Have you ever seen the reality shows on people who are hoarders? Wow, those people are fascinating because it’s hard to imagine how anyone’s life can get so out of hand until they are literally surrounded by their possessions.
Now, I’m not a hoarder, but I will confess that I’m a little messy.
I just literally heard a giant eye-roll from my husband, my mother and all of my ex-house mates. Ok, I’m fairly messy.
If I’m home alone, I slowly start to accumulate crap around me. If Mark goes away for a few days, it gets worse. At university, I once slept with a mouldy banana under my pillow for a couple of weeks (but that’s a story for another time!).
Anyway, recently I set up my new office. I was excited to go to the local Office Works (my favourite store) and got a new desk, chair, office supplies and a notice board. It was all so lovely and clean and I even picked some flowers to brighten up the room.
All nice and clean. Everything is new and full of possibility.
Ok, fast forward three weeks. New clients have been contacting me, my writing has been going well but suddenly I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, especially around my social media contacts. It feels like my Facebook friends list is too cluttered, I’m on too many newsletter lists – there’s too much information!
I start feeling like my head aches every time I sit at my computer. I’ve got deadlines but I can’t bring myself to finish them.
What is going on?
Is it any wonder that I’m feeling overwhelmed every time I sit down to work? There’s crap everywhere!
Here’s just a sample of what is on my desk:
Empty water bottle, water glass and a bowl of frozen peas (a snack!)
Sewing kit and a piece of material that I sewed on to a dress yesterday
Makeup bag, box of mineral makeup powder and a bag of hair grips
Waxing strips. Yes, I actually waxed my legs yesterday in between writing an article and watching videos. (I hang my head in shame)
Paperwork, notes, bills and piles of paper from my recent events
It’s not just my desk. Let’s have a little look at what’s in my handbag:
It’s good to know that if I’m ever trapped somewhere, at least I’d have some deodorant and makeup, but there’s a lot of unnecessary crap in there too. Old receipts, business cards, trash from a nut bar and even a spare plastic mount for an E-tag.
What’s the big deal with clutter?
Clutter can be mental, physical or emotional but it’s extra “stuff” that clogs up your space. It can really stop the flow of energy, make you feel overwhelmed and even affect your health!
According to Oprah’s favourite organiser Pete Walsh, clutter can affect everything in your life:
You want a life built on a solid foundation, but you can’t even see the floor beneath you. You want to lose weight, but your kitchen is overwhelmed with appliances you never use. You want to build your career, but your office literally makes you feel ill. You want to change? This is where it starts: your home. Where you live, breathe, rest, love, and create. Forget the self-help books. Get rid of the clutter. Get organized. If you do, I promise that every aspect of your life will change in ways that you never imagined possible.
The way I see it, it’s all about self respect and self-love.
Most people would clean up their house if they had guests coming over, but many of us (myself included) would feel quite comfortable with a messy house. It’s the same sentiment when you save your nice underwear for “best” or never use your “good” china.
Where does clutter show up in your life?
Look around at these areas in your house:
Office or your desk at work
Filing and paperwork
How are these areas affecting your health, love life, finances or family relationships?
Let’s be really honest here. What’s the number 1 issue that’s affecting you at the moment? What is your number 1 goal?
If you’re not making progress, here’s some food for thought:
Health – what’s going on in your kitchen drawers and cabinets? How clean is the fridge?
Work – what’s going on with your office? How’s your wardrobe looking?
Love life – how’s the bedroom looking? How clean is your bathroom?
Money – where is your paper filing? What does your wallet look like? How clean is your car?
How could your physical clutter be holding you back in achieving the goals that are most important to you?
If your goal is to find love – is there physical space for a significant other to come into your life? If your bed is full of clothes, laundry, animals or mouldy fruit then physically and energetically there’s just no room!
What’s the benefit of having uncluttered space?
Energetically you might unblock an area in your life. You may start attracting new clients, new relationships or feel more relaxed in your house. More money might come into your life and you may have energy to start a new creative project.
It could change your life.
Wow, that’s a big promise isn’t it?! Just give it a try. If nothing else, you won’t feel so distracted. You’ll be able to find things quicker, you won’t miss deadlines or important paperwork and you’ll just feel happier!
1. One thing at a time!
Just start with a small area, such as your desk or fridge. Put everything away that doesn’t need to be there and then clean the space until it’s free from dust or stains.
If you’ve got some momentum from doing that one space then keep going. Tackle something else.
2. Throw it out or put it away
Although I’m messy, I love throwing or giving things away. It’s so cathartic and creates space for even more to come into your life.
If something is broken and you know that you will never ever fix it, then you have to let it go. Contact your local recycling centre about how to dispose of it safely.
List spare items on Freecycle, Craig’s List or Gumtree. You can give it away free (it feels so good!) or make a few bucks.
3. Make it beautiful
Go and pick some flowers, hang up your favourite pictures and buy some new matching items for your new space.
You are worth it. You are worth having beautiful, clean and uncluttered spaces. You are worth having possessions that work and make you happy.
I’m off to pick some frangipanis for my office and to clean up this mess so I can create some more magic in my life!
What are you going to do?