Let it Go: Clear Your Clutter, Free Your Spirit

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This simple step spiritual ritual will help you tap into your inner organizer and clear your space once it begins to feel overcrowded and uncomfortable. Sit in your favorite chair. Roll your shoulders back and gently down, imagining any tension dripping down your back, melting into the earth. If you're not present, you won't be in the right frame of mind to clear your clutter. So take a moment to notice your breath. Are you breathing? Are you holding on to your breath? Start deeply inhaling through your nose and exhaling out your mouth. Repeat: Inhale through your nose and exhale out your mouth.

One last time, inhale through your nose and now exhale out your mouth, making a loud sighing sound. Notice your feet on the ground. Tune into the present moment. What are you feeling? What do you want? What is standing in the way of your ideal home environment? Once you are in a place of total presence and without distraction, list all the areas in your home and within yourself where you feel blocked or stuck.

Simply calling out the spaces where you'd like to see change helps kick-start the process. Take a moment to notice any connections between the areas inside and outside your home you'd like to see change. For example, if you desire a romantic relationship , is your bedroom in need of some attention? If you wish to improve your health, is your kitchen clean and functional? Using your powerful imagination, visualize your space as you dream it!

Write down exactly what you desire with careful attention to detail.

Keeping your living space clear and uncluttered generates good energy and reduces stress.

Maybe you would like a meditation room that is mostly white with a simple rug, pillow, and candle? Maybe you'd love a dining room table where all your favorite people are seated around a beautifully displayed meal. Maybe you and your dog are wrestling in your newly renovated outdoor space. Whatever the space inside you may be, feel it, hear it, see it, taste it, smell it.

The more details you can muster, the easier it will be to make them reality. Instead of making grandiose statements such as, "I'm going to get rid of everything I own on Saturday," reframe your intention into something like, "This Saturday I am committed to cleaning out my chest of drawers. I will give away anything that no longer fits me well or doesn't work with my current lifestyle. A mindset focused on "attacking" clutter or "slaying" the clutter dragon simply won't inspire lasting change.

It is impossible to ride an aggressive energy wave for an extended period of time. You will burn out, make irrational decisions, and be left exhausted. While fear-based, punishing energy may help to kick-start your organizing project initially, the adrenaline high will fizzle out as quickly as it came on. Instead, start your organizing ritual with a clear head and an open heart. Tap into positive, rewarding energy channels to create sustainable life force energy. Once you have made the effort and the decision to let go of items that aren't serving your highest self, it is vital that you remove them from your home immediately.

Your ties to them may have been cut energetically, but you won't feel a lightness until these items are out of sight. Removing the items also ensures that you won't change your mind and dig through the to-go bin. As you eliminate what no longer serves you, allow yourself to be spoiled with what you really want and deserve. Adding something to your space may seem counterintuitive to the point, but you'll likely need a little extra decor once your space begins to clear out.

Bringing in remnants from Mother Nature like crystals, succulents, or drift wood is a lovely way to create a home that holds, nurtures,and supports you. Burning sage or any other kind of plant smoke is a sweet way to close a clearing ritual.

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Doing so will remove negative energy and help clean the air. Find your own alliance with a plant that can help you continue to clear your space for years to come. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude allows us to cultivate more of what we authentically desire.

Even if evaluating your possessions and letting things go is excruciatingly painful, there is something in the experience you can be grateful for. The acknowledgment can be as simple as saying, "I'm grateful for my home. There is great power in allowing simplicity to take the lead.

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Now that the hard work is done, make a commitment to keeping your space clear. I advise my clients to come up with a mantra that will help them keep their homes sacred. When your home starts to collect and feel overwhelming, a personal mantra can serve as a guide back to center. A couple of good examples include, I am committed to keeping my home a sacred temple, I vow to give my home daily attention, I keep my home clean and clear, and I am taking care of my home as I would a dear friend.

Again, keep the mantra simple and deeply personal.

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The houses are never squalid; what they are is crammed to the gunwales with stuff—stuff that's been packed into drawers and cupboards and closets, no rhyme or reason to it, and not an inch of space to spare. No matter how big the kitchens are and many of them are plenty big , they are never big enough, in part because the success of buy-in-bulk superstores has left people with an astonishing, pre-apocalyptic quantity of supplies.

The video tour that begins each segment often reveals curious, forgotten outposts of spaghetti sauce or Formula in the garage or beneath the stairs. No matter what area of the house is under consideration medicine cabinet, linen closet, kids' rooms , it is sure to be an absolute horror. In the old days, of course, this kind of general chaos would occasion a thorough spring-cleaning, with the children sent upstairs to clear out the mess underneath their beds, and Dad dispatched to the garage under similar orders.

But nowadays the home is foreign territory, a kind of very large hotel suite unintended for long-term habitation, and when the whole thing gets so overstuffed that it threatens to explode, the time has come to call on an expert. The experts, Lord knows, are sympathetic to the psychological magnitude of tidying the house. The Zen of Organizing , which is studded with the inspirational words of boffo organizers from Plutarch to Martha Graham although nothing at all from Joe Stalin, who by all accounts ran a very tight ship , begins with a description of how the author, Regina Leeds, sits with her clients, "calming" them before they open a single drawer: "We consciously leave fear and judgment behind.

