Apr 10, 2011

Get Rid Of Clutter And Change Your State Of Mind By Leigh Harris

Get Rid of Clutter and Change Your State of Mind by Leigh Harris

Clutter affects the environment and energy of your house.
What appears as simple overabundance of physical objects triggers energetic and emotional responses.
Think about your own home environment. How do you feel in different areas of your home? Often you walk in from the garage, and an automatic to-do list hits your mind. Jackets need to be hung up, dinner made, and laundry sorted. Just once you would like to grab a cold drink and head out to relax on the patio, but distractions beckon. With increasing irritation, you notice the hall filled with shoes thrown off haphazardly, or the bathroom floor covered with scattered towels. You would like to sit down and enjoy a moment of peace on the patio, if the mess would just go away. Each moment has its share of joy and frustrations, but there are moments in a parent’s life when the aggravation of clutter is overwhelming. For example, Janie was so preoccupied with finances that she allowed clutter to build in her house, only adding to the stress. When we reorganized her duties, she listed items that accumulated into clutter such as mail, magazines, plastic leftover containers and last season’s footwear. She resolved to sort, recycle, stack and put away these items. I cautioned her, however, that clutter sometimes indicates emotional attachment. If the emotion is still present, the clutter will simply reappear. It is a symptom, having an emotional hold on a memory, fear or hope. Clutter stems from the psychological effects of life lessons. Perhaps as a child, you learned from your parents to squirrel away the food, dishes, and even your own socks, for the future was uncertain. Perhaps you learned that a bare kitchen meant you lacked the money for basic necessities. Or perhaps the many gifts and trinkets that fill your shelves remind you of how far you’ve come in life. Either could still be true for Janie. In each case, clutter is a symbol for something both deeper and greater than the items themselves.
Let go of clutter - in 5 Minutes
For a collection of items to release its emotional hold on you, take five minutes to consider what having those items means to you. If someone were to take them all away today, how would you feel? What memories would this stir up? Allow yourself to keep these memories, but release the emotional control they have over you. Simply say, “that was a difficult time in my (or my parents’) life and I’m feeling some anxiety about it. I allow myself to feel anxiety, but it no longer controls how I feel about the present.” Don’t fight your feelings, instead, let them go. Or, “it reminds me of my grandmother, whom I was extremely close to. Giving it away feels like I don’t care.” Notice your feelings of love for your grandmother and allow them to stay, but let go of the guilt associated with this object. Once you understand what the clutter in your life symbolizes, it will no longer be a burden.* How does clutter affect your life? What changes can you make to clear clutter, and clear your mind? *Another short excerpt from Leigh's forthcoming book. To receive notice of publication, sign up on the blog email list, top right corner of this article. Or follow MetaphysicalLife on facebook


Texskiss said...

I hate clutter!! I use laundry baskets to dump stuff into and then walk things from room to room and put back in their place! It helps me stay organized!

grace said...

I agree about letting go of the clutter. Now if I could just get my husband to let go we'd be on our way.

LimitlessLiving said...

Glad to have found your page. Clutter is my constant battle and I know it drains my energy. I like your idea TEXSKISS laundry baskets to collect and return to the correct space ia great idea!!!

Nicole @ Some Call It Natural said...

I am bad about keeping onto paper. Paper piles everywhere! I'm not sure why I do it, other than that my mom does it too, so I guess I just grew up thinking you don't throw it away! I'm getting better, but it is hard figuring out what to throw away and what to file away!

Keda said...

This is just so true. Another thing to consider when de-cluttering is that surfaces or drawers that are fill of stuff, tned to attract more stuff. And vice versa: surfaces and drawers that are empty, tend to stay that way.

It's the law ;)

Test it is you want. It really works. I try and keep at least one drawer or surface clear in every room/cabinet that we have around the house. It tends to keep things very organised.

Carol Lawrence And Stacy Toten said...

I love everybody's ideas. Keep them coming. I to do not like clutter. I spent the morning organizing my paper clutter. I created folders for my blogging projects, writing projects and updated my to do list. I keep a pile of recycled paper for these tasks. Another way I organize my online life is I've created a address book just for connections due to our blogging/writing etc.
Thanks Leigh for sharing such a great guest article! ~ Carol

Leigh said...

@Texskiss - I love the laundry basket idea. I may just borrow it!
@grace - It is true that we each have different ideas about what constitutes clutter, and how it affected us in the past. Good luck.
@LimitlessLiving - you nailed it. It drains our energy, and we don't always know it!
@Some Call it Natural - I'm the same way with paper, so I have a couple drawers and files for them. When those get full, I go through and discard!
@Keda - Interesting idea - almost a "like attracts like" process!
Thanks to those of you who've responded. I've learned new tips today!
@Carol - Yes, folders are my lifeline, for online work too. You are welcome!:)

Unknown said...

Thanks for the helpful tips on clearing clutter - something most moms struggle with.