulates, stagnates, prevents you from moving on in life, after a while you begin to stagnate along with all your clutter! It can be very damaging, it can:
Make you feel tired and lethargic – decisions become harder to make
Make you feel that life is like walking up hill through treacle
Create an atmosphere of pessimism
Keep you firmly tied to the past, unable to let go. It can put your life ‘on hold’
Building clutter around you is a form of self protection – a perfect parallel is FAT on the body – the two can go hand in hand. If you are trying to lose weight, get clutter clearing!
The environmental clutter begins to reflect in the body as it too becomes cluttered and congested, often reflected in a sluggish lymph system, chesty cough, poor ‘elimination’ and water retention.
Be time wasting – how much time in a year do you lose just looking for things. Being uncluttered could effectively ‘give’ you back time.
On the other hand, becoming uncluttered will help you:
Feel more alive, ready for the challenge of life, able to take decisions, optimistic.
Move your life on – achieve your goals
Feel more confident and not needy of any protective layers of clutter or fat. You will feel lighter on all levels.
Energy begins to move around the body again, bringing organs and systems back into balance
Have more time in your life to do the things you enjoy
While you are sorting out your surroundings, ‘inner’ work is going on, even if you are not consciously aware of the fact.
Removing energetic obstacles in your home, will initiate the removal of obstacles in your life.
Notice if your ‘elimination’ is improved, is there less water retention, has your cough disappeared along with the clutter?
I like to use Karen Kingston’s [Google her, she’s written a great book on clutter clearing and creating sacred space] definition of clutter, which includes four categories:
1. Things you do not use or love – do not inspire
2. Things which are untidy or disorganised
3. Too many things in too small a space
4. Anything unfinished
Clutter doesn’t have to be old, broken or dusty – it can be brand spanking new. The question you have to ask yourself is: how relevant and necessary is it to your life now.
If you keep things ‘just in case’ / ‘it may come in useful’ – is it because you have a lack of trust in the future? Have faith and believe that your future needs will be met.
Life is not about building up a huge pile of junk, it is about building a huge pile of experiences.
Someone once said: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”. Don’t waste any more of your life accumulating clutter, get out there and live.
PRACTICAL CLUTTER CLEARING
Make this week the week you start to clear clutter from your life, roll up your sleeves and get cleaning and clearing so that energy can flow again and you can ‘move on’.[Oh you fellow Virgos out there, you are going to love getting the bin liners out and the rubber gloves on!]
Physically clean the area of any dust dirt and grime, it starts the process. Just cleaning your windows enables you to see out more clearly and bring more clarity to your thoughts and life!
Lots of black bin liners.
Enough time with no distractions, although even if you just start with an hour a day – it gets you in the groove.
Enthusiastic determination/ a dose of ‘gusto’
Quick decision making
An objective friend - optional and probably not possible if you are in lock down
Divide your possessions into 6 categories:
CHARITY – and get the bag/s down to the charity shop as soon as you can, if they hang around in the hallway or garage, you will dip in and take things out! Call your local charity, they might be able to come and collect. If you are in lock down you'll have to leave it there or put in the garage if you have one, until you can get out and about.
CHUCK – out for rubbish collection now!
KEEP – but make sure everything has it’s own place
GIVE TO FRIENDS OR CHARITY
RECYCLE – not just about being environmental conscious but also about being ‘creative’ – can an item be used for another purpose? .
NOT SURE – an easy rule of thumb is that if it takes you longer than 60 seconds to make a decision, CHUCK IT! However, some things do require a bit more consideration. When you have finished clutter clearing, revisit this pile and make your decisions.
Books – give away, unless you will use/read them.
Magazines and papers: read, cut out articles that you will be following up – then throw everything else away into the recycle bin. Today, with the internet, information is far easier to find that it was ten years ago, so hoarding hundreds of paper articles is not necessary.
Love letters and photos – difficult one this: be discerning, perhaps now is the time to let some of those memories go.
Office – tidy, file and chuck. Keep your desk clear and tidy
Computer – we now have to include electronic clutter on the list – clear up your files – rather than an evening of soap operas, how about an evening of file flinging?
Accounts – work out a system that suits you, do NOT have odd receipts here and there cluttering up your desk. Keep them in a box ready to sort.
Anything you no longer use or that is broken – charity or chuck
Other people’s clutter. Are you storing stuff for friends, well, it is time they came to collect!
Drugs, food, make up and creams – past the use by date? Chuck!
Furniture – that you are not using and is just taking up space in the spare room, garage or attic – sell it.
Jewellery – you no longer wear or that has negative associations – give away or sell.
TOXIC PEOPLE – clutter clear stale, stagnant people from your life, which de-motivate or depress you. Have the wisdom to recognise when a relationship, of whatever kind, has past its sell-by date. No bitterness, but with a warm appreciation for the friendship that was. Don’t judge, just be aware of your needs and if they are not being fulfilled, let go and move on.
Every hour of your life is precious, respect that and be discerning, fill your life, wherever possible, with people that inspire you, make you laugh or share your perspective on life.
Obviously it is difficult where family and work colleagues are concerned, but in other areas of your life, where you have choice, exercise that choice.
TOXIC THOUGHTS – clear angry, negative thoughts from your mind. Don’t hold on to grudges. Stop gossiping, complaining, moaning, judging, criticising. These are all toxic clutter that will harm you emotionally over time. Clear it out and fill your mind with positive thoughts and an attitude of gratitude.
It may take you a week, a month or months to get cleared – once you are, make a commitment that you will never ever get cluttered up again.
Once a year have a ‘spring clean/clutter clearing’ day/s
Once a month – go around all rooms clearing obvious clutter
Once a week – put everything away and tidy cupboards
Once a day – a five minute pick up clutter time
All the time – don’t put it down, put it away!
Follow the something in – something out rule
So, get cleaning, clearing and you’ll see how good it feels and how almost addictive it becomes!
If you don't know her already, take a look at Marie Kondo and the art of tidying ..... I did and my nicker drawer has never been the same since !