Less is More: Five Steps for Getting Rid of Your Clutter
While running a parenting workshop recently, I was really proud of the great topics I was discussing. From how to listen to your children to getting your kids to cooperate without threatening or bribing, I had managed to touch on the key concepts of discipline and self esteem. Then, somewhere in Session 2 I deviated, as I often do, with a story about clutter. I mentioned that if you can’t park your cars in the garage because you are hoarding boxes or furniture, then you need to get rid of what’s in the garage because if your car can’t fit in there, you don’t need it!
A few weeks later I saw one of the girls from the group. She hugged me and said she had just had a garage sale and finally could park her cars in the garage! She said that the de-cluttering was the most important thing she picked up from my session and would forever change her life!
Needless to say, this was a real eye opener for me! There I was thinking that I was offering parenting pearls of wisdom but, at the end of the day, this audience member was talking to me about the removal of clutter!
That’s when I realized that clutter is a big psychological issue for most of us. Why? Well, think about it: we collect physical baggage as well as emotional baggage. In many ways the world is our mirror. We smile at people and they smile back at us. Meanwhile, outside clutter and chaos often mirrors internal clutter and chaos. We clear out the external clutter and we create inner peace and serenity as a result.
So as a result of that audience member and her insistence that de-cluttering had forever changed her life, here are my Five Steps for Getting Rid of Your Clutter:
- Pay your bills in a timely manner. The Laws of Attraction state that “birds of a feather flock together”. In other words, one bill tends to lead to another. Debt incurs debt. To avoid this trend, pay your bills quickly and move on. Don’t let bills accumulate. Think abundantly. Pay your bills and don’t look back because, trust me, there will be more. What we focus our energy and attention on tends to bring more of that, so don’t have an unpaid bill or two weighing you down and draining your energy. (Obviously, if you are having grave financial difficulties then this advice is not for you. Instead, you need to find a financial adviser and begin planning.)2. Avoid being overly sentimental. Oftentimes our closets, garages and other storage spaces are filled with clutter because of sentiment. Don’t hold on to something because your deceased loved one owned it and you feel bad about tossing it out after a loved one has passed over. Trust me, they are not concerned with physical possessions. They are more concerned with you living a rich and meaningful life with love in your heart, not clutter in your closets! They don’t want you to get bogged down by keeping their material things to the point where it causes you physical and mental anxiety. They know you loved them and that they’re in your heart. So keep one or two things that are sentimental and that you love, and get rid of what you don’t love – and certainly don’t need!3. Fix it or forget it! If an item is broken or ripped or torn and tattered, either fix it or let it go. Don’t keep broken things because, as we know from the Laws of Attraction, looking at a broken object drains your energy. It brings attention to deficit. Instead, surround yourself with things that work, even if they need a little help first! Change light bulbs, plug leaks, etc. Fix things in your home that need fixing – or get rid of it. In this way you make room for new energy, allowing you to change the stagnant flow of your home into a more open, clearer sanctuary in which you can think, flourish and thrive!
4. Easy does it. One of the worst ways to un-clutter is the “all or nothing” mentality, where you have to get rid of everything unsightly in one weekend and never again. Instead, de-clutter your house one drawer, one closet, one room, one garage at a time! Go through it organize it throw away what is no longer needed or donate it so someone will get use out of it! I say one drawer at a time because completion is a great feeling and brings great energy. Of course the converse is true . One drawer at a time is doable! Get stuck in! As Lao tzu explains, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”
5. Don’t throw it out, just rearrange it! Finally, there is something to be said for rearranging furniture or trying out pictures in different places. Besides from often finding some long forgotten lost item (or, in my case, a buried dog bone full of sand) under the couch cushions or throw pillows. Breathing new life into an old furniture arrangement or even room gives you a clearer perspective and allows you to see things from a new perspective. Of course, it also changes the energy of a room, thus releasing stuck, stagnant energy.
At the end of the day, clutter is an emotional and physical blockage that prevents us from living our true, authentic lives. Beginning to gradually and systematically de-clutter your life will put you on the path to more, and more positive energy almost as soon as you fill that first trash bag! Good luck