“The word “clutter” derives from the Middle English word “clotter” which means to coagulate – and that’s about as stuck as you can get.”
~Karen Kingston, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
There are four categories of clutter:
- Things you do not use or love
- Things that are untidy or disorganized
- Too many things in too small a space
- Anything unfinished
Clutter can affect your life in many ways. Having lots of clutter means you need space to store it, time to rearrange it, time to find what you need, time to dust it or repair it, and money to insure and maintain it.
Plus, the more you have, the more you usually want.
Clutter also affects your peace of mind (your ‘mind clutter’). For example, sit down at a desk piled high with papers vs. a neat, tidy desk with no clutter. How do you feel in each situation? When would you feel more motivated and productive?
Clutter can depress you, decrease your energy levels, make you feel ashamed of your home or office, and affect the level of respect you receive from others.
Clutter can also make you feel disorganized and distracted.
So why do people keep clutter?
- It reminds me of someone
- I may need it some day
- It was so expensive
- It still works
- It was a gift
- But, it was my mom’s
- More is better, right?
- We feel our possessions define us
- Get rid of something?
- It would be too much work to go through all my stuff
At the root of all these reasons is fear – we fear letting go. We fear for the future…what if you need something and don’t have it? We also fear our own feelings – what kind of emotions might you experience as you sort through, and let go of some of your belongings?
The benefits of letting go of some of your clutter are enormous. Clearing clutter creates space in your life – for new experiences, new people, new ideas, and new energy. Simply getting rid of items you no longer use and love creates a huge reserve of energy…you’ll have to try it to see what we mean!
Are you inspired to take a look at what you may be holding on to in your life? Are you ready to create some space in your life? We’ll start the de-cluttering process with a very simple exercise. Today, right now, go through your home or office and fill one shopping bag with items you no longer love or use. If you’re feeling particularly inspired, fill several bags. Or go all out and fill 20 bags.
When deciding whether something stays or goes, here are some criteria:
- Does it lift my energy when I think about it or look at it?
- Do I absolutely love it?
- Is it genuinely useful (NOW, not ‘someday maybe’)?
Immediately after you’ve filled the bags, put them aside. Call a charity or organization to come by and re-purpose or sell the items. Anything, just get rid of the bags right away! Otherwise you may find yourself digging through them in the middle of then night when you think you can’t live without that one special item.
You could attempt selling the items yourself on Craigslist, eBay, a garage sale, an ad in the newspaper or other outlet. However, I recommend that you really consider the time and expense it will take you to photograph, write an ad, pay for the ad, clean, package, ship, or lay the items out for a garage sale. Often times, it is not worth the time, money or effort to try to sell the items yourself.
If you items are valuable, it is probably best to take it to a consignment store that specializes in that type of item. They do all the work and have the client base to sell these special items to. All you have to do is drop the items off or have them pick them up.
Or, you could use what is called a “Trading Assistant” on eBay. eBay has a large directory of Trading Assistants. Some of them pick up the items and some Trading Assistants have drop-off locations.
Whether you donate or sell the items – just get them out of your space. The opportunities that will come to you from the open, clear space usually far outweigh the little money you get from re-selling.
Once you’ve gone through this exercise, take few minutes to see how you feel.
Do you have more energy? Are you feeling a little nervous? Are you inspired to continue? As the week goes on, be aware of any changes in your life…just pay attention. Are you looking at your ‘stuff’ differently? Are you experiencing yourself differently?
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