Rid Your Space of Stuff & Free Your Mind
Have you ever noticed stuff accumulates faster than the blink of an eye? It’s as if, while you are sleeping invisible little minions begin to work away at adding to the piles on your desk, or on your dining room table, laughing as they do?
You say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll deal with that this weekend.” The weekend comes, and after lazing away the morning , sipping coffee, after all it is the weekend. You get up to change and think about the mess on your desk, then you get a text from a friend. It’s an invitation to go for a hike and have lunch. “Oh, yeah!” You reply, “b right there.”
Or, how about this scenario: You actually talk yourself into this “minimizing” idea, and get a bag that you will take to Goodwill. You start taking hats, shoes or clothes out of the closet, and try them on, and look at yourself in the mirror. “This still fits! I don’t need to get rid of it.”
It goes back on the hanger, and you move over to the shelf with all the nic nacs, “I remember when Susan gave this clay piggy bank when we were in Mexico last. I can’t get rid of this”. By the time you are finished with the “minimizing” there is nothing in the bag, and you go on the hike anyway, feeling quite successful.
[tweetthis] “Our minds can open to the bounty, if we can clear the clutter.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]
Every person can afford to *clean out* their office, home, garage or salon once a month, otherwise it piles up, and we can no longer see what we actually have. It is human nature to hang on to things. In fact, when we touch something, we get an emotional attachment to it, and it’s more difficult to let it go. And when you are easily distracted, lots of stuff only adds to the feeling of overwhelm.
The hanging on to these “things” can even come for a place of, “I shouldn’t wasteful.” I know this one, my mother taught me well. So the other day, I had the overwhelming feeling come over me, that along with beginning this new aspect to my business, and my book being published, that I needed to get rid of stuff, and let go!
Everything I picked up had sentimental appeal, or was cool in some way. All of it was keeping me stuck in the past, instead of who I am today. You don’t need to let go of all of your grandmother’s momentos, but maybe you choose the most meaningful. I really don’t think our grandmothers would want us to feel burdened by their belongings.
I recalled the other day when the clarity of mind came through, that I use to keep a room in my first apartment empty. Somehow, this helped me feel spacious inside. This room is where I danced, or did yoga, or painted, or meditated.
What a luxury that was, and what a luxury it is to choose the art we want on our walls, the right desk, the perfect computer! But at what point does it become just about the acquisition?
I am convinced we Americans have become so use to having, and wanting, that we don’t stop to feel, and then can lead to all kinds of misery. My suggestion is to take the following steps to help you before you even get to this point, and then start delving into the mess.
* Get rid of ten things before you even think of buying something new. Really! Make a pact with yourself that you will not bring anything in the house until you let go of ten things. Even then, practice holding off a purchase until you get home and see if you still desire it.
I’m convinced a lot of our buying has to do with a filling ourselves where there is lack of true connection with our own lives or inner world. Our desires often pass, if we are patient enough.
* Avoid storing things in bins, there are not enough of them. This is just a way to semi way to organize the chaos, but the stuff is still there. As NourishingMinimalism.com states “Organization is not decluttering.”
* Once you have a paper, or bill, or piece of mail in your hand, deal with it! I heard this a long time from a client who helped people organize their offices, homes, and lives. The minute we look at our mail, place bills in the “to be paid” file, and recycle the junk mail.
* Take one area of your office, home or salon and look through one cabinet at a time. Get a couple of bags, and start filling with the items you don’t need, and are not using. You will begin to see, great clarity begins to seep in, and before you know it, you will be adding more and more to the bag.
* Give your stuff away to the local shelter. Next week I plan to bag up old product and give my annual gift to my local homeless shelter.
When I finished on Sunday, my living room was filled with bags to go to Goodwill! And now, I’m going to go back through a second time. Seriously, I felt so free of the junk. Even so, I noticed I was still hanging on to things of the past.
As I drove my care filled with these things from my past, I felt light, and light-hearted. I knew I would be making several trips more. My take on things is, I didn’t come in with it, and I’m not leaving with it, so why make myself miserable with the sheer magnitude of it all of it.
Watch this video by Graham Hill, Less Stuff, More Happiness, for a little perspective.