Clear your clutter – Manifest your dreams! by Birgit Medele
Here’s a little quiz: what have we all got in common? – Well, all of us have clutter and all of us have dreams. And here’s the good news: you can use the clearing of the one to get closer to the other!
You might have thought of clutter clearing as a chore, but think again: it can be an exciting, life changing tool. It really is modern day alchemy: be aware of what it is that you want to invite into your life (a new friend/ a job opportunity/ more time to read – whatever you wish for) – have a clear out – and then watch the magic happen…!
When something old leaves, something new will come in, and that’s why it is so important to not clear ‘mindlessly’. Imagine clearing out a box of old files. Then something new comes in, and guess what that is? A new box of old files…! To make clutter clearing work for you, focus on what you want it to do for you.
So, you might ask yourself now, if letting go of things features such great benefits, how come I’m still finding myself holding on to various bits and pieces I know (deep down) I have outgrown? Clutter can have a comforting quality, it acts like an additional layer between you and the ‘big questions’. Why am I here? What do I want to do with my life?
Shifting our lovely clutter from the cellar to the attic to the garden shed and back again, allows us to operate