When you wonder why you feel stuck, things are not moving towards the direction you want….or you feel tired and lethargic …..or perhaps you don’t seems to know what you want…..try clearing the clutter around you.
‘Yeah, right! That’s easy for you to say. Cleaning up drains me and it gives me horrible sinuses!.
Well, it’s the same for me too. First, I want you to know that I am a born sloth when it comes to housework. I can work for up to 12 hours (at work sometimes when required) or even more when finding ways to improve my blogs or typing articles. But for the life of me, when I look at the clutter, lethargy and a feeling of heaviness besiege me. When I manage to drag my lazy self to start cleaning…the sinuses attack comes and I would sneezing so loudly and continuously.
But you know what, I did it anyway. Don’t be too ambitious….start small by cleaning out small corners. Set a little goal for yourself and once you achieve it, then you would have encouragement to move further. It’s the same with losing weight or starting an exercise program. Start with small and achievable goals and gradually move up.
During weekends like this, set a goal to do something small. Don’t be too hard on yourself- telling yourself you must clean up the entire room or house.
What does clutter or messiness got to do with getting stuck or moving forward?
When you have things that you no longer need, lying around, it blocks new things from coming in. Once you start clearing out things that you no longer need, the new space creates a vacuum that would attract good and better things to come into your life.
The very least, the clear space causes comfort and ease to look at….rather than a heap of rubbish or stacks of papers, paid and unpaid bills and assortment of gifts and items that has no place of belonging.
That is why we all enjoy looking at the clear blue sky….looking at it on a windy afternoon brings some inner calmness to our mind and helps to clear our mind and relax us.
My decluttering experience
Reason why I write this article is because I had personally experienced how it is like to clear and clean out my stuff.
I have this display bookcase in my home’s living room- where it contains books and some framed childhood photographs together with photo albums. I have read somewhere that if we place childhood photographs in prominent places, sometimes we may choose not to really grow up or move forward. Also, if you want to keep photos in display, they should bring you happy memories. Not sad ones.
For 8 years of our lives,our family had this very wonderful pet dog called Prosper. He’s furry, very affectionate and really overweight. He died after suffering for about a month due to complications and organ breakdown- stemmed from being overweight and inactive. Of course he had been always that way- Prosper by nature never liked exercising. All along it was fine- till we got a new puppy in who wanted attention and bullied him. Prosper felt sidelined and neglected and hence whatever conditions that lied dormant manifested. That is why, emotional fulfillment is very important in the life of any living being.
Even in humans, any neglect or unexpressed sadness can manifest into illness.
I found a photo of him when he was a cute little puppy and by looking at the photo it invoked some feelings of sadness. I really do miss Prosper at times even though he had passed away more than 2 years ago. There are also photos of the rest of the family and myself during times that we have clearly outgrown.
So, I packed up these albums into a box, removed photos of decades old and of Prosper from the frame, placed in a plastic box and put in the storeroom. Then I cleaned out the bookcase- it has been a few years that I did not clean it because the bookcase is covered with a glass mirror and hence dust does not get inside that easily. Still, there is a layer of black dust around- not really visible but when you wipe you can see.
I dismantled the classes and took them out for a wash and sun them. As the afternoon is hot and windy, I took out all the books, place them on a chair outside and let the wind blow through. To clear out any negative energy.
Giving the insides a good wipe, let it dry and then put back the books that we still want to read inside.
This little feat took me about 4 hours to complete, as I also clear out some clutter in my room at the same time. But that, each time I look at the bookcase, a feeling of calm and focus comes in.
Some people said it is feng shui- and decluttering is important as part of feng shui. For me personally I declutter based on what’s right. Strangely when you remove old stuff, you leave space for more and hopefully better things to come.
Months ago I have also reorganized and file my bills, important correspondence according to files. I created a filling system- labeling each files clearly for what bills they are and dedicating a cabinet to keep all my files.
The effect? The cleared physical clutter had cleared my mind of the worry that something important may have escaped my attention (because up to then I had not been opening letters, except for only bills that I need to pay). It frees my mind to focus on other more important tasks at hand.
Till today, I do not diligently file my bills whenever they come. But I do it once a month or two months. I would open and read all my correspondence, then have a small little plastic drawer (it is actually a CD drawer so you can imagine how small it is) where I placed all this papers, receipts and stuff into. For the envelope and promotional brochures, I immediately put it in a place where we sent the papers for recycling.
The plastic drawer that I use to keep the interim letters is quite small, it gets full quickly and then it would be a time to start filling. At least I know that if I need to look for more recent letters, it is there in the plastic drawer.
When you want to get ahead and unstuck, you need to clear all this webs of worry and entanglement that is holding you back. It is not heartless or anything to remove photos of those who have passed on- as for my late dad and Prosper, they are always in my prayers.
I have seen houses where the occupant(s) there hoard things in the prominent areas of the home like the porch, living room and bedroom. And they always seemed tired and lethargic, also in many cases unable to lose weight. There are stories of those who started to declutter and then see the stubborn pounds dropping off.
They also tend to cling on to old happy memories. It is good to have happy memories but being stuck in the past would also stop us from moving forward. There are many phrases in life- regardless happy or sad, they all shall pass on to become the past.
So, clear the clutter, drawer by drawer, corner by corner and watch you life change 🙂