Of course, the growth I’m talking about is the growth in your life, your career, your relationships, and your wealth. We’re not so different than the beautiful plants you buy at the local nursery that look wonderful but then need to be divided or repotted into a larger pot — everything grows.
Your life is a living, growing thing.
When you’re overwhelmed by stuff, like a plant, you outgrow your pot and that’s when you start to see your relationships suffer, your business opportunities dry up, your health and vitality sapped, and finances become tighter and more restrictive.
Worse than all the stuff and visual blight that clutter represents is the way it robs you and your home of vital, happy, and lively energy. Decluttering helps to remove blockages from your life that stop the flow of energy to you and everything you enjoy.
How does clutter affect you and what benefit does decluttering offer?
WITH CLUTTER YOU HAVE…
WITH CLEAR SPACE YOU HAVE….
|Low vitality, lethargy||Improved energy and interest in life|
|Bad luck||Happy surprises, good fortune|
|No opportunities or money||New opportunities, better finances|
|Feeling stuck||Life flowing smoothly, active, energized|
|Melancholy, depression||Improved energy and interest in life|
|Pessimistic||Optimistic, forward thinking and positive|
|Anger||Happy mood, pleasant feelings|
Life is energy
All life requires growth, evolution and movement. When we lack these elements in our life, the energy that makes up our lives becomes stunted. Imagine not having enough energy to power a light bulb: it grows dim and burns in a weakened state. When we have overstuffed homes – especially with outdated, unused and unloved items, our lives become weakened too.
But how do you know when it’s clutter and when it’s disorganization?
Clutter is when you have eight spatulas or a closet full of clothes you haven’t worn in years. Disorganization is when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Simply organizing your home with shelving, baskets, boxes, and other organizers will often clean up the disarray. In fact, by using organizing items you can often make more room than if you didn’t use them.
Look at your challenges to find the kind of organizers you need. Is the big mess in the kitchen or the bathroom? Maybe the living room is out of control. You might not be able to find an important bill that needs to be paid because you don’t have a place to put the bills when they come in. No matter what your need is, there are containers of every possible size and description that can help you organize your house where you need it.
Unlike a tornado, clutter doesn’t just happen. It gets that way over time.
Sometimes clutter is so insidious that we don’t even notice it until we’re deluged by it. Hopefully, you’ve learned some things about clutter, like what it is, what to do about it, and how it’s different than disorganization. But, just like any good habit, such as exercise, decluttering isn’t something you do and then it’s done: it’s something you start and then keep doing.
Too often people are bitten by the declutter bug and make one big push to declutter. That’s wonderful and having your clutter cleared in one fell swoop feels incredible and unburdens you. Most of the time, though, clutter is related to a vitamin deficiency. Either someone is frozen in fear and doesn’t do anything about the clutter, usually because they’re just overwhelmed, or they do it once or then forget about it for the next 25 years. The key to both is Vitamin C – “consistent C.”
Having a regular routine for decluttering is the single best way to keep it from getting out of hand. Pick a daily time that’s convenient such as every day at four o’clock. Then, spend fifteen or so minutes working at removing clutter (tossing mail, magazines, clearing out the refrigerator). Make it long enough you can accomplish something but not so long that you’ll give up.
Declutter with other activities
Instead of just putting freshly-washed towels away toss out your old tired towels first. Or, while your child is getting ready for bed, take a moment to go through some drawers and remove outgrown or stained clothing. Decluttering as you do other things makes decluttering part of daily living — and that creates a routine.
Make it a habit to be aware
Don’t unload groceries into the refrigerator that’s messy or cluttered with jelly jars with only a teaspoon of jam in them. Instead, quickly go through the fridge and toss old items out and wipe down shelves before restocking, and do the same in the pantry – this is the quality of being present with clutter and your environment. Likewise, if you take a phone message and the pen you’re using doesn’t work, make it a habit to throw it away and not put it back in the holder (and I know you do this!).
Becoming present means that you are aware where you are. That sounds obvious, but if you’ll start becoming more aware and present wherever you are, you’ll notice that you stop forgetting things and misplacing items and you’ll notice how your home and office stay cleaner and neater more easily.
You’ll also notice that you get more accomplished, you’ll scratch things off your mental and physical to-do lists, you’ll become less patient with people who drain you and you’ll get three very valuable qualities back into your life again. They are initiative, motivation and enthusiasm: the zest of living.
Yes, old, broken, crowded, and too-much stuff can do that to you — rob you of zest for living. Free yourself and become aware of what you have and what you really use or don’t use. Getting rid of useless items will unburden your home, mind and spirit and will open up your life again!
Your goals for decluttering this week:
Become more aware and present wherever you are. If you’re in the bathroom and you see a two-year old bottle of prescription medicine you don’t need, why not throw it out?
Straighten and organize before adding anything. Take time to clean the refrigerator and/or pantry before adding groceries. It might take a little longer the first time, but if you do it for a few minutes before adding groceries, each time will get shorter and your fridge or pantry will be neat and tidy.
Worst first. Instead of handling a small clutter area, tackle the worst area first. Get the tough stuff out of the way and you’ll feel instantly energized. Enlist help if you need it. Ask a friend to help you and keep you strong. Who knows? Once you start really pitching, you might find that you are so ENERGIZED that you don’t WANT to stop!
Clear off counters and floors. To get energy moving in your home and life, clear up all items off the floor and off the tops of dressers and counters.
© K Weber Communications LLC 2002-2010
Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter Feng Shui E-zine and certified feng shui consultant in classical Chinese feng shui. Kathryn helps her readers improve their lives and generate more wealth with feng shui. For more information and to receive her FREE Ebook “Easy Money – 3 Steps to Building Massive Wealth with Feng Shui” visit www.redlotusletter.com and learn the fast and fun way how feng shui can make your life more prosperous and abundant!
Copyright Kathryn Weber. All rights reserved.