"Clutter: a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter"
(Definition courtesy of www.dictionary.com)
This month at Here To Help we are focusing on helping people to de-clutter their lives. It’s not always an easy task but once you have done it, you will feel a whole lot better! De-cluttering is a fantastic way of getting rid of the old to make room for the new and many people find that having a good clear out—whether at home, in your office or even in your life— is a terrific way to start again and it often gives us renewed focus and helps us to feel energized and positive.
If we are surrounded by clutter every day it can make us feel physically and mentally disorganized, leaving us feeling unfocused and unmotivated. Clutter even blocks creativity! Whether you believe in feng shui or not, de-cluttering our lives really is a fantastic way to feel lighter and happier and it gives us a renewed sense of purpose.
Some of us have been hanging on to the same things literally for years—our attics are full of memorabilia, old clothes, gifts we didn’t use or want, junk that we have brought from house to house with us but couldn’t bear to part with...sometimes knowing that all this “stuff” is up there in the attic is too overwhelming and we cannot bear the thought of tackling it!
Here are some quick tips on how to tackle that physical clutter in our homes and offices and get organized this Spring:
Get Set! Set a date or dates on which you are committing yourself to sorting it all out and decide in advance which charity shops will benefit from your de-cluttering session
Skip It! If you have an attic/garage full of clutter then organize to have a skip delivered— once that skip arrives you have to follow through on your promise to yourself to sort it all out!
Sort It! Sort the clutter into piles of “must keep” and “must throw away” - resolving to make the “must throw away” pile considerably larger than the “must keep” pile!
Store It! If you don’t have adequate storage for the things you really want to keep, it is a good idea to get some storage solutions sorted before you start...IKEA and home stores such as Homestore & More, Homebase and Argos offer great storage solutions and the big plus is that they don’t cost that much to buy. Two key items to consider buying if you are looking for some practical storage solutions, are different sized plastic boxes with lids and lots of bags for vacuum packing—essential when storing those clothes you really can’t part with! If you want to find some prettier storage items for areas that will be on display such as in kitchens or living rooms, wicker baskets and faux leather boxes look great in any room and don’t cost the earth.
Okay! That's the physical stuff sorted...but what about the more difficult emotional clutter that we hold on to? How do we tackle that?
When our brain is filled with negative clutter, we can replay the same scene over and over in our head until we are exhausted...we question ourselves endlessly, asking what could I have done differently? Could I have said something that might have changed that situation? Could I have changed the outcome?
Sometimes the pain of a certain situation stops us from moving on. We remain "locked" in a state of negativity and tell ourselves things like, "there is no point trying to meet someone else, that didn't work out so why would it work out with someone new?" or "what's the point in putting myself out there again when I'm just risking getting hurt all over again?" or "I'll never find another job like that one, it's hopeless".
If our brain is full of negative thoughts and emotions, it is often hard to break the cycle and start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Negative thinking becomes a pattern of thought repeated over and over again. Some people believe that this negativity will help them to win sympathy or gain support, so they continue to do it (read my blog on Energy Vampires). Often, people go through their entire lives blaming the one incident that happened 20 years ago for everything else that has gone wrong ever since. But, if we can break the cycle and turn our negative thoughts into positive ones, we can get rid of all that negative clutter in our brain which stops us from moving on and embracing life the way we are supposed to!
To do this we need to acknowledge the things that went wrong in our life and accept that, although some of the situations we have had to face in life were difficult and often very challenging, we can learn from them and find a way to move forward and make changes in our life for the better. If we can clear our emotional clutter, it leaves a wide open space for beautiful, new and amazing experiences to come into our life to fill us with renewed energy and zest. We are here to love our life and enjoy all the great things it can bring us!
De-cluttering is good for the mind, body and soul and can help us improve our quality of life not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually too.