We are busy packing all of our belongings, as soon we will be moving to our new home. Fortunately for us, we will be up-scaling to a bigger home. For others, their new home will be a matter of down-scaling, and they will have to fit their many precious things, close to their heart, into a much smaller space!
The effect that CLUTTER had on me, especially on my HEALTH for the last couple of months, was so enormous, that I decided to write this next series of blogs on CLUTTER.
As I was selling lots of furniture and brick-and-brag stuff to neighbors, friends and on-line, I was with excitement at the same time, accumulating new stuff on the side for the new home – to the point where I’m realizing now that I cannot even fit in everything around us, in this house anymore! A point where it became my problem, and it almost become unbearable living here, waiting for the months to pass for the purchase of the new house to go through. That the spending and hoarding must now urgently come to a halt.
WHAT IS CLUTTER?
With the help of my Spa therapy training, I have approached holistic medicine again and collected the following information.
CLUTTER, IS STUCK ENERGY. Absolutely everything that surrounds us have energetic implications. For example, why do you think would most people know they feel different wearing the blue shirt they have pulled out of the wardrobe to the red one they have left for another time; why will they spend a few moments choosing a new toothbrush, or will opt to drink coffee from one cup rather than another? If we start to think of these choices in energetic terms, we will allow these to become a series of consciously made choices. We should have an awareness of why it might be important at different times to choose, or to do different things. In other words, we must give ourselves permission to create the environment that will really SUPPORT and NURTURE us.
When people are stuck, you will almost always find lots of clutter in their home. HEALTHY energy is moving energy. Think what happens when a pool stagnates. Very soon it becomes murky and starts to smell. This is similar to what happens energetically when people live surrounded by clutter.
Clutter is things you are holding onto which stagnate your energy because they serve no purpose in your life. Clutter is not only things that no longer have any practical or aesthetic purpose, but is also about things being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is more than just clearing out and throwing away things you have outgrown in some way; it involves changing the fundamental way that you live in your space. It will make you think clearly about what you bring into your space and the way it changes the dynamics of your life. To create an environment that suits our individual needs, we can start by looking at the THINGS we choose to surround us and the way we ORGANIZE those things.
If you are in your home or office, start by taking note of the objects that surround you – the things you can see and things you cannot actually see but that you know are there – maybe deliberating put out of sight in cupboards, drawers or other containers. Identifying clutter is fairly easy. You can walk into a place and see things that should not be there – items that have an obvious alternative location. For most people this is simply a matter of tidying up and relocating a few things. Doing it makes us feel a bit better in the short term – clearer, brighter and more energetic – but how can we take it a step further so that this feeling lasts longer? More than recognizing things and putting them out of sight, we should remove them altogether and throw them out. This seemingly drastic measure is where, for many people, the difficulty begins.
If you are one of those people for whom clearing out, tidying, organizing and ruthless non-hoarding is effortless, you must bear with the rest of us as we make slow progress through this task. Everyone has something to learn from this highly disciplined procedure. I can almost guarantee that somewhere in your life you have stored away a little bundle of things that reflects an area of unfinished business. When did you last remove redundant contacts from your address book, clear out your old computer files or inspect your photograph albums, keep a watchful eye on bookcases that get piled high with all manner of junk, or investigate the bottom of the garden, which mysteriously attracts paint cans and delightful offerings from neighborhood cats? Just how many of those CD’s do you regularly listen to; does your DVD collection need weeding? Do you have festering food in your fridge and greasy ‘yuck’ around your stove?
‘Things’ constitute a major problem in most homes. Useless kitchen gadgets, presents we hate or have outgrown, inherited objects which fear of embarrassment or guilt will not let us part with.
Everything we do not use or wear, or which we are keeping in case it comes handy one day, constitutes clutter. Often people keep things ‘just in case’ for different reasons, like ‘in case I can never afford to get one again’ – you are telling your subconscious mind to prepare for a situation of neediness in the future, so that it actually creates that situation. If you are one of those people who cannot let anything go because ‘it might be useful one day’, you don’t trust God to supply everything you need, and you will always feel vulnerable and insecure about the future. Instead of becoming more secure, the opposite starts to happen and you become more insecure.
WHEN DO YOU HAVE PHYSICAL CLUTTER?
How can you tell whether you have too much clutter?
If all week you have had the thought at the back of your mind that you must clear out the kitchen drawer or the back room, you have too much clutter. If whenever you think of your home you have a mental image of overstuffed cupboards and if tidying generally involves making piles of things and moving them from one place to another, you have too much clutter.
Clutter can be the things we haven’t done which prey on our minds, like un-returned telephone calls or a call you don’t want to make. For as long as you put it off, it eats away at your energy while you think, ‘Oh no, I don’t want to ring so and so.’ If you receive an exorbitant bill and you decide to make them wait, all the time you will be waiting, you’ll be thinking, ‘I’ve been charged too much’, and again it eats your energy. Much better to pay it straight away so that you can move on to other things with a clear mind. E-mails you have to send – write them straight away, you’ll feel much lighter. Clutter is also appointments not made or ideas and perceptions we hoard which prevent us from doing the things we really want to do. Perhaps due to our upbringing or past experiences, or because we doubt our own abilities, we hang on to situations and ideas which do not let us move on. We may stay in a relationship through fear of emotional upheaval, or not accept a job away from a familiar area through fear of the unknown.
