Eliminating Clutter

I blamed others for clutter in my home because surely I couldn’t produce such a horrific sight. Then I looked at my office, which is always a disaster, and no one else works in there but me.Clutter does more than just make an environment look messy and disorganized. It affects ability to think, act, and be clear. Clutter makes me feel heavy, encumbered, and even lethargic or depressed. Clutter in my office can be distracting—both to me and anyone who visits me there—and it definitely slows productivity.

Practitioners of feng shui believe the location of clutter has a dramatic effect on the area of your life that location represents. Although I’m not a practitioner, I found clearing clutter in the area associated with money—the southeast room and coincidentally where my office is—had a profound effect on that part of my life. Whether it occurred because I imagined it would or if there is really something behind the practice is immaterial. The results were tangible.

To get rid of clutter, I went on a mission I called “A Bag a Day.” I selected a paper grocery bag, and committed to filling one bag and removing it from my house every day. I could fill it with trash, items to donate, or both. Only having to do one bag made the declutter task seem less overwhelming. I only had to pick a small area to tackle at a time. I also reduced pressure on myself by not requiring I completely declutter any one area before moving on. In other words, if I was clearing clutter from the living room tv stand and I got stuck, I just moved to another area. I also enlisted the help of others for areas I knew would be difficult. For instance, I had my daughter help me with my closet. I knew she would be loving but brutally honest about what clothes needed to go, even if they were some of my favorites.

At first A Bag a Day didn’t seem to make much difference, but after two weeks, I was amazed at how much less cluttered the house was. The more I removed, the lighter and more energetic I felt. Granted, clutter always threatens to invade, but I’m now armed with a bag and a desire to fight back.

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