There’s clutter, and then there’s. . . CLUTTER! But you know something? All clutter is not the same. There are at least 4 types of clutter:
Physical ~ when you think of clutter, this kind of what usually comes to mind.
Mental ~ maybe you know about mental clutter; when your mind is on overload and you just can’t sort it all out.
Emotional ~ too many feelings crowding into your heart and mind just makes you want to scream or run away
Spiritual ~ yes, for some people, you can experience spiritual clutter.
All clutter, regardless of what kind it is, has one thing in common; disorder. And there are remedies for that!
This week, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about clutter — its origins, challenges, and solutions. Let’s take the physical clutter first, since that’s often the easiest to improve (believe it or not.) Physical clutter, perhaps more than the other kinds, has its origins in time management. You are in a hurry, and can’t find a place for something, and you just put it somewhere, telling yourself that you can (or will) come back later and put it away.
But the trouble with this kind of thinking is that, if there wasn’t already a place for it now, when WILL there be? The other challenge with thinking that “I will come back to this later” is that “later” never comes. And finally, things that don’t have a place to “live” often collect friends — until you suddenly realize (perhaps in horror) that there are whole corners, rooms, and hallways filled with things you never had time to deal with.
The sad truth of the matter is, we always have enough time to deal with our “stuff.” We just don’t like using it that way! And sometimes, too, we hate facing the ugly truth that we have more “things” than we have space in which to put it.
Setting aside, for a moment, the issue of hoarders — people who truly can never let go of anything — we all have just a touch of the hoarder in us. There are all kinds of objects in life to which we have formed some kind of attachment ~ the program for the daughter’s first piano recital; the ticket stubs for an event you attended that changed your life; an invitation to something kind of far away that you mean to reply to as soon as you work out the schedule with your family; a great article that you want to remember to send to Uncle Frank; and so on ad infinitum.
In all of the above cases, three things could happen:
1) You have a space designated for souvenirs and meaningful objects, and you put them away in those spaces as soon as you can. You have a system for periodically sorting everything in that space to decide which ones to keep longer, save in a different form (such as take a photo of it and upload it to a gallery of keepsakes) and which ones to toss out or recycle, knowing that space is a finite commodity.
2) You buy into the myth that you will deal with it later, and allow it to take up space that you might want to use for something else, except you can’t because now it has something in it (what you just placed there.)
3) You have no idea what to do with it, but you don’t want to throw it away because it feels “important” to you. So it’s in limbo. Maybe forever.
Because ALL forms of clutter have their roots in how you think about your objects, your space, your time, and how you related to each of them, you can solve the problems of clutter by changing your thoughts. It’s not as difficult as it seems, and the rewards are great for doing it. I’ll be sharing more thoughts about this and other clutter-related issues in the next installments of this article.
But for now, let me leave you with one good resource to start you off on the right track. (And before you scoff at this solution, please at least hear me out.) One of the most valuable and enduring resources in my life is flower essences; they work to change the patterns of thought and behavior that we often can’t do by ourselves. When I had a HUGE problem with clutter in several areas of my life (and in my space) this is where I turned for help.
The result was a great blend of flower essences that helped me realize how I was “setting myself up” by cluttering my spaces, and how my thinking was leading me to take (or NOT take, as the case may be) the actions that would solve the problems I created by cluttering my spaces. I also used a meditation to help me change my habitual thinking, so that the new habits could take hold and give me the motivation I needed to tackle the areas where I’d cluttered — and to restore order to them.
In some cases, you may first need to create appropriate new spaces; in other cases you may just need to let go of quite a lot of “stuff” that you’ve accumulated. Let me tell you, you CAN do this! The payoff is quite nice.
If you’d like to try the flower essence formula (or offer it to a friend or loved one who has a problem with clutter) you can order online or by phone from my flower essence web site: Clear Clutter Formula Scroll down that page to find the product and description.
Later this month I’ll be sharing more about flower essences and why they work, but for now, stay tuned for the rest of this article. I’ll have other resources for you, and more thoughts about the other kinds of clutter and what you can do about them.
Meanwhile, I’d love to hear what’s worked for you! Please comment below.