Many authors of anti-clutter books mention cluttering as a possible manifestation of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it is not uncommon for them to discuss pharmaceutical approaches to dealing with a hall table heaped with Pennysavers and unsolicited AOL start-up disks. Stop Clutter From Stealing Your Life , by Mike Nelson, opens with a disclaimer: "I am not a professional organizer, psychologist, or psychiatrist," Nelson tells us in all earnestness, and his book which is couched in the language of twelve-step recovery programs includes a chapter on "the medical view" of clutter and another on how clutter can disrupt a person's sex life, which goes far beyond the logistical problems posed by too many back issues of The New Yorker fighting for space in the marriage bed.

Practitioners of the many home-organization philosophies adhere to a few basic tenets, central among them the solemnly held belief that any possession—no matter how serviceable or expensive—that is stored unused and forgotten in a closet or a cupboard will eventually metastasize into clutter. Once this happens, there's hell to pay. The moment your stylish black-and-chrome cappuccino machine makes the terrible one-way crossing from "appliance" to "clutter," it stops simply occupying valuable shelf space and becomes an enemy within your home, capable of draining your energy, sapping your chi, interrupting your sleep, and generally bumming you out.

Step one for the professional organizer is persuading the owner of said cappuccino maker to get rid of the thing before it causes real problems. This is often an uphill battle; for one thing, the owner may still be smarting over the 1, clams she forked out to Williams-Sonoma for the really good cappuccino maker, the one with the energy-efficient standby mode.

Once she has been convinced of the need to chuck the thing, however, the method of disposal is almost irrelevant—although I'm often surprised, given how expensive many of these items are, at what short shrift the notion of hosting a garage sale gets. Not worth it! Top of the line! Even more paralyzing than the prospect of letting go of one's expensive impulse purchases is the thought of hauling out and categorizing the thousand smaller things: the handfuls of half-sorted mail; the videotapes with and without their boxes; the reams of children's artwork; tangles of unmatched socks; outgrown Little Mermaid costumes; multiple packages of Imodium, most of them expired the stockpiling and subsequent discovery and disposal of expired medications is a gold mine for drug companies ; the birthday-cake candles and unspent Chuck E.


Let Yoga Clear Your Spiritual Clutter

Cheese tokens and overdue notices from the library, all shoved into kitchen drawers—the whole miserable mess that is American family life as it is lived at a certain economic level. These debilitating decisions must be made one at a time, with the organizer instilling certain precepts in the client as they work.

The professionals insist, for example, that householders designate a consistent "home" for each of their possessions, so that they don't end up with what Jill Lawrence calls "thirteen hammer syndrome," in which it becomes easier to haul ass down to the hardware store and buy a new hammer every time you need one than to spend a frustrating hour looking for an old one. The organizers want clients to hew their household possessions down to the barest kit, augmented only by items of considered emotional or aesthetic value.

Clearing Clutter for a Simpler Life

Certainly, only a masochist would object to Harriet Schechter's recommendation that one throw out one's Dear John letters and "hate mail," but there's a sense in many of these books that any kind of saving is inherently problematic, dysfunctional, bad. Judith Kolberg, the author of Conquering Chronic Disorganization , makes gentle fun of one of her clients, an elderly woman the Greatest Generation tends to take a pounding in these books who has saved margarine tubs for years.

The woman's husband has tried to cure her by buying her a full set of Tupperware, and she has even "briefly sought counseling. She refuses to throw them in the recycling bin, for which I admire her. Recycling is one of the favorite quick fixes of the organizers, but of course the best way to recycle something—the method that depletes the fewest resources in the process—is simply to use it again , which of course necessitates saving it until a use presents itself.

The resourceful Kolberg finds a charity that serves poor women and will be happy to take the tubs: "Welfare mothers are too poor to purchase Tupperware," she informs us, "and too thrifty to throw away leftovers. The episode is presented as a triumph for the organizer she got the clutter out of the house! The sneaking suspicion I often get from reading such books is that the real purpose of cleaning out the closets is simply to make room for more stuff. Karen Kingston's best-selling Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui tells the inspirational story of a woman who attended one of Kingston's workshops and got so fired up about a clutter-free life that she called Goodwill and said, "You are going to need to send a truck!

An unexplored talent? A zeal for charitable giving? No—more stuff! Nowhere is this uneasy alliance between clutter-clearing and consumption more apparent than in the pages of Real Simple magazine, whose motto is "Do Less, Have More," with the editorial emphasis falling on the "Have More" part of the equation. To be fair, the magazine regularly makes gestures in the general direction of the simple life.

A recent article revealing readers' responses to the question "Which woman's life do you admire, and why? Almost every feature pitches one product or another, with purchasing information always included right up front.

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In essence Real Simple is a magazine about shopping; this is a fact that the advertisers embrace forthrightly. De-cluttering a household is a task that appeals strongly to today's professional-class woman. It's different from actual housework, because it doesn't have to be done every day; in fact, if the systems one implements are truly first-rate, they may stay in place for years.

Let it Go: Clear Your Clutter, Free Your Spirit
Let it Go: Clear Your Clutter, Free Your Spirit
Let it Go: Clear Your Clutter, Free Your Spirit
Let it Go: Clear Your Clutter, Free Your Spirit
Let it Go: Clear Your Clutter, Free Your Spirit
Let it Go: Clear Your Clutter, Free Your Spirit

Related Let it Go: Clear Your Clutter, Free Your Spirit

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