All these attitudes clutter our thought processes but by clearing our physical clutter we see the benefits of ‘letting go’, which will help us to clear out the mental clutter.
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF de-CLUTTERING
Disposing of clutter can be a wonderful chance to face up to unfinished business, clearing the way for NEW OPPORTUNITIES. Chuck out your old college books and you may find new learning coming into your life. Remove your redundant business suits and you may find that the job you really wanted to do involves wearing a wet-suit. Before you let anything into your life, you have to let something go. As soon as you let something go, something new comes in, so give it no quarter and learn to enjoy letting go. You might find your crisis have past and you’re well on your way to finding your solution which have overwhelmed you earlier. Have you ever wondered why, before childbirth, many women have a great urge to clean their homes? They do it to prepare and purify the space for their new child. This is a natural, instinctive reaction.
The first thing that people notice when they begin to pay more attention to their environment is that their ENERGY level rises. As different areas of our space become clearer and you get rid of everything in your life that has no real meaning or significance for you, so you feel lighter in BODY, MIND and SPIRIT.
A room might look oppressive with fussy decoration and too many ornaments, whereas a room with less clutter gives a LIGHTER, more airy feel. A Cool, clutter-free bedroom will be a perfect place to UNWIND.
Traditionally people give themselves an energy lift by spring cleaning their homes once a year. Imagine what VITALITY you can have if you keep your home like this all the time, and after you thoroughly cleaned it, you keep it at that standard, from then on!!
When you start a new project, first give your house a spring clean as this allow you to THINK MORE CLEARLY.
Likewise, if you’re feeling depressed, try clearing out a cupboard. Clearing clutter really perks a place up and releases huge amounts of POSITIVITY. So by clearing clutter you can let go of all sorts of negative emotions.
Order in your house will clear and BRIGHTEN UP various aspects of your physical and mental being, and therefore your life. There is something immensely THERAPEUTIC about clearing your clutter – it gives your physical being a boost and it lifts your spirit. While you are clearing things on an EXTERNAL level, there is a corresponding change going on INTERNALLY too. Whatever you are doing on the outside, you are also doing on the inside, and vice versa.
When everything around you is beautiful and PRECIOUS to you, your whole life becomes precious. You can live more SPIRITUALLY INTACT and have spiritual focus in the present time and move with the flow. Give your junk away or sell them on-line and buy something you really want.
If you ever had to get rid of everything you owned to start again, you would find it incredibly scary yet REFRESHING, REGENERATIVE and a real TURNING POINT in your life.
Being clear of clutter is one of the greatest aids to manifesting THE LIFE YOU WANT, and is absolutely essential if you truly want to know JOY AND HAPPINESS in your life. Clearing clutter will make your life work so much better.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF CLUTTER
A Space filled with clutter is not a place conductive to well-being.
There is no place you can put clutter where it will not affect you. Even if you put it in a junk or store room, or the garage, or you take it out of the house and stash it in the garden shed, or put it in storage somewhere else, it is still there and still having an effect on your life. The only thing you can do is take responsibility for it and clear it.
I believe strongly in clearing “from the inside out” – going like a perfectionist through every piece of detail – every single paper, every little toy. When you clean your home also care to clean those awkward bits – under beds, on top of cupboards, behind wardrobes, inside bathroom cabinets and so on.
Clutter dis-empower people on all sorts of levels. Junk will interfere with spiritual growth, causes a lack of opportunities, limits your higher aspiration and possibilities, creates stagnation – makes you stuck and makes everything grind to a halt. We do not need these things in our lives if we are to open up and let new experiences in. It places obstacles in our path, makes your life lumber rather than jaunts on its way, and makes you never learn the lesson the first time around. A Room, even though neat and orderly, but has too much clutter, can make you feel tired and blocked.
Clutter just creates struggle for yourself, creates problems with children, makes you feel depressed or suffer from real depression, makes you tired by pulling your energy down, or makes you suffer from headaches.
Clutter may lead to problems hanging over you, waiting to be dealt with. A Cluttered subconscious mind and issues not dealt with, might cause an excellent therapist to not earn enough money to support herself.
Most people who have lots of clutter say they can’t find the energy to begin to clear it. They constantly feel tired. When you live surrounded by clutter it is like dragging the ball and chain of your past around with you everywhere you go. No wonder you feel tired.
People unconsciously keep clutter in order to suppress their own aliveness. They may want to change and improve their life, but their subconscious mind is afraid to journey into the unknown. If you have lots of clutter, maybe on some level you ‘need’ the clutter right now. Understanding why you have needed it helps you to begin to realize why you clutter and stop to accumulate it in the future.
OTHER PEOPLE’S CLUTTER
Get rid of them!
