All beginnings are hopeful. This is a mantra I often repeat to myself. At my core, I am an optimist and I am especially fond of the start of a new year. And after the dumpster fire of 2020, I believe it is more important than ever to embrace hopefulness as 2021 unfurls.
As this prior year has made abundantly clear, we have little control of what happens outside ourselves. What we can control is our own choices in how we react to what happens to us. We can control the day-to-day decisions we make. We can choose our attitudes. We can choose with whom we hang out.
My deepest hope is that you choose to make 2021 the year you unclutter your life. And I’m not just talking about dealing with that disaster of a garage or the linen closet you can’t close because it’s bursting at the seams of its accordion door.
How would it feel to walk into your home after a long day at work and feel peace instead of overwhelm because of all the disorder? Allow your imagination to paint of picture of what your life would look life if you quit living like your hair is on fire. What will you do with reclaimed energy now that soul-sucking relationships have boundaries? (Or even eliminated.)
Are you getting the picture I’m painting here? A truly uncluttered life encompasses home, head and heart. I believe this holistic approach not only makes for a happier life; it may even positively affect your physical health. It’s all connected!
Uncluttering isn’t just about pitching crap and going all Marie Kondo. Sure, that is an important component of creating a clutter-free life, but the other equally important part is learning how to curate what you allow into your life. This includes things like new clothing, garage sale gewgaws, but also obligations on your time and relationships.
Forgive the repetition, but this holistic approach to clutter embraces home, head, and heart.
Now, before I talk brass tacks here, we need to address the foundation from which you will launch your new crap-free life. I know, I know, you’re eager to start your engines and purge the pantry. Not so fast there! You’ve done that before and uh, it needs it again. (Read: It’s not working!)
Ready? Okay. Here’s your first assignment. Find your “Why.” Huh? Stay with me here; this is important!
WHY do you want to unclutter? Tapping into your deepest motivation is where the keys to sustainable change lie.
Look, we humans like to think we’re rational creatures and hate to tell you this, but we’re not. Right now, you can probably list out 10 ways to declutter. Knowing how to unclutter is easy. But this goes beyond knowledge. Most people get stuck in the emotions behind the clutter. When the emotions kick in, rationale goes out the window.
So, by digging into your “Why” you’re pulling on the resources of your emotional tools, and they are powerful tools!
I encourage you to go beyond surface-y reasons such as “I want to unclutter so my living room looks nice.” Those are okay but will not sustain your intentions when you’re neck deep in the sorting process and you’ve run out of wine.
Tap into the embarrassment you felt when the appliance repairman wasn’t able to get to the dryer because of the piles. Recall the grief, time and expense of cleaning out your late parent’s house knowing that you too struggle with accumulation.
Imagine the joy of walking into your living room and finding the remote right where it should be. Or the empowerment of opening the fridge knowing you can fix a healthful meal because you implemented small changes and now you know what’s exactly in the fridge. (No guarantees however that you will stop buying organic salad mix only to throw it out 3 weeks later!)
Over the next few weeks, I encourage you to sit with this. And then write out a note to yourself that starts with “I wish to unclutter my life so that_______________.” And then fill in your reason(s). Post it on your bathroom mirror or anywhere you will see it regularly in order to remind yourself of your WHY.
And then, I will see you in two weeks. We’re going to start small and ease you into your new uncluttered life!
Theresa Winn Lode loves finding the treasure buried underneath clutter and does this through her business of junk pitching, life coaching and writing. Find her at www.TheZanySage.com or on her growing Facebook page, “Unclutter Your Life with the Zany Sage.”