By Tamara Star
For months we’ve longed for warm weather, longer days and, most of all, the fresh start of shaking off the long winter slumber. Right now we strive to push the universal reset button—if only it could be that easy.
But how exactly do we start over in Spring? You can cleanse your body, set goals for work and plan your strategy to get back into shape. But before any of this can get underway you must accomplish the first step: get rid of your clutter!
Accumulating clutter and holding on to something is a big fat sign to the universe that you don’t believe you’ll have the resources to replace or buy it if you need it again. Hoarding reinforces poverty consciousness, blocks the flow of abundance and represents “holding on.”
Holding on “just in case” means you are afraid to lose. Someone out there can use what you’re not using—and might really need it. Excess items also block the energy from flowing in your home. Have you ever wondered why you feel so relaxed on vacation or at a spa? The rooms are sparse and functional.
The best rule? If you don’t use it, lose it. Letting go creates a vacuum in your life into which new entities can flow; if you trust that you’ll need it down the road, you’ll have a way to get it again.
Want to make an instant impact that you’ll feel immediately? Go through every room in your home and fill a bag—yes, a whole bag—and then give, sell or recycle the contents. Remember: if it’s broken, fix it or recycle it. If you don’t use it, donate it.
Let’s start with your bedroom. Go through all of your drawers and closets. If you haven’t worn something in two years, you’re never going to wear it. If you haven’t found a matched accessory to make it work, you don’t love it enough to keep it. Studies have shown that we all wear the same eleven outfits week after week. Less is the new more. When we have less, we tend to mix and match and get creative.
Sheets and bed? There should be nothing under your bed, period. Shoes stored under there? Get a behind-the-door rack. Most people replace sheets but don’t throw the old ones away. If you’re having trouble letting go, drop them off at a local donation site, with someone needy in mind. Blankets? Same thought process: the idea of someone out there cold at night gives me the strength to say goodbye to my extras.
On to the bath. How many half used jars and bottles do you have under the sink? Make up? Do we really need all of it? Same rule as clothing: if you haven’t used it, lose it. Towels have the same rule as sheets. Get rid of the old ones when you buy the new ones. Go through your medicine cabinet and throw out expired products, as well as your “just in case” items. Remember to trust that if you need some medicine, you’re going to be able to afford it—plus, expired products can be dangerous. Scrap the scraps of soap in your shower too. Feel the abundance of one big bar of soap.
How about your office? Consider having six pens and no more. Buying pens and paper can be a habit like any other. Go through your piles of paper and either file them, transfer the data somewhere else, or recycle them. Are business cards accumulating? Spend a rainy Sunday afternoon transferring the data and toss them away. Go through your books and donate the ones you’ll never read again; I found a Farmer’s Almanac from 1994 the other day while helping a client fish through their shelves.
Now, we get to the kitchen. Like the bath, the kitchen can be a place where half empty bottles collect as we buy new items. Go through the refrigerator and get rid of duplicate bottles of condiments. I’m notorious for letting herbal remedy bottles collect. Donate old dishes that aren’t sentimental but are beat up and chipped? You’ll be surprised by how good you feel when you toss all of those plastic cups and mismatched coffee cups. Tupperware cabinet? You know what to do.
Finally, we come to gifts and sentimental items. A gift is yours to do with what you please. If you don’t love it, keep the memory of the person and donate the gift to someone who might. Overwhelmed with guilt? Take a photo and then donate it. Things you don’t love in your home and office wear down your energy.
Keeping your children’s toys well past the time they’re grown doesn’t make you closer to them. It is much more forthright to give those toys and clothes away to families in need, freeing space and making room for new memories to blossom.
Clutter weighs you down whether you realize it or not. Once you start the de-clutter marathon, you’ll be hooked on the feelings of freedom that come. Soon, you’ll get into the flow of letting go and you’ll be surprised by how quickly you start de-cluttering your life.
Life consists of a series of starts and finishes—so why not take charge and set the ground rules for this spring’s fresh start? Be done with the past and enjoy the fresh start of an uncluttered home.