I believe that many times the reason we haven’t realized our dreams is that we haven’t had a chance. I just watched the most amazing YouTube video that blew me away. I have watched it a half dozen times in the past hour. Just makes my realize that give the chance, anyone can live their dream!
Live the Day on Blog Talk Radio
Join me as I interview Coach Karen VanCleve as she reveals the secrets to “Do it yourself brain surgery.” If you want to change your life it starts between the ears. Learn how to change your brain without the use of a Scalpel.
Call in and chat with Karen on 646-929-2440
Turn into Live the Day on Blog Talk Radio
We tend to collect things as we go through life or maybe even things collect us. However it works, we gather a lot of stuff. Not that there is anything wrong with having stuff, but too much stuff can create clutter. From time to time it is a good idea to purge yourself of all the stuff you don’t love or don’t use. That way all the stuff you keep will support you and not stall you.
Too much stuff can get in your way literally and figuratively. In Feng Shui, the Chinese art of placement, clutter is considered “mental constipation.” Having too much stuff acts like a mental block to your creativity and overall feeling of well being. I actually get depressed when my surroundings become cluttered. When I am overwhelmed with stuff I purge. I go through my house and get rid of things that I no longer want, love or use. It is amazing how much better I feel after a good purging.
Clutter can say a lot about how we are feeling. Our outside environment always reflects what is going on inside. When clutter starts building up I know I am moving into overwhelm. It is a sign that other things in my life are not working as well as I would like. Purging the physical clutter helps me think clearer about the other things that are going on. Clutter is always a sign that something bigger is happening. Before you start purging, ask yourself, “What is this clutter trying to tell me?” There may be other areas in your life that need attention as well.
No matter how overstuffed you are, either a little or a lot, you will benefit from a purge. I have a standing date with the local charity in our community. The truck stops by my home once every six weeks, and I always have a bag or two (sometimes more) to give them. I found that having this structure available helps me maintain a happy and harmonious level of stuff. It is great to have stuff and I am thankful for the stuff I have, but when my stuff takes over, it is time to purge. Too much isn’t always a good thing.
Here’s to taking action,
We get something out of everything we do. If we create clutter, we are doing so for a reason. Clutter can be a way to protect us from having to face what we don’t want to face. It can keep us in a perpetual state of confusion. Confusion can keep us from looking at what is really going on.
Clutter is a problem if you:
* are constantly losing things
* can’t find your desk under the mess
* feel stuck or frozen by clutter
* are always running late
* are afraid to open drawers, cabinets and storage units because of the mess
* lose things like phone numbers or important papers
* are late with paying bills or following up on things simply because they are lost in the clutter
Have you ever calculated how much time you take looking for something and how much money you are losing in the process? Money is being wasted when you can’t find a piece of paper or locate a telephone number. Time is money and the time you waste looking for something is costing you!
Being organized creates an assurance level of self-confidence. Being organized will free up time that can be spent doing what you really want to do and what is most important.
Clutter keeps us confused and in chaos. Being clutter-free does not come naturally to me. What I have learned from clearing the clutter in my life is that clutter kept me from being fully present. Once the clutter was removed, I could deal with what was really important.
Getting rid of clutter doesn’t happen overnight. Start with a small area in your office or home and keep it clutter-free for one month. Once it is a habit to keep that area clutter-free, move to another area. Becoming clutter-free is a process. It takes time and persistence.
Here’s to taking action,
Clutter appears to be a major issue for many people. I cannot pick up a magazine without seeing an article about getting rid of clutter. Many of my clients complain about clutter. I personally work daily to make sure that clutter doesn’t encroach on my space. Clutter is distracting. The more we have of it, the more it causes chaos and confusion.
One insidious form of clutter is the “Maybe” clutter. This is clutter we don’t get rid of because we may need it someday. Examples of this are things like the size six outfit that hangs in the closet, but hasn’t been worn in three years, or the back issues of a favorite magazine dating back to the first issue ever received. Perhaps the clutter is craft supplies from a project completed in 1987. All of this is maybe clutter. We don’t get rid of it because maybe we will use it someday. The problem is someday never comes and the clutter continues to take up space in our homes, offices, and minds.
We also legitimize the maybe clutter by putting it in boxes, labeling them and sometimes even purchasing space for it. This elaborate system for storing the maybe clutter in reality is postponing a decision. There are many reasons for postponing the decision of what to do with the clutter. Perhaps it is overwhelm, grief, disappointment or other emotions too painful to face.
I had a client who would not remove the items of his ex-wife from his home. He had left his home exactly the way it was when she left him. With my suggestion, he sought the help of a therapist and through his work with her discovered that what he was doing was leaving his home as it was in hopes that maybe she would return. It has been over two years and the chances that she would ever come back were slim to none. It took time, but slowly he was able to let go of the things in his home that were holding him back from moving on with his life.
Getting rid of clutter can be an emotional issue. We can attach emotions and memories to our stuff, which can make it hard to let go. If we find ourselves in the midst of maybe clutter, perhaps evaluating why we are holding on to it will allow us to let go of it. This can be difficult; so don’t try to do it yourself. The help of a therapist or other mental health professional might be useful. Also, hiring a professional organizer to come in and support with the elimination of the clutter can be useful. Just having someone else there can be empowering and supportive.
