The stack of unopened mail.
The piles of clothes on your closet floor.
Your kid’s collection of art from the past nine months.
The receipts that are taking over your wallet and handbag.
The stuff you keep piling because you don’t have a home for it.
The heap of plastic trinkets from party favors, prizes, happy meals, and appointment visits.
The invoices and bills stacked in the corner of the kitchen waiting to be filed.
The heaps, piles, and random litter sprinkled throughout your personal space, your home, your car, and your life.
This is clutter.
According to dictionary.com, clutter is a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter.
It is also a state or condition of confusion.
Clutter has a significant impact on your thoughts, productivity, and consequently, the lack of motivation to do anything about it. Your external world reflects your internal world and the basic principle applies that in order to welcome the new, you need to clear out the old. This could range from old furniture, clothing, gadgets, papers, household items, to friends, THOUGHTS, old beliefs, money, your calendar and schedule, habits, unrealistic expectations for yourself or other people, and your pantry to name a few.
Clearing the clutter is one of the first exercises we do in my Latitude Wellness coaching programs. When you are seeking to make a change in your life, it will require more mental energy because the brain is no longer on autopilot. Old habits and thought loops may be using unnecessary energy which can be applied to creating new thoughts and beliefs, and trust me – you are going to need as much energy as possible. Everything you want is within your reach and it doesn’t have to be complicated despite the build up we imagine and that drastic change equates to massive amounts of effort.
When you clear your physical clutter, you start noticing an internal shift. The feeling of overwhelm will begin to subside. I love the quote, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” This is about being organized and maintaining a sense of peace in your inner and outer world. Plus you get to reap the benefits of more time because you won’t be spending so much of it seeking whatever item is lost in the abyss of clutter.
Here are three ways you can start clearing the clutter in your life now:
#1. Start small. Select one area, one task, and focus on one thing at a time. Do not move on until you have finished the one thing. Remember the saying 1% a day makes you 37 times better by the end of the year? Why not apply this to your clutter situation? Not sure where to start? Pick a drawer. Any drawer. Clean out anything that you don’t use or have labeled it as, well someday I may need this (and I am notorious for this one). LET IT GO. I promise you will not miss it. For example, when we moved West, my husband pointed out that we had at least six measuring cups. I am now down to two. Remember it is the little things that make the biggest impact.
#2. Think about what you want right now and why. Is it more peace, time, to get fiercely fit, drop a waist size, find your soulmate, increase your income, reduce the mental clutter and thought loops in your head, or do you simply want to become more organized, clear off your desk or donate a bunch of items? Whatever you want, choose the area to match it and start clearing there. If its purging the mental clutter, start with a thought download and get everything out of your mind and onto paper.
#3. Look at your calendar or your to-do list. What is one activity or task you can cancel or say no too? Ask yourself how important this is and does it have to be done immediately or in the very near future? There are obvious appointments or meetings with your boss that you can’t cancel; however, take notice of where you are focusing your energy on. Look for events that you’re dreading or the activities that deplete your energy. Take control of your time and decide. It will reduce the mental clutter going on in your head which will free up more space to focus on the things that are important to you. This is the space where you can tap into your creativity and explore new ideas and thoughts.
Clearing clutter is a powerful process that frees up your time and energy. Once you commit to making it happen and of course take action, you will be able to create new experiences, new thoughts, greater possibilities, and more peace of mind, Who doesn’t want that?!