Do you have any clutter in your house, your business, your office or your mind?
Clutter means different things to different people. First, the word originates from a word that meant “to coagulate”. It is defined as “a collection of things lying about in an untidy mass”. Professional unclutterers, actually they call themselves organizers, go a little further than that and include several other categories of clutter. Things that you no longer use, too many things in a small space, and unfinished or incomplete projects all fall into the category of things that cause “stuckness”. This stuckness actually affects your life including your health. Holding on to things that you no longer use can actually lead to weight gain and/or constipation. Physical clutter can lead to mental clutter which in turn can lead to feeling stuck in your relationships, business or finances.
The best things to have in your environment are only things that you regularly use and also love to use. And, a regular schedule of evaluating items is necessary in order to notice when they no longer are used and loved.
I’m reminded of a favorite fleece jacket that I recently decided to throw away. It was warm, and I loved the blue color. I had owned and regularly worn it for so many years I’ve lost track of how long. Sadly, last winter the fabric finishing the pockets began to fray and the zipper began to get stuck. I kept wearing it, though, because it’s so warm and comfortable. This winter, the zipper was much worse. It took quite a bit of fiddling, and sometimes it would still get stuck. I realized this week, one morning as I was fiddling with the zipper, that it was time to part ways. The fiddling was frustrating and taking my energy right down with it. And, here I was putting myself into that state just to keep wearing this jacket! A light went on in my awareness that I needed to move on and let go of it. Sadly, the zipper and fraying was so bad, that I had to throw it away instead of being able to gift it to a clothing donation site…
The point of my story about the jacket is to highlight one of the downsides of having certain types of things in our lives–things that bring down our energy. Either fix them so that we love them and love using them, or let them go by giving them away or throwing them out. For me, I like to find someplace or someone that might love it and be able to fix it before throwing it away. And, sometimes, the trash is the only option. Even if you really love something, if it stops working, you are much better off fixing it quickly or letting it go and getting rid of it.
Some weeks ago, I got inspired to begin clearing some clutter that I have in my office closets. Yes, I do have clutter! Even though most of what I have is neatly arranged, I have clutter that falls into these categories: things I no longer use (even though they still work and are still nice), things that I might need “someday” (that someday has yet to come sometimes after many years) and unfinished or incomplete projects. I have also collected quite a bit of paperwork over the years. Most of the papers, I hardly ever look at! As I began to feel the urge to clear things out, I saw someone reference a book by Karen Kingston called “Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui” (her blog) and describe it as being very useful. I love all things about energy, especially energy of spaces, and immediately ordered it through the MeL system to be delivered to my local library. I quickly read it completely through (something I rarely do).
I’ve been working bit by bit on the years of accumulated papers, and it feels so wonderful. And, even though the fleece jacket was difficult to let go of, I feel now that it was good to remove an energy draining item from my life.
“Clutter accumulates when energy stagnates and, likewise, energy stagnates when clutter accumulates. So the clutter begins as a symptom of what is happening with you in your life and then becomes part of the problem itself because the more of it you have, the more stagnant energy it attracts to itself.”
– Karen Kingston “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui”
Does this seem familiar? I believe that instinctively, we all understand what she’s describing. And, we often gather “clutter” in order to keep from having to move forward. It seems scary sometimes to move forward, so we find subtle ways to keep it from happening.
It takes courage to step out and move forward. It takes courage to decide that, today, I move beyond stuck. Now is the perfect time.
Think about a room in your home or your office that contains items that fit into the “clutter” category. If you say that there is nothing and your life is different than what you desire, you might benefit from walking through each room with a notecard divided into 4 sections titled: untidy, unused for 6 months, too many things, and unfinished. As you look at everything in each room, yes that includes opening each closet and each drawer, write down each area on your card (area/closet/drawer) that fits into the categories.
Make a promise to yourself that you are going to work on one area this week and remove everything that you no longer use and love. Donate it, recycle it, give it away or throw it away.
Important note: Make sure that you remove it from your space as quickly as possible. If you leave a box at the back door waiting to give it away, and it sits there for another month, it defeats the purpose of what you’re working on. It’s important to “do it now”! Do it now. Yes, I repeated that on purpose so that you’d understand how important it really is.
Either of Karen Kingston’s books (available in my Amazon store or your library) can get you going on this project. Reading what she shares about her clients and their experiences might be just the motivator you need to get going.
Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston