Good day to you! How are you? However you’re showing up today, Lovely, my aim is always to leave you feeling better at the bottom of this page than you’re feeling now. So I hope today’s chat will accomplish that.
Lets start by asking you this: Are you feeling stuck in your life, as if your metaphorical wheels are spinning, slumbered in a pit of mud? Do you feel frequently drained, anxious, distracted or overwhelmed? If so it very well could signal the need for you to clear your surrounding household clutter. (Please delay your groan)!
Imagine this: You’re walking through a door and find yourself in a minimalistic apartment with clean, sheeny lines and a fresh, uber-cleansed smell. Your eyes are able to scan the clutter-free space, sinking in admiration upon the few stunning ornamental pieces that sporadically decorate the side tables and corner floor spaces.
Now, walk through this room to the door on the other side, noting all the while how this open space makes you feel. Upon walking through this next door, a different environment greets you. This room is like Granny’s Attic. Dust billows up your nostrils as your fingers fan through stacks of tired magazines, every area of the room is squeezed on space with random ornaments collecting in droves on every surface, banks of odd items occupying floor space, making it nigh impossible for you to weave further into the room. Broken bits and pieces, such a irons and kettles and cameras sit patiently, ever bedraggled, in the seeming ‘some day I’ll fix it pile.’ Now how do you feel?
If your reactions are anything like mine you’d have felt an expansive, clear-headed and a supported sensation when smooshing your minds eye in that apartment (even if, like me, minimalistic apartments aren’t your interior design bag). The second delivered a muddied feeling to me at least, causing tangible constriction of tummy muscles, jaw and almost a dizzy effect, buzzing about in my head.
Gosh, hey?! Just imagining these two contrasting living spaces can have a significantly profound effect on our emotional wellbeing, let alone spending hours actually physically being in similar rooms in our home.
I remember, years ago, first hearing about the power of our surrounding environments when I did an audio confidence boosting course by Success Coach and Chicken Soup for the Soul author, Jack Canfield. He said, poignantly, that broken, unloved and unwanted clutter in our homes actually eats away at our sense of self esteem. See, according to Feng Shui, every item occupying your home contains chi-or energy- so the more things you have stuffed into your space, alive with vibrating energy, the more drained you feel. Its akin to being in a crowd, and feeling overwhelmed and in need of home time, where you can kick off your shoes, splay out in a supportive space to expand your own energetic self, rather than having to zip yourself up as you vie for energetic movability.
Just last week I was again reminded of the importance of clearing out household clutter as I listened to a chapter regarding Feng Shui in Sophia Fairchild and Denise Linn’s book, Soul Whispers. It drove home the fact that to have goodies come pouring in-and we’re mostly metaphorically speaking here- you have to make room for them to emerge into your life. Once you do you’ll begin to notice their tell-tell trademarks; synchronicities, new opportunities that weren’t there before, things previously unseen.
You may wisely ask, how do I de-clutter then?! It sounds so sodding uninspiring! Nope you don’t need it to be Spring, nor to have a spare few days to clean house, nor even to roll up your sleeves. Here’s how we get it done…
1) ) Take a small section of one room of your home. Maybe your chest of drawers. You need only 10-15 minutes spare. Make a pile for donations, a pile for items you might sell (with label still on, perhaps, or gently worn and maybe bought at a higher price) and ones that need to be laid to rest, (those with stains or tears or too well-worn to be supposed of use to anyone). Approach and sort all boxes/cupboards/drawers and storages with this system of piles. But you needn’t cover the square footage of your home in any great hurry, go at your own pace. The feeling reward of a accomplished space will motivate you onto that next drawer. Then dispense all your piles to their allocated new home.
2) Ask yourself, do I love this item? Do I use this item? If no, relegate to an appropriate pile. If yes, its a keeper. Weigh up its energy consumption versus how it makes you feel.
3) As you sort, pop back the items you want to keep in an organized manner. Perhaps color, season or style-code your wardrobe to give you a sense of clarity and satisfaction every time you get dressed, or mark the pantry/kids toy storage boxes with labels. I have a beloved p-touch, which prints sticky labels at my disposal. Its an addictive and fun tool to organize. This type of helper prevents you from amassing a pile of head-spinning unorganized masses in the future, because you’ll return items to correlating labeled box/drawer/storage.
4) When you’re shopping, think consciously before you invite something new into your home. Once more ask, do I love it? Don’t be blinkered by a slashed price tag or an enthusiastic salesperson. If you buy a new item use it to replace an old one. For instance, you buy a new top; great! Chuck an old one out, one in one out. This way you’ll avoid getting over saturated again.
5) Feng Shui is quite a complex ancient Chinese study of how the balance and energy of the things in our surroundings effect us. You needn’t be familiar with the ins and outs of it to garner wisdom from it (I’m not): Much like you don’t need to understand how electricity works to enjoy its benefits. Instead, use your intuition. Does our sofa feel wrong facing in that direction? Does this item harbor negative memories? Does that dying plant do more harm than good? Rely on your own inbuilt wisdom to negotiate and beautify your house; let your feelings be the judge as to where an item should be placed, or if it should have the grand honor of occupying precious space and energy in your home.
“I hate belongings. I hate clutter. It really bothers me because I can’t think properly. If you’ve got distractions in front of you, your mind goes nuts.” Simon Cowell
Its no accident that the happiest, most successful people have lovely, inviting homes. (By the way, I’d pop Cowell in the second according to some criteria-successful- not sure about how happy he is:-) They understand the connection between our environments and sense of selves. If you truly honor you you’ll not settle for living in a space that tears your mood down. No! You know you deserve more than that! And, lets make it clear, we’re not talking about how much money you have to spend on home decor; No ma’am. We’re talking about re-evaluating what you already have and making your space work for you.
Having been married to a US soldier, and thus at the whims of the US Army, we have lived all over the world. In nine years we’ve moved seven times. So I’ve experienced firsthand how light and cleansed and vibrant it makes you feel when you have a deliberate clear-out. With every relegated item, a greater sense of freedom and clarity greets you. You become energized and open and with these conditions, yes, now you’re available to get more of what you want.
Below is a photo of my children’s’ organized and p-touched toy storage boxes, and my initial reactions on March 5th 2014, on having completed the sorting…
Couple of boxes/bags, some rockin’ tunes on your ipod and you’re away. In fact, I’m going to work on my vitamin cupboard just now so we’ll be in virtual company with one another:-)
Can’t wait to hear in what wondrous ways todays offering works out for you.