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Awareness Magazine
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The Problem with Clutter

Does Your State of Mind Manifest in Your Outer World?

By Jacky Newcomb

 

What can you do about it?

Can you meditate with clarity while the room around you is piled full of dirty clothes? Can you relax in a room before all the weekly shopping has been put away? Not easily. When you push through the clutter and do it anyway, it tends to be exhausting. So much of your mind is focused on the mess that everyday things become too overwhelming to complete. You feel tired all of the time. It takes a lot of work to pretend that everything is ok.

The things in our homes, and the way we treat them is a direct reflection of our inner state-of-mind. Boxes of items belonging to passed-over relatives are an echo of the grief we hold for that person; not being able to let something ... or someone, go, manifested in a physical way. When the spare bedroom becomes an oversized junk-room you know you’re in trouble. The very name of the room gives away the problem. Why would you spend good money to house items that you know you don’t want or need?

Holding onto ‘too much’ of something is also often a way of replacing something lost at an earlier time in life. When Mr. Rabbit Ears goes missing as a child, you can be sure that the memory, even if fairly hidden on a conscious level, is reflected in the toy car or collectable doll hoard you have as an adult. We over-compensate; I know I did.

Imagine the financial burden of clutter in your home. You live in a bigger house because you have items you keep but don’t use. The extra ‘stuff’ may be filling your attic, your shed or your garage. Maybe you have stuff everywhere? You’re paying rent or a mortgage on part of your home where you can’t live. Then you are probably paying to insure these items. You have to keep the area clean to prevent an infestation of rats or bugs ... which may not be easy if you can’t get to your belongings easily.

If you feel stuck in your life, there’s a fair chance that there is an energy-zapping cluttered area in your home. Clutter-clearing is a great place to start. Make a plan and gather a helper or two to assist you (offer free food, it seems to do the trick!) Have plenty of clean drinking water available – this is thirsty work. Use humor, and give them permission to use humor too.

• Have dustbin bags, storage boxes and clearing equipment available.

• Your helper’s role is to hold the bag or place things where you ask them (not to throw things away on your behalf). Make it clear from the start that you are in charge of the clean-up; you make the decisions.

• Label your storage with the words, throw, keep and donate. Only use your dustbin bags for items you want to throw away. Mistakes delay progress.

• Friends pick up items one at a time (or you can); make decisions quickly rather than reminiscing over each item. Make a game of it. Place immediately in a bag or box and immediately move onto the next item.

• Begin with obvious rubbish (newspapers, broken or beyond-repair items) as this will give you confidence and help to create a rhythm.

• At the end of the task, ask friends to help you move things out of the home right away. It’s tempting to bring things back in again if you’re not careful.

Start with smaller areas and finish one job before starting on the next. When you’ve finished, give everything a good clean. Honor the space by bringing in fresh flowers, or spraying with aromatherapy oils (or a candle scented with natural oils). A pretty rose-quartz or clear quartz crystals on the window will help to keep the energy high. You’ll feel energized and clear headed. Enjoy your new space and in a few days when you feel the urge, start again in another room.

Here are a few more ideas to get you started.

Grab-a-Bag

Carry a black bin liner with you around your home and fill it to the top. Make sure you empty waste paper baskets from around the house too (you might need two bags! Go for it!)

Charity Bag/Box Search

Carry a plastic storage box around the house and fill it with things to donate to charity. Look in your wardrobe, your clothes drawers and your shelves for anything that fundraisers might be able to re-sell.

Cutlery Drawer

Tip everything out onto the worktop. Give away duplicates; throw away corks, elastic bands etc and replace pegs and other random items back where they belong. Wash drawer and replace items.

House Plants

One fabulous healthy plant can look so much better than half a dozen stragglers. Remove dead leaves, dried-up flower heads and droopy stalks. Change or top-up the soil if it’s necessary and feed/water. I place dried sphagnum moss on top of the soil for neatness. If all else fails, treat yourself to new ones.

Your own clutter will always have a story behind it somewhere. You might know what your stories are, or not. As I discover each new habit of mine it made me laugh at the ridiculousness of it all; but trauma of clearing the emotions around your hoard may make you want to cry. We hoard because of trauma or loss, usually; the bigger your clutter pile the bigger your issues! It’s true! (No judgments here). If you know your stuff holds a lot of emotional issues, ask your doctor for help before you start. You might also prefer to work with a professional organizer.

Your home doesn’t need to be perfect; mine isn’t. But a clean house which is fairly well organized, runs efficiently and holds items your love and cherish, will leave you feeling refreshed and happy rather than overwhelmed and burdened. Is your home zapping your energy? Give it some thought.

Jacky Newcomb is the multi-award winning, Sunday Times best-selling author of An Angel Saved My Life and An Angel by my Side. Be an Angel, Clear that Clutter is her first book on Clutter Clearing. Visit: www.JackyNewcomb.com, findhornpress.com or local and online booksellers.