When the crockery our friend gave us is such a source of irritation, allow yourself to feel able to give it away! If you keep it in your home out of fear or obligation, you are giving your power away. And don’t think to put that ornament in the cupboard for now. Your subconscious mind still knows that you have it on the premises. These unwanted gifts make your vitality run out. Surround yourself with things you love, which inspire and uplift you.
When dealing with unwanted gifts, it helps to recognize the intention of the giver. An unwanted gift or present may be something someone has given you after careful thought and perhaps much love. Or the person may have wanted to give you something humorous, pretty or useful. Whether you dislike it or not, you may feel obliged to keep it because you do not want to hurt the giver’s feelings. Whose object is it anyway? Whose life is it anyway? It is important to look after your own needs and acknowledge that, if the original givers of the items care for you unconditionally, they will be the first to applaud your decision to remove it. The second type of present is the item somebody thought you might like, because he or she no longer has room for it. Clothing often passes between people in a similar way. The third type of present is the ‘lifetime obligation’ gift, inherited from a family member, and loaded with the duty to continue a whole set of family traditions. Inherited objects, and those given to us as presents which we do not like but feel guilty about parting with, are CLUTTER. It could be anything from a bedstead or blanket box, to a set of screwdrivers. It often sits in our space as something we are going to ‘pass on’ to our children. Piles of yellowed and ageing books are often kept to be handed down to a bewildered generation who have more recent information at their fingertips. Try adopting a whole different philosophy about presents. Decide how long you need to keep the unwanted item in order to appreciate the giver’s kindness. When you give something to someone, give it with love and let it go. Allow the recipient complete freedom to do whatever they want with the present. If they put it straight in the bin, or to somebody else, fine. You wouldn’t want others to clutter up their space with unwanted presents, would you? Give others this freedom and you will experience more freedom in your own life too.
With your new found clarity and tranquility after de-cluttering, your PARTNER or HOUSEMATE might move in bringing all their clutter with them – camping gear, ornaments, all their clothes and even their favorite furniture – you need to teach this person about clutter. In the case of children, it often happens that, if you set an example of moving unwanted items on, they will feel freer to follow suit.
THINGS THAT NEED FIXING
Clutter is also things that are broken that irritate you every time you see them, so repair them or throw them out. This is an energy drain too. Your conscious mind has long ceased to notice these things, but your subconscious mind remembers exactly, and every time you walk into that room, your energy drops.
When I was searching for a new house for us, I looked at over sixty different houses in the area. I was so surprised at how some people were looking after and have improved their homes, while others couldn’t be bothered, and be satisfied living for a long time the way they did – surrounded by clutter, broken, outdated stuff, materials and finishings.
The lack of care and respect that you have for your home reflects the lack of care and respect for yourself. When you care for your home by looking after it, you are loving and respecting yourself. Think of fixing and improving things in your home as being an investment in yourself. And if there is something you can’t be bothered to fix, then fling it, or find it a new home with someone who would like it and is willing to repair it and be able to use it.
Blown light bulbs we keep forgetting to replace or the squeaking door only requires one minute’s attention, but their effect can make years of difference to the pace and quality of our lives.
Once you start the habit of throwing junk away, you will start enjoying it. True to my impulsive nature, I occasionally got carried away and threw away or sold something I regretted afterwards!
More often than not though, you will find a far superior item than the one you discarded and can get even more use out of it, or, you might find you don’t need it anymore. And you will be happy with the thought that you could go through the same process without having to store it for years. If you let something go, something else will come in.
It must be said that there are times that we all need to slow down, or even shut off completely from striving for a streamlined, clutter-free existence. Very often a part of someone’s growth process will involve a spiraling away from clarity, and is potentially painful. This is not a time to become judgemental about that person’s need to clear clutter. Rather focus on your own environment only.
There is also something very sterile about being too tidy all the time. Houses where people are neurotically tidy become sterile places where you cannot ‘breathe’ and this can be as debilitating as being in a very cluttered one.
Uncluttered doesn’t always mean ‘tidy’. When you do a craft project, a sterile environment might not stimulate your creativity. But on the other hand, by being disorganized or having clutter around you however, could block your creativity completely. You might be surrounded by lots of papers and little bits of stuff, but when you have finished, you must tidy it all away so that you can start fresh the next day.
In my years working as therapist in a salon, I have noticed one practice in all salons – as an old folk proverb goes, ‘A place for everything, and everything in its place’, so you can always find things when you want them.
MOVING TO A NEW HOME
The time most people’s clutter surfaces when they move house, and one reason why moving house feels like such hard work, is that in the process of packing where you sort through all your things and decide what you want to take with you and what you don’t, you have to deal with all the MENTAL and EMOTIONAL connections to each object, which can be exhausting. When we have had an unpleasant experience in our home, or when we move into a new house, the energy there can feel heavy. We can lighten it to some extent by cleaning everywhere thoroughly.
MAINTAINING A CLUTTER-FREE HOME
A Large part of your time will be spent keeping your life as uncluttered as possible. The ongoing clearing of clutter will become a habit, like taking a shower, or cleaning your teeth. But remember, the initial clearing of your clutter IS finite. By doing a bit every day, you WILL reach the maintanance-only stage.