“Get rid of clutter and you may just find that it was blocking the door you’ve been looking for” Katrina Mayer
It might seem bizarre to bring up the idea of having a clearing out when the Christmas season seems to require us to adorn our spaces with festive frills, but this is actually a great time to tackle clearing out that clutter you’ve been meaning to get to all year. In fact, the very idea of de-cluttering or clearing out some space in your home or office may simply feel just too overwhelming at any time of year, but the funny thing is, once you get into it, there is something really quite satisfying in creating a fresh space.
The problem with clutter and accumulation of ‘stuff’ is that you may not even realise how much it’s weighing you down. And not just regarding your physical space, clutter can have an impact on how you feel. When you look at that pile of paperwork you’ve been meaning to get to for weeks, what goes through your mind? What do you feel when you open that cupboard or drawer looking for that ‘thing’, but the idea of taking all the junk out overwhelms you enough to just shut the door again. Look around your space and notice how much stuff you’re putting up with because each time you think to yourself that you ‘must get around to that’, you’re using unnecessary head space (and probably floor space).
“If you always add and never subtract, you will eventually bury yourself.” Peter Walsh
So, what can you do about it? Here are some tips to get you going:
1. Make a comprehensive list, then focus
Start by writing a list, room by room, of the areas you feel could do with a good de-clutter. Then commit to one room/area at a time.
2. Break it down into baby steps
Clearing out that garage, or ‘junk room’ may seem just too overwhelming, so it’s good to break down the task in to manageable chunks. E.g. tackle one drawer a day; fill one bin bag a day
3. The ‘do I love it?’ test
When you’re deciding whether to chuck, keep, relocate, or donate ask yourself: ‘do I love this thing?’ Or ‘does this thing make me happy?’. So, for example, when looking at old photos (yes, before the digital age, some of us actually took and printed photos…), and ask yourself if the photo represents a good time in your life and if it brings you joy keep it, but if it makes you feel sad or uncomfortable, get rid of it. That of course applies to your digital memories and files. After all, why have things around you that deplete your energy?
4. One in, one out
My hubby introduced this one to me as my wardrobes and drawers became rather abundant with clothing items and shoes and there’s no denying, I occupy the majority of our cupboard space, so I took him up on his challenge. So now each time I buy a new item of clothing, something must come out of the cupboard or drawer to be given away.
5. The 365 give-away
Challenge yourself with a goal to give away one item a day, every day of the year.
See http://www.365lessthings.com/ for inspiration.
But maybe knowing how to tackle clutter isn’t quite enough.It still might feel like a chore, right? Well, you could change your mindset and look at the benefits you could gain by clearing out your space:
Clearer spaces allow for more flow in your life and help create new opportunities for you
You feel more peaceful and calmer when your environment is clear of mess and clutter
You may feel a release, relief even as you come to see that you’ve been holding on to more than the physical clutter and that by freeing yourself from things that bring you down, make you feel sad or bring back unwelcome memories, you feel lighter
You could also feel renewed energy and focus, a sense of clarity as your environment works better for you
You might simply feel happier because you’ve tackled what you’ve been meaning to do, and you experience the benefits