Clutter is the accumulation of “stuff”, whether physically (in your home or office) or emotionally (past hurts or pain). It produces stagnant energy which slows you down. You might feel heavy, stale, drained or trapped in a life that doesn’t feel right. In my case, I definitely feel smothered when surrounded by it.
I recently spent a solid 12 days immersed in de-cluttering our home. I went from a living space where I couldn’t see the ceiling, to a kitchen, living and dining area that is “magazine-ready”. I feel warm and light when I walk into those rooms, and have scheduled another two weeks of cleaning so I can feel the same way when I walk into the rest of the rooms in my home.
It’s not easy beginning the task of decluttering, and it takes resolve to keep going, but here are some tips that helped me…
First thing I did was to lock the attitude and rule into my brain that “if I haven’t used it in the last year it’s GOING. I don’t need it!” If necessary, I close my eyes while dropping the item into the giant trash bin I set up in the middle of the room, then I move on.
See White Space
Rather than dwell on what I’ve just lost, I turn my focus onto finding the next bit of space I can clear. Just like a photographer sees the white space when composing a photograph, I see the “space” when composing my room. I also imagine benches and shelves being teflon-coated and the “stuff” simply sliding off it.
I empty every box, every cupboard and every drawer and start re-packing it again with the goal to only put half back (if that). It’s amazing how much dirt you’ll find at the bottom of a pile of disposable chopsticks, rubber bands, discarded batteries, playing cards, corks, magazine cuttings, half-burned birthday candles and odd buttons. It’s also amazing how much of that stuff you won’t put back in!
I also role-play occasionally… I imagine I’m a gypsy (which isn’t far from the truth) and I can only take with me what I can carry. It’s not entirely practical, but it does help me prioritise what’s worth keeping and what I can throw away. My range of Raco pots and pans stayed, for example, but the hand-me-down pots from my University days went.
Some stuff is just too good to throw away. I mean, I found four irons that had been in storage in the attic for many years – there’s no way I need four irons (heck, I can argue I don’t even need ONE!), but they’re still in working order and there might be someone who needs one. So, I lined the Lions Club up to come and pick up all the “good stuff” for their upcoming auction. It’s easy to throw out the “good stuff” when you know it’s for a good cause.
I love the results from a de-clutter drive. You will get sweaty and grimy from sorting out the shelves and cupboards but the end result is worth it. You will feel lighter and happier, and more at home than you have anywhere in your entire life.
I wish you luck with your own de-clutter drive, and if you have any more tips, please leave them at my facebook page!
Oh, and an affirmation that helped me is, “I have all the time in the world“… It let me be gentle with myself during the process, and to not panic that I wasn’t getting it all done in a day.
PS Here are some before-and-after photos of an actual space I helped de-clutter recently…
PS Feel free to share these tips, but please give credit where credit is due ♥