By Dawna Matthews
A new season is here, and this signals for me a time to refresh and cleanse and clear. As autumn winds arrive, I see the leaves blowing and nature dancing in her own rhythm of clearing and making space. After she dances, Mother Nature then rests, grounds, calms and settles down. Whether you feel inspired by the seasons or not, many of us want a clearer, simpler, clutter-free life.
Our homes are extensions of ourselves. They are energy-filled, dynamic spaces that affect, reflect and support us on different levels. Our attentiveness to this physical space has a direct and subtle correlation to our own energy, emotions and mental clarity. Oftentimes, we begin strong but struggle once we actually start to clear the physical space around us. As the energy in the room shifts, we may start feeling overwhelmed, or may begin experiencing anxiety. This is all completely natural, and it is important to keep that in mind. Removing clutter is a process and doesn’t happen all at once. In fact, clearing space causes such dramatic energy shifts that it is best to take it one step at a time.
All you need to do to get started and to shift energy is to clear anything. Start with something small and manageable that creates a sense of order in your life. Put the glasses into the sink before you go to bed, or place your keys in the same spot each time you come home so they don’t get lost. Begin slowly and try to bring your attention just to the task at hand (such as making up the bed or folding the laundry).
Accomplishing one small task like this and engaging in it routinely with mindfulness will allow your mind to feel at ease. As you become more comfortable practicing clutter removal, you can start to organize and clear more and more of it. Gradually, you can take on bigger projects. Keep in mind that anything you do gets the energy moving in your life and gives you a chance to create space. Space to shine and sparkle from the inside out. Space for joy, rest, peace, contentment and connection. Take time to appreciate these small areas and then move to something else.
Some small tasks to start:
Organize your sock drawer.
Clean your medicine cabinet.
Clean your refrigerator.
Moving energy and clearing clutter effect us emotionally, especially in our modern lives. Our days are already packed to the rim with to-do lists, tasks and errands, which can often leave us feeling exhausted and burnt out. So, it is best to go slowly, take care of yourself, and be gentle. Any emotions that arise are the side effects of energy moving and becoming unstuck. Stay grounded and centered by taking time to stop and feel and reconnect to your breath. Take time to reconnect to yourself and do something you love — even if it is for five minutes a day. Take a walk outside or do something you enjoy just for the sake of doing it. This practice will allow you to come back to who you are, process any uncomfortable emotions, and get back to clearing clutter in a mindful way.
Stay on the Path
Staying clutter free requires new habits, routines, and organizational methods to be put in place. This takes time and practice. Schedule a “de-clutter time,” perhaps 10 minutes a day to start. Bit by bit, the time can grow longer and you can tackle a larger project such as cleaning out the closets. By scheduling mini-sessions to clear the clutter, you are able to mindfully clean as well as feel more and more at ease clearing space. Eventually you will clear for longer periods, and will see and feel a beautiful space around you as well as inside you. Over time, as your perspective will start to shift. For example, you will begin to clear clutter before buying something. Or when you get dressed in the morning, you may easily decide that what seemed a “must-keep” item can be donated.
Most of all, clear and prepare your home as best as possible with love and enjoyment. As we move into the fall season (as with each day of our life), we are given an opportunity to start fresh, to start clean. We can clear away whatever has been weighing us down or making us feel cramped. Each day is a chance to come back into balance by clearing away, one step at a time, the clutter and stuck energies in our home. Before we know it, there will be space in our home and in our hearts.
What are some of your favorite clutter-free tips? We would love for you to share!