If you find yourself storing things that will maybe come in handy someday ask yourself what you are postponing. Getting rid of clothes that are in a size you wore in high school might be postponing accepting that you will never be that size again. If you are holding on to things from a past relationship or career, you might be postponing letting go of the past and moving on. The syndrome of “Maybe I will need it or use it someday” actually keeps us locked in the past and focused on the future. Holding on to those items postpones the present.
I am not suggesting that you throw every item in storage out, not unless you want to. What I am suggesting is that “maybe” clutter keeps us from totally being present in the moment and in many cases drains energy. I have a neighbor who cannot park his car in his garage because of all the items stored there. The stuff came from a much larger home and when he downsized into his townhouse, he did not have room for all the things from his previous home. I asked him once what he was doing with all that stuff. His answer was, “Well, I just might need it someday.” He has lived in his townhouse for as long as I have lived in mine and, the best I can tell, he has never needed any of it. The interesting thing is he complains about it and hates that he has to park his car outside. He is postponing dealing with his past and putting it off until the future, meanwhile he is unhappy with the present condition all the clutter is creating.
Here’s to taking action,
There are lots of books, programs and seminars that teach how to increase productivity. Although I am sure they all have good suggestions, I know one simple way to increase your productivity. Get rid of clutter. Clutter is a time waster and cuts down on the time you have to be productive. Clutter can also be stressful and get in the way of your best efforts. Getting rid of the clutter is a sure way of increasing productivity and making life easier.
Some people think clutter is a sign of creativity. I think clutter is a sign of confusion. When there is clutter, it is difficult to concentrate, focus and get things done. A lot of time is spent looking for things and shuffling through the piles. I used to say I could find anything I wanted in my clutter. That was true. However, it was also true that it might take me hours, weeks or months to find everything I needed. When you get rid of the clutter, you create order. Order brings balance and the ability to work without spending time searching for what you need. I love that I can now reach into a file and pull out exactly what I need. I don’t waste my time searching through the clutter. What I want is right where I can find it. That makes life so much easier, and productivity naturally flows.
Clutter is one of the main barriers to productivity. If you can’t find what you need, or you don’t have enough clear workspace, or the mess stresses you, it’s going to be very difficult to get anything done in a timely manner. Create a plan to get rid of the clutter as soon as possible. The sooner the clutter is gone, the sooner you can get to work with no obstructions.
Here’s to taking action,
It is amazing to me how much clutter people can accumulate. On occasion I watch “Clean Sweep,” a television show where designers and professional organizers go into homes of people who have clutter. And I am not just talking about a few things. I am talking about rooms that they can barely walk through. The place is a mess and just looks chaotic. When the mess is all cleaned and they have gotten rid of the majority of stuff, every client admits they feel less stressed and more in control. Clutter is chaos out in the open. Clutter is simply an outward manifestation of what is happening on the inside. If there is clutter and chaos on the outside, you can bet that there is confusion and chaos on the inside.
Clutter is a representation of what is happening in our lives. Perhaps we are trying to bury ourselves, literally, so that we don’t have to face other problems. Perhaps the clutter is a protection mechanism, with lots of clutter no one can get close. Whatever the clutter is keeping you from facing, dealing with or protecting you from, it is also holding you back. Clutter keeps us in confusion and chaos, and there is no way we can be our best with so much clutter.
As my friend Debra Clem would say, “It is crazy making.” That is so true about clutter. It will drive us crazy, and can become so overwhelming we don’t even know where to start. Clutter is one of my things I deal with and I use clutter as a gage to tell me when I am becoming overstressed and overwhelmed. When the clutter starts appearing, I know it is a sign. However, I no longer let it get out of control. I deal with it by filing, putting away and sometimes even throwing stuff away. I no longer feel compelled to keep things that I don’t love and I don’t use. As the organizer on Clean Sweep says, “Just because your mother gave it to you doesn’t mean you have to keep it.” The memories are in our head, not in the object. My rule of thumb is I only keep things I love and everything must have a home. I no longer have a junk drawer that is just creating a place to store junk. If I don’t love it and use it, I don’t keep it.
Clutter is keeping you in chaos. Get rid of the clutter and you will reduce the chaos on the outside and the inside, and perhaps even rid yourself of it completely. Figure out why you must hold on to everything, and then get the help you need to move it out. Don’t try to do this alone. Clutter can have some real emotional baggage attached to it. Get the help of a professional organizer or a counselor, therapist or coach, that can help you move beyond your clutter.
A year ago I worked with a client with major clutter concerns. I coached her to hire a professional organizer, as I had done – and it truly changed my life. My client was so attached to her clutter that she would run out to the garbage after the organizer left and take the junk out of the trash. The organizer had to start taking the bags of clutter with her when she left. Eventually my client let go and now lives a calmer more organized life.
If you hold on to clutter, it means you are holding onto past issues, hurts and pain from the past, or perhaps you don’t want to face the future. Whatever the clutter represents, until you get rid of it you can’t handle the real issues and move on. Letting go of clutter is about reclaiming your life.
Here’s to taking action,
Join me on Live the Day hosted on Blog Talk Radio
Join me as I interview Bart Windrum, author of Notes from the Waiting Room: Managing a Loved One’s End-of-Life Hospitalization. Bart is a nationally renowned Health Care Advocate. Through his experience with his parents, sister and friends Bart has learned how to best advocate for a loved one when they find themselves in a health care challenge. You will want to listen in as Bart shares his wisdom and experience on how to best project the ones we love.
Listen at 3pm on Monday April 6th on Blog Talk Radio!