Declutter and Grow Free Part 3: How to clean up your act in all areas of your life. – Home and Office
Welcome to part three of the decluttering series! You are worth this. Let’s look at your casa, your home, your sanctuary.
How to de-clutter your home:
Where we live, what we call home, is the most visual part of our environment. Even so, as with every other aspect of your life, physical or mental, you’re able to hide and shuffle away some nasty clutter. The appearance might not be an accurate indicator of neatness. The living room and the front yard can absolutely look bright and shiny, while your closets and attic are very far from it. You might brush any imperfection under the carpet, so to speak. I am sure we have all done that, and some are worse than others.
We tend to wear masks to appear in a certain way. Another stressful part of our programming. Trying to live up to an unrealistic and completely false image. From not feeling good enough, and not feeling loved, we keep trying to appear how we perceive success to look like. Be it our body, our home, or our behavior.
The home also reflects our status, and so long as we buy into and strive for that whole concept, we will keep being hungry for stuff and things. Not focusing on the real values, like being the best version of ourselves. There is nothing wrong with having a beautiful home, or owning great things that you love. The trouble becomes double when they own you.
No matter how large or small your space is, it needs your respect and your love. Everything is energy, and it will be inviting and structured, or it is congesting and stressful.
Decluttering a home can be time-consuming, but also freeing and necessary to get rid of the old energy and patterns. It will reflect your mental clarity, and inspire positive change in all aspects of your life. It will require action and systematic planning. You might feel challenged by having given up all the stuff that you felt you needed, but you will grow by doing so. The whole process of cleaning out what is no longer serving you, and having to organize and tidy up what you will keep, will lift your spirit. Take a load off!
Start by taking a critical look at your home.
Are you a collector, or just a messy person in general? Are you holding on to everything that enters your home, for sentimental reasons, the fear of lack, or because you believe you will need it someday? Maybe you seem to make a mess no matter where you are, no matter how organized you were from the get go. This is about to change. The process of freeing yourself from unneeded items, together with honoring what you have, will feel like a gift once you experience the difference. Everything you own is for you to treasure. If you don’t, get rid of it. Many will keep things they don’t even like because they don’t have the heart to get rid of it.
Focus on one room at the time.
If you take on too much, it can easily get overwhelming. The whole project will suffer if you lose your focus.
Love to make lists, and make many.
List-making is underrated. Trying to keep everything in the memory bank is exhausting. Putting everything onto paper makes it more real, clearer and less overwhelming. Make a list for each room. What does it contain, what do you want to keep and why? What is no longer working or being used, and what has very special value to you and why? Be strict with yourself. You most likely need to get rid of more than you would like to admit. What about the clothes that you are saving for when they come back in style? Really? Most likely you will never wear them again. You can go to someone else’s garage sale for that bad-taste party. How about the linen and the old towels you are saving just in case? Be happy to throw them out.
Sentimental value can be tricky.
Sometimes we value something just because it means something very special to us. That is fine. Most of the time this is not an issue, but when it is, let’s deal with it. If you inherit an object, and you would love to keep it, let go of the item you are replacing. Don’t just add it to your space. Find a suitable place for everything you value and treasure, but never let it sit in a closet as clutter. If it can’t fit in a small treasure box, or is replacing another item, let it go. Discern between sentimental value and the it-is-too-valuable-to-get-rid-of items. It doesn’t matter that it’s pure gold, or silver. You can donate it, give it away or sell it. Many are sitting on items that would be better off sold, freeing the energy while the money could be spent on something more useful. If you don’t need the money, maybe someone else does. Sell the valuables and donate the money.
If you collect, honor it.
Photos and collectibles need to be thoroughly organized and put into a system. Are you going to find the time to enjoy a box of old photos? Make picture books, scan them and get rid of the paper versions, and file everything in your office or library. Let your special collection get a special place. If you don’t think it deserves it, get rid of it. Simple as that. Maybe you collected glasses, stamps or dolls, but no longer have the passion. Let it all go. Ask family members if they would like to adopt some of it, and if not, out the door it goes.
Throw away anything that is broken or no longer in use.
There is no appreciation in letting anything sit around half-broken. When something is no longer functioning, fix it or replace it. Period. Stuff not in use is obviously no longer needed. Be decisive about your storage space. If you have any at all, use it carefully, and keep it neat.
Make a system.
Organize and systemize papers, bills, contracts, anything that is important for your life and work. We’ve all got bills to pay, and if you are a homeowner, you’ll have to keep everything from insurance papers to appliance receipts and warranties. Make folders and binders. Throw out anything that you no longer need. We tend to keep old receipts and bills when we don’t even know what they belong to. Travel light in any department, and strive to know everything you possess.
Keep a neat closet.
Organize your clothes, shoes, and jewelry. Make sure everything fits you and reflects your style and image. Get rid of anything that is not comfortable to wear. It is not reflecting your authentic self. It is ok to love your clothes, and it is ok to have them in abundance if you have the space for them, and if you keep and store them the way the deserve to be kept. Still, do you need all those shoes? Are you collecting dresses or suits like they would never go out of style? You might collect watches or cufflinks, and if you do, honor them by making the perfect space for them. A cluttered and disrespected closet reveals a lot about its owner. Are you being respectful towards your hard-earned money? Do you have what you believe you need, or are you trying to fill a void? Do you believe you deserve the best? Is having nice things a sin, an escape, a joy or a belief? Some become shopaholics, using the rush from hunting down more stuff to feel better about themselves. Make some notes while you do this process. I am confident you will learn something new about yourself.
