Spring! Clutter Clearing with Focus
The Focused Work - Our thoughts create a large part of our reality and set the tone for our emotions. What we think, what colours our thinking, what massages our thought outcomes, what emotions well up or prevail and how we deal, modulate and embrace them are constant activities that we are engaged in - consciously and often not so consciously. There is no better place to begin to creatively control this process than at home - starting with crossing the threshold - new opportunities to support or shift personal patterns and conditions. Your home - its contents, the state it is in and how you live in it - reflect you - all about you - your innermost feelings and beliefs. Successful, inviting and flowing and open - or limiting, frustrating and stuck and shut down?
1. No personal living space with jumbled clutter will ever inspire quiet contemplation and optimal healthfulness. Messy spaces and distracting conditions create cluttered minds because what we see, is what our mind picks up and we what we think about. Only that which inspires and elevates should be visible. Be vigilant and edit.
2. Everything in the universe has a unique vibration - from the earth itself to your plants to your bodily organs and tissues. And through this everything has a very personal and emotional tie and association. So do colour, shapes, materials, lighting, symbolic meaning and previous ownership. All these and much more evoke different feelings depending on our personal nature and preferences.
3. Placement of a personal or sacred object can be a simple, mindful invitation to go deep and reflect. Some people create a personal altar for daily use. You can also purposely place other significant images and objects into the decor throughout your home as gentle and periodic nudges to stay present as you move through the house and your eyes touch a fine aesthetic or emotionally pleasing or uplifting object - if even for a nano-second - it leaves it’s touch. These items will capture your eye and shift your mood as you pass them - a gentle cue to take a deep breath or tune in - a round metal container filled with water and flowers with a stone or a crystal and a lit candle can be placed on any surface and will bring in the five elements of nature. Hang an object of inspiration on a wall. Or place a small item or simple vignette on any surface. A subtly lit sculpture, for example, can become the focus for contemplation and renewal.
Why not make adjustments to your physical environment that will have the potential to create a more healthy, meaningful and abundant life - supporting your personal needs and transformation.
Once you start to see results, the real fun begins. Expand your changes to include colour - every colour resonates with distinct associations - physical and psychological - affecting mood and function. Designing your space is such a personal journey and can have far reaching implications. By making conscious and authentic choices, your spirit flows and your energy returns to you in kind.
This is also the essence and power of clutter clearing, personal clearing, geomancy, energy dowsing and feng shui - philosophies that are over 3,000 years old - deep wisdom available to all of us.
The Basics First - Clutter Clearing and Assessing:
Scan the Scene: piles of dishes, messy closets, stuff that “might” be useful one day without a function or place of it’s own, unsorted laundry, stacks of magazines, bills and notes that need attending sooner than later - anything and all in the way of daily smooth functioning.
Serious clutter assessment and abatement feels like climbing a mountain until it is broken up into little mole hills! This is felt as tough work as this is where personal issues loom. After all, looking at a piece of paper and deciding if you’d like to keep it and then placing it in a labelled file is not mentally or emotionally challenging.
And it’s not forever - once done - it can be a breeze to stay clutter free. Do one task - and one task only - do not stray - dogged determination. Avoid getting caught up in side tasks such as folding the laundry and stopping to mend a blouse in the pile as you might be wearing it tomorrow. Finding an un-mailed letter in the paper pile on the dining room table, if that was your focus, does not require running off to the post-office. This is the road to madness. It’s your energy - spend it wisely on just the current, defined task.
There’s a personal limit for each of us when focusing works and when it’s overdone. Take a 5 minute break every hour - a quick breather - even when you have a long attention span. Call it quits for the day after three hours... unless you’re having a rollicking time... Then survey the task at completion and inhale some proverbial pats on the back. When all is cleared away there should make a visible and sensetory difference.
Now deep clutter assessment can begin!
Create a list of neat and tidy areas to address and then prioritize - address only one at a time - start with the one that annoys the most or has the most pressure on you (example: nagging by husband, wife, accountant, bookkeeping, etc). occasionally do one that is easy when the resolve flags. Then go back to your priorities. When the clutter is cleared in each area, do one more thing! Take a few clothes or paper towels and wipe down the area and have it as clean as a whistle. Feel empowered after each task is completely done. Remember - you cannot compete with the clutter clearing magic on television - they have 44 minutes and a crew of optical illusion!
1. kitchen cupboards - upper
2. kitchen cupboards - lower
3. bathroom cupboards and closets
4. relaxing area in the living room
5. entertainment centre and CDs, DVDs, and videos and tapes and all the equipment, wires and cords
6. home office area including desk top
7. attic / basement (maybe in two parts)
8. computer - email “in” box
9. computer - email “send” box
10. storage locker(s) or garage (maybe in 2 parts)
11. clothes closets - one by one
12. front entry, mud room, pet areas, garbage area
13. balcony / patio / backyard storage or shed
14. files / filing cabinets in home office; paperwork / receipts /banking / investment items and more paper work
This list can be completely different - but start at the first priority - and only that area - so when you clear the upper kitchen cupboards (in this example) and you bring something to the storage locker, then it is off-limits for re-sorting, as is the garbage can area.
So, while focusing on the items in the upper kitchen cupboards: ask this question of everything in it:
“does this item support me and my intentions and my perfect environment?”
If the answer is “yes”, then ask: “does this item have a distinct home?”
“Is it being used?” If “no”? then ask “why not and why keep it”?
And if the answer is “no”?
Then recognize that it can drain your energy. Offer it to a friend or family member and if there is no immediate “taker” then off it goes to charity or to the second hand store.
If it’s too tawdry for charity, then dispose of it as it is too tawdry for you, too.
When you become a pro at setting aside a designated amount of focused time for this work, then tackle the paper work - it has so many facets - a bit like the graduate program! Just so that this process doesn’t turn into an unintended Herculean task, use the following Focused method that works to be slick and on target and not drive you crazy.
Clutter Clearing is your initial step to a Divine and Supportive Personal Space. Once you have it, you’ll never relinquish it!
by Merrie Bakker, Vancouver, BC.