6 Easy Steps to a More Clutter-Free Life
"How we care for our home is a
subtle but significant expression of self-esteem."
What are the messages your home is
sending out to you? Are you receiving peaceful or
chaotic vibes? You must realize that your home is revealing your life story and
can either facilitate your growth or stunt it. As you know, clutter shrinks
your personal and professional energy, binding you to "things" rather
than allowing your energy to skyrocket. By the end of the first week you will
find that all that â€˜stuffâ€™ has really been weighing you down and how little you
will miss most of it.
Imagine you are the driver in the front car of a train. You are going
from New York to California to follow your dream of living by the beach. Your
plan is to get to Los Angeles in three days, but at every stop, you pick up
dozens of freight cars that attach onto your back. Your speed becomes slower
and slower. You suddenly realize that you have accumulated five miles of cargo
behind you. Do you think you'll get to California in the same amount of time as
originally planned? Are you lagging and more likely to get bogged down with
Here's the message. Keeping your clutter is like carrying miles of
freight energy on your back. It blocks you from stretching your wings and
flying towards your successful destiny.
Trying to figure out how to free up the clutter causing
stress in your life?Â
Working one room at a time , set a timer (this gives you â€˜permissionâ€™ to
stop at the end of a predetermined time or reset to a new stopping point), and
put on a great audio book or a friend with a good glass of wine will all make
the job less daunting.
Itâ€™s important to begin clearing
clutter today. Try to look beyond the clutter and
visualize how you will feel when your home and mind are clean. Start with the
baby steps listed below. If you find your momentum, don't stop. Clearing
clutter is your ticket to happiness, success,
productivity and a beautiful home!
1.Â Â Â Â Â
In general, quickly recycle junk
mail as well as old newspapers and magazines. If there are articles you want to
keep, cut them out and put them in a special box. When it is full take a few
moments at the end of each week to reduce.
2.Â Â Â Â Â
In the bedroom, clear clutter from
underneath your bed. Go through your closet and let go of old and unworn
clothes, shoes, belts, hats and scarves. They can be given to a charitable
organization or friends. Remove photos or mementos from people that drain your
energy. Wash your drapes and bedding.
3.Â Â Â Â Â
In the living room, go through your
bookcase and give away half-read books that you never intend to read again. You
can keep books you love, refer to, have sentimental value and move you forward
towards your goals. Let go of books that no longer serve you (i.e. books from a
past career, from college or an outgrown hobby) and donate them to a local
library. Clear your bookshelves to open the door for new interests. Buy a
couple books that move you in your desired direction. Repeat this with your
CDs, DVD's and photos. Excessive amounts of freebies, such as all those pens
youâ€™ve collected are great things to give away, and the ones you want to keep
put in a silverware organizer so they are easy to get to and only the ones that
will fit in are kept.
4.Â Â Â Â Â
Vertical surfaces attract piles,
cleared surfaces attract smiles! De-clutter your coffee table and mantel. Take
everything off and then only put back the objects you need, use or love. Beauty
and organization is the key.Â Get a decorative box to place your remote
controls!Â Instead, place a favorite book with a beautiful picture on the
cover.Â Itâ€™s a good conversation piece.
5.Â Â Â Â Â
Re-access your collections. Group
like items together so you can truly see all of an item that you have (e.g. Vases).
Â Can you downsize? You may want to give a
few away or sell them on the Internet. Making space and some money for new
hobbies and interests. If parting with particular items is stressful, try
putting them in a closed box for a trial separation. Label it and put the date
on the bin; a year from now, if you havenâ€™t used anything in the box, donate it
without even opening it.
6.Â Â Â Â Â Â Dust, vacuum and clean your windows. Open the windows and
let fresh air inside. Invite the fresh energy of spring to flow into your life!
Maintaining a clutter-free life gets
easier as you establish new habits. Avoid the urge to buy more stuff; as time
goes on, youâ€™ll find its second nature to ask, â€œDo I really need this?â€ Need
to let go of some belongings? Hereâ€™s inspiration from architect Sarah Susanka,
bestselling author of The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We
Really Live (Taunton, 2001). â€œWe are
all hunting for more meaning in our lives. And the way that we do that is
extremely ineffective. We buy more and more stuff, believing that the stuff is
going to give us that feeling of satisfaction. Thereâ€™s always this longing for
something we donâ€™t have. We end up in this cycle of accumulation of things that
are supposed to make us feel better, but with multiplicity, we end up overwhelmed and incredibly dissatisfiedâ€“â€“overwhelmed with
what was supposed to be this life-enhancing thing that has become this
albatross. And the more we have the more of an albatross it is.Â What we really want is meaning. And we canâ€™t
get meaning with stuff. In the same way stuff is a surrogate for meaning, a
bigger and bigger house is what we think is going to make us feel at home. In
fact, it has the opposite effect. An awful lot of the stuff we haveâ€”and Iâ€™m not
talking about one or two things, Iâ€™m talking about 50 percentâ€”we literally never use and are never planning to use
again, but canâ€™t let go of. They are basically objects in which weâ€™ve invested
dreams that didnâ€™t happen. Itâ€™s very difficult to let go of the dreams, even
though we know that they didnâ€™t actually bring us the satisfaction we were
hoping for. What I recommend is: Get a self-storage unit. Give yourself a year.
Take the things that you are not using right now and know that if you really
miss something, you can go get it. And then after the end of that year, see if
you actually even remember what is in that storage unit. If you donâ€™t, thatâ€™s
The Stuffâ€”you need to have a big garage sale or estate sale.â€Â