Everything should have its own space.
That way, keeping a clutter-free home is easy. Now, all you’ve got to do is to put everything you use back in its place. Throw out anything that you are replacing. Fix or throw away everything that breaks, file and organize new paperwork and the likes, and once a year, do a new cleansing, to make sure nothing has been able to sneak up on you. Get a container, or hold a garage sale. Ventilate a little.
A new era of clutter is here.
Nowadays, not all our extra modern type of clutter is physical, some of it is on our electronic devices like our computer and our cell phone. Make a separate list for this, and get an external hard drive if you think you will need them. Move pictures and documents that you want to keep safe, into folders, and then transfer them to your external device. Declutter your Facebook account and other social media platforms that you are a part of. Slim down your friend lists, and focus on what matters. Spend less time in the virtual world, and more time in the world of face-to-face contact.
You might have heard of Feng Shui. It is a practice based on the idea that our homes are a mirror of what is going on inside of us. It is based on the concept that everything in our environment has a life-force, and energy called chi. When the energy flows, we are believed to be supported in all our wishes for good health, harmonious relationships, and general prosperity. When the energy flow is stagnant, from clutter and being unorganized, the chi will be out of balance and lead to concerns for our health, financial situation and relationships. The same goes for the placements of stairs, trees, mirrors, and objects. This might be something to look into for more inspiration on keeping a happy and prosperous home that supports your life and harmony. **
The clutter doesn’t own you, you own it. You invited it, now dump it. Keep the pearls, let go of the garbage. – Hilde Larsen
How to declutter your office:
If you have a home office, the challenge is keeping it professional and in its sacred space. Don’t let it be a part of your living room or bedroom. Separating your time spent on your business from the time spent with your family can greatly benefit you, and your business. If you work at an external office, make sure that your space is defined, and that your desk is clean. Being organized makes you more efficient and more productive. No matter what line of business you are in, if you have small work space, a shared space or a home office, you need to get organized and structured.
Start by sorting everything that does not belong at work.
Personal stuff. Take home private belongings that only take up space and distract you from focusing on your daily tasks. We want to make the office a cozy and homey place, but in truth, it will clutter our clarity. No more overloading with family pictures, little nips, and cute home-made figurines. No vacation magazines and cooking recipes. Let your space reflect your mission, and nothing else.
Clear your desk.
The more papers and the likes that pile up on your desk, the harder it is to stay focused. Get rid of the post-it notes that tend to be sitting way past their lifetime. Use your computer, your phone or an old fashion almanac to stay on top of your tasks. There are many different online calendar programs to make it easy to connect all your devices to your schedule.
Find a place for everything.
Put your paperwork in folders and binders. File everything in cabinets and drawers. Find little boxes for your binders and pens. Make sure you have all the tools that you need, and none that you don’t. Clutter is interfering with the flow of productive energy. Be strict with yourself.
Lose as much paper as you can.
Scan and store your documents electronically instead of keeping paper. Devise a plan for the location of electronic files. The last thing you want to happen is to lose an important document because it was misfiled. Also, do not forget to do backups, and do them regularly. Shred or toss the paper documents once a copy resides on your computer and the original is no longer needed.
Organize your computer.
This is an ongoing project. Every now and then, make sure that you delete unnecessary e-mails, files, and pictures. Transfer pictures to a separate hard disc. A computer that is not running up to speed can be irritating and frustrating. Unsubscribe to anything that you don’t need. Online or offline. Make sure that you have the most efficient online programs for your particular needs, and don’t let social media or personal surfing interfere with your work.
Love your space.
Cherish it, you are a team. Do what you love, by loving what you do. Condition yourself to honor your work space as an extension of you and your creative force. It is your chosen partner in growth and expansion. No reason is ever good enough to clutter your sacred space for inspired work and growth. Every hour spent doing what you have decided to spend hours and hours doing is worth honoring.
Spend some time at the end of every work day to clear your desk, and to clear your mind. Make it clean and inviting for the next day. Nothing beats coming to work, feeling like someone kick-started your day by organizing everything. The practice of Feng Shui in your work place is believed to have a powerful transformational impact on your success as well.
Not everyone has an office, and not everyone needs one, or want one for that matter. Many do not even distinguish between work time and private time. They simply do not separate work and play. They are living their dream by doing what they love, in a more flowing way. Some are living a great combination of the above, or have many different offices. Some are happy never doing what we call work, which I define as being paid for a service or trait. They might choose to live off their own land and live their dream at the same time. So long as you are living what you desire, it is right for you. So long as you are growing and evolving, feeling inspired and enthusiastic, you are on the right path. The moment you are confined by your own mind, and lack of trust and confidence, you will find yourself in an undesired place. All the bullshit reasons that your false beliefs have served you, will keep playing in your subconscious mind until you replace them with your true power.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series next week!
What you do is not who you are, but everything you do reflects on who you think you are. – Hilde Larsen