Monday, September 29, 2008

Clearing Out the Clutter

Clearing Out the Clutter
by Kathy Atkinson

Summer is over. Did you managed to take care of your “clearing out the clutter” projects? If not, there is no better time than the present, so here are some suggestions and guidelines to help make the process easier.

When you are clearing out the clutter, ask yourself:

Is this item useful?
Is this item beautiful to look at?
Do I love having this item in my environment?

If the item is useful, ask yourself: When was the last time I used this? When do I anticipate using this in the future? If the item is useful, but you have no real plans to use the item, maybe it is time to let it go.

If the item you are looking at isn’t useful, why do you have it? Does the item add to the beauty of you home or do you just enjoy having it around? Does the item have some special meaning?

If the item adds to your sense of comfort and well-being, keep it around. If the item was given to you by someone you love and you love having it around, keep the item.

Be honest with yourself about why you have certain things in your life. Are you keeping things because you think you may use them someday or because your sister gave it to you and you would feel guilty getting rid of it?

Use it, enjoy it or get rid of it.

Here are other questions to contemplate:

Why do you have clothes in three different sizes?
Why do you have ripped, torn or stained clothes?
Why are you keeping broken items?
What are you keeping just because it was expensive?
What are you afraid will happen if you get rid of the things you aren’t using?

Here are some consequences of living in a cluttered environment:

You feel tired – Clutter is a visual and psychological drain on your energy.
You feel hopeless – Having too much stuff is overwhelming.
You feel out of control - It feels like the clutter has taken over.
You feel stuck – Being surrounded by too much clutter prevents you from feeling free.

Here are the benefits of living in an organized and clutter-free environment:

You feel relaxed.
You feel organized and empowered.
You feel in control of your life and your environment.
You feel free to move forward.

Action Challenge

Schedule a time to clear out the clutter.
Be firm with yourself and stick to keeping only the items that are useful, beautiful or loved.
Get rid of the rest. Commit to sell it, give it away or throw it out.

Bonus Challenge

Clear out the mental clutter. Commit to changing your negative thoughts and limiting beliefs that prevent you from being the best you can be.

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