The Ultimate Act of Self-Care: Clearing Clutter
For me, having a simpler life allows for more time to relax, to write, be present with family & friends, and focus on what matters most.
In fact, organizing your life is one of the kindest acts of self-care there is.
Think about it: When things are organized, we spend less time looking for things, set a good example for our children, reduce overwhelm, do more with less time, make better use of our talents and skills, increase our self-confidence, feel more in control and make more/spend less money.
There is no shortage of ideas and books on how to organize. Julie Morgenstern, in her book Organizing from the Inside Out, takes the “how to” a step further and suggests that to arrive at any kind of a sustainable system, we need to understand and work with or around our psychological obstacles to a clutter-free environment. Do you see yourself in any of these obstacles?
Need for accumulation. People who need to keep a lot of everything around them may be filled with anxiety and dread at the idea of getting rid of things.
Unclear goals and priorities. Organizing is about defining what’s important and setting up a system to reflect that.
Fear of success/fear of failure. Disorganization may be a convenient way to hold back.
Need to retreat. Clutter can be a protective shield to keep others at a safe distance.
Fear of losing creativity. A common myth is that creative, “right-brained” people need to work in chaos to produce high-quality work. Balderdash!
Need for distraction. Clutter can provide a convenient excuse to avoid uncomfortable issues or unwanted tasks.
Sentimental attachment. Infusing objects with personality, emotions, and meaning (“That vase will be sad if I throw it out.”) usually results in living with an enormous amount of clutter.
Need for perfection. Often, people won’t deal with clutter until it can be done perfectly. Translation: It will never get done.
Identifying these obstacles can help us create an effective, lasting solution to clutter and free us from energy-sapping self-criticism.
Here are ideas I am focusing on in 2022. Maybe they will inspire you to take one step towards decluttering in 2022 and self-care.
- Unsubscribe from email lists – yes, even mine if you want! How much time do you spend deleting emails you don’t read? Or missing an important message because you are bombarded with promotion emails? Or you don’t even look at email anymore? Today, I give you full permission to unsubscribe from my email list. Yes, go ahead! We really want to send emails to those who align with what we are sharing in the world. There may have been a time when you needed the information, but your life has shifted. We all change. I want to celebrate, not judge, that you are taking a stand for what doesn’t serve you right now. Ps. You’re always welcome back if you change your mind!
2. Reduce meetings on your calendar. If you have meetings on your calendar that feel like an obligation or don’t support your growth, then it’s time to redesign the meeting or remove it. Are you afraid to disappoint someone by saying you don’t want to meet anymore? It’s possible that the meeting is not working for them either and it takes courage to redesign the purpose or to cancel it. What I know is that you will feel more empowered afterward. Tip: In the month of January, notice which meetings you dread going to or are relieved when they get canceled. This is a clear sign that the time is not aligned to your highest purpose and it can be redesigned. Then in February, take steps to cancel or redesign the meetings. Does that idea make your body feel uneasy? Let’s talk! It’s time to set some boundaries around your precious time and energy.
3. Purge the electronics: On New Year’s day, I walked around our home and noticed how many cords and old unused electronics are shoved in drawers or cabinets. I was done tolerating the spaghetti piles of cords that plug into NOTHING. Or the electronics taking up valuable space in the cabinet. Out they went this weekend. Wow, my kitchen sparkles now with clean counters!
So go ahead, gather all electronic cords, chargers, old laptops, broken or unused devices, and sustainable & securely dispose of them. The piles of cords represent chaos and discord and it’s time to chuck that out. Here is a link to a site that recommends how to get rid of electronics safely.
4. Clean out your closet: Do you have clothes, shoes, coats that you haven’t worn in 2 years? Yes, you invested in purchasing these things, and life has changed since then. Ask yourself, what do you need now and what will meet your needs in the next year? Here’s the tough love part, if you can’t see yourself needing something in your closet in the next 12 months AND you haven’t used it for the past 2 years, it’s time to release it. How could someone else benefit from its use today? Give yourself permission to donate and take the tax write-off!
Now I don’t want to you feel like you have to take all this on right now! If you could pick one thing to simplify it, which one would you do? Or is there something else you have been tolerating now is the time to tackle it? Once you have picked one thing to focus on this month, send a picture of the Before and After of your simplification effort and post it here on my Facebook™ page.
We can support one another in simplifying and creating more space in your life to focus on what matters most to you! Of course, if you feel overwhelmed, stuck, or want an accountability partner to support you in staying focused on your simplification plan, please schedule a call with me here. I offer a complimentary 30 min coaching call.