Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 12. Freedom from Clutter Shame

All My Stuff I Think I Need

Do you suffer from clutter shame? I do. As someone who enjoys dabbling in creative ventures, I tend to gather materials, bits, odds and ends that I am sure will be useful in my projects at some point. Gathering stuff comes in quite handy, but can get out of control very quickly.

The opportunity for letting go of the need to have so much stuff came when I moved overseas. It took three months for the shipping container to arrive and at first, I wasn't sure how long I'd last without all my stuff. It didn't take long to find out life without all my stuff was simpler, easier and more enjoyable. I felt lighter, the space looked peaceful and it was quite liberating. When the container finally did arrive, I was faced with figuring out what to do with it all and wondering why I had ever shipped it there in the first place.

Clutter shame would hit as I'd visit someone else's home, noting their places were organized, minimal and felt good to be in. They knew where everything was, and unlike me, didn't end up purchasing multiples of the same item because the item had gone missing. All the money I could have saved if I had been a tad more organized.

I'm convinced that living simpler with far less stuff is the way to go. It's been a long journey, but I've taken micro steps to free myself from the burden of clutter and it's sibling, clutter shame. This is how I'm moving in a new direction....
  •  Realize you have a clutter situation (far more positive than naming it a "problem")
  • Ask yourself WHY you are holding onto all the stuff (biggest challenge for me so far). Some reasons might include things like: fear of missing out by releasing it; fear you might need it RIGHT AFTER you let it go; procrastination; lack of energy and inspiration to move it or clean it up; not sure where to start; it's too hard or overwhelming; lack of time; and another important one for me, it is not fun to clean it.
  • Be gentle on yourself. It didn't get like that overnight and it won't go away overnight, either.
  • Select a (very) small area. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Work on that space, clearing it, moving stuff, let-gos into a bag to donate. Wipe off the surface. Take a deep breath. For some people, it is helpful to have a friend support you when you do this step.
  • Rinse and repeat if you feel like it. Each micro step will get you closer.
  • Appreciate how you're on your way to freeing yourself from clutter.
 What area can you straighten out today?

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