Monday, January 11, 2016

The real problem with clutter

Clutter brings up a lot of cringing. The word immediately raises images in the minds of many of overstuffed closets, crawlspaces desperate for our attention and stacks of papers that never seem to diminish despite our best efforts.

The problem with defining clutter in this way is that we don’t get to the real challenge associated with it, and so we overlook clutter that may be affecting us every day.

Everyone can see the big clutter items in their homes. In fact, they’re often so big that we can’t even address it without outside help or a weekend dedicated to trips to Goodwill. So we don’t, because it’s just something we all have and deal with in our lives.

There are a few problems with this.

Clutter begets clutter. Once we’ve identified a space in a room or an entire room as the place to put things we don’t know what to do with in the moment, it acts like a magnet for more clutter. Admit it, you’ve seen it happen in your own place – whether a basement, a closet, a desk or a junk drawer.

It weighs on us. Every time we look at clutter it reminds us that we need to clean it up but either don’t have the time or the will to take care of it in the moment. It’s like a daily dose of regret. Who needs that in their lives?

It’s diversionary. That’s right, when we see the big areas of clutter, we fool ourselves into thinking that clutter only applies to big messes. That just isn’t the case. Clutter can be the grouping of pictures on your piano that prevent you from seeing the good in each photo and only see a mass of photos. It can be the ceramic elephant in your home that you’re hanging onto not because you love it but because someone gave it to you and they might stop by so you want them to see you have it out.  Otherwise they might just JUDGE you. Gasp!
Clearing clutter is like a breath of fresh air for your home.

In feng shui, this means you’re filling your home not only with objects you don’t like but energy that just brings you down!

So, if that resonates with you, and I hope it does, take a look around you and see where you might have some clutter: a vase that held flowers from an ex, a second-hand chair you’ve had for far too long, a family portrait that reminds you of a time when the family wasn’t getting along so well. 

Start with just one thing. It’ll be a relief, and it may feel so good that you’ll find another thing, and another, and another. You may not get to the basement right away, but you'll feel lighter and happier and maybe, just maybe, it'll give you the boost you need to tackle that closet. 

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