Smothered by clutter. Is anyone feeling me on that?
Those of you who read my rambles know that this is a theme that I’ve been exploring for years and that since my mom’s passing three plus years ago, that I’ve really dedicated a lot of soul searching to.
To be honest, what I’ve learned is that clutter is more than just physical “stuff.” It can be electronic, emotional, a physical part of our bodies, and more. Clutter represents the “stuff” we hold onto without a true understanding of what this means for our future. Clutter honors, celebrates, and responds to our past. However, clutter often does not respect our future.
I have read Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,’ and I pay close attention to The Minimalists, but what I’ve learned by my own response to these tools is that there really is not a one size fits all solution. As I watched the documentary, ‘Minimalism,’ I was struck by how little the founders truly could get by with. As I read Marie Kondo’s book, I thought about trying to do it all at once. And in both of those actions, comparison truly became my thief of joy, as Theodore Roosevelt would have reminded us.
So, thanks to short-form, I will spare you the extent of my negative self-talk around why I can’t seem to easily cut ties, donate, sell, let go, delete, and more. Instead please let me share a couple of things that have worked well for me in hopes that you won’t find yourself in the same boat of comparison as I did.
My first recommendation is to read, watch, listen and take it all in. However, take away the things that resonate with you and don’t cling to the things that don’t. For example, if you read a book (or even a quick piece like this article), watch a video, or hear a speech, take away what sticks. If you can’t seem to remember other pieces, that is totally ok. Let them go. For me, something that really stuck with me about The Language of Letting Go was feeling energy of my stuff. I have really tried to adopt that into my daily life when I’m looking at what I want to keep and what I don’t.
The other key thing that has been uber helpful for me, and hopefully will be to you too, is adding “it” to my to-do list. By “it” I mean something that simplifies your life. That could be going through the pile of mail, deleting 100 emails, recycling to the curb, or whatever feels like it might be blocking you. The key is, to add decluttering and simplifying into your ongoing routines.
There you have it. A couple of quick hacks that can hopefully help you not feel so darn bad next time you cannot fathom throwing out every item you haven’t touched in the past couple of months. As with everything in life, sometimes you just have to break it into little, chewable chunks to get through it.
Now let’s go forth and declutter without guilt!