Clearing Clutter: The Ultimate Act of Self-Care

When the mountain of paperwork and other clutter on her desk approached Mt. Everest proportions, Amelia would “organize” by sweeping it all into paper bags and boxes that she stashed in closets and under tables.

George didn’t even bother stashing his clutter. The obstacle course from his front door to the rest of the house meant friends and others generally just didn’t come over. He had grown increasingly isolated.

Kathleen kept her house pretty clutter-free, but her garage was loaded top to bottom with boxes of things she hadn’t used or read in years, including a box marked “RIP” filled with “mementos” of her divorce 20 years earlier.

All three individuals tamed their clutter by examining what drove their clutter habits and enlisting a few friends to help sift, sort, organize and release. One baby step at a time, miracles began to unfold.

  • Sorting through papers, Amelia discovered the name of a colleague whom she hadn’t spoken with for years. The following week, the colleague called out of the blue and offered Amelia an irresistible business opportunity.
  • George fell in love within a few months of clearing his clutter and later married.
  • Kathleen found herself suddenly presented with much-appreciated opportunities for international travel, something she hadn’t done in several decades.

Clearing clutter is one of the kindest and most precious self-care practices.

Clearing Clutter: The Ultimate Act of Self-Care

Excessive physical clutter and weight can be closely connected to unresolved stressors on the mental/emotional level. Taking steps to eliminate the physical excess often has the unexpected effect of easing your sense of mental/emotional burden. Conversely, reducing mental/emotional weight can fuel clearing on the physical plane as well.

Decluttering in any aspect of your life helps you get unstuck, reclaim your power and recapture your zest for living—moving forward into a life you love.

An uncluttered life is characterized by greater efficiency and effectiveness. Your lightness of being translates into a sense of liberation in which you feel more present, confident and capable. You trust your intuition and reason knowing you can rely on yourself to nurture, encourage and delight yourself in healthy ways.

In her book Organizing from the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern reveals that creating and sustaining any optimal system requires identifying, understanding and overcoming our mental and emotional obstacles to a clutter-free environment.

Here are a few of the most common obstacles. 

  • Need for accumulation. People who need to keep a lot of everything around them may be trying to combat feelings of scarcity, depletion and deprivation.. 
  • Unclear goals and priorities. Organizing is about defining what’s important and setting up a system to reflect that. 
  • Fear of success/fear of failure. Disorganization may be a convenient way to hold back. 
  • Need to retreat. Clutter can be a protective shield to keep others at a safe distance.  
  • Fear of losing creativity. A common myth is that creative, “right-brained” people need to work in chaos to produce high-quality work. Balderdash! 
  • Need for distraction. Clutter can provide a convenient excuse to avoid uncomfortable issues or unwanted tasks.  
  • Sentimental attachment. Infusing objects with personality, emotions and meaning (“That vase will be sad if I throw it out.”) can result in living with enormous clutter.
  • Need for perfection. Some people won’t deal with clutter until it can be completed perfectly. Translation: it will never get done.

Identifying these obstacles and other obstacles can help you create an effective, lasting solution to clutter that sets you free.

Author’s content adapted under license, © 2008 Claire Communications


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About djwlifecoach

I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. 111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness. Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled. Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else. I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do. By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire. My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.
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1 Response to Clearing Clutter: The Ultimate Act of Self-Care

  1. Pingback: How to Commit to Self-Care in 2023 - BUTTAHBEANN

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