Clutter and the Lightness of Being

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I admittedly know next to nothing about feng shui. I know that it has something to do with rearranging your furniture to release blocked energy flows in your house (I think). What I didn’t know until the other day is that apparently it also has to do with the elimination of clutter. Now this is something I know about.

Since I was a little kid, I have been a bit of a neat-nik. I put things away and kept my room clean (ask my sister with whom I had to share a room). My father had an axiom from the Navy “everything has a place and everything in its place” that I lived by and still do to this day. But as an adult, I’m a busy (and sometimes lazy) person and, like everyone, I let things build up.

I also live with three lovely beautiful people, one big and two small, who are not particularly neat. No matter how many times I say my father’s axiom to them, it doesn’t seem to stick. I want so badly for them to embrace clearing the clutter so they can learn what I have learned—that clutter weighs a person down. When I have cleared off the counters of junk mail, or put away all the stuff lying about the living room, I feel a lightness that actually has a physical expression, like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I can think more clearly.

Clutter can have other health impacts as well. It can add to anxiety and a chaotic feeling, create spaces for dust or mold to build up, add to emotional issues by hanging onto the past, even add to physical weight.

I have been working on Project Declutter Our House for over a year. As I said, I’m a busy person so I’ve been tackling one area at a time when I have the time. I recently cleared out my bedroom closet and my kids’ bedroom closets. Man, that was a big load for Goodwill! But do I love opening my closet and dresser drawers now and seeing space! I love looking a the top of my dresser where papers and other odds and ends were piled and seeing space. It is truly a lovely lightness of being. If that is what feng shui is about, then I’m up for more of it!

Here are my 3 tips for decluttering your home:

1. Start with one room at a time. By chunking it down into smaller projects, they are achievable as one or two day projects and not so overwhelming.

2. As you go, make three piles: donate, throw out, keep. Keep only things that are precious, beautiful, fit you, and that you really, really love. If it’s broken, toss it. If it’s unbroken but you don’t love it, donate it–let someone else love it as you never did. If you haven’t used it or worn it in 2 years, donate it. If you’re wanting to lose weight to wear that garment again, by all means lose the weight but buy yourself new clothes (that are in style) as a reward when you achieve your goal.

3. Don’t get too sentimental. Do you really need to keep every t-shirt from every event you’ve walked/biked/run in? Do you really need every single drawing your child made in preschool? Remember, keep only what is beautiful, precious and brings you joy.

To your health,

Laren Watson
Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach

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Kurnia - July 7, 2012

Aww thanx 🙂 I do love my things.But you are so right about how that show meatvitos. Funny how even though we love to collect treasures, we feel more “zen” with less stuff…just need to find that happy balance I guess??? Thanx too for the follow….I am gonna go check out your blog as well 🙂 Hugs..and Happy De-Clutter’n..Liza

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    Wesley - September 16, 2012

    it still looks messy. i have a really large evtiuecxe desk in my office room with nothing on it except 3 monitors (seamless), the keyboard, the mouse, my droid and my nook. i would suggest buying a nook or kindle, if you like to read a lot, it quickly pays off. also, i try not to keep papers on my desk and just keep them in filing cabinets.

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Ikmah - July 8, 2012

man my husband wrties stuff down in his notebooks everytime he gets home from work. i thought he was a little goofy or weird for doing that, he has like 5 notebooks full. but after forgetting a lot of stuff and him lookin back through the notebook and finding what i needed to remember i was like dang..i guess you aren’t that weird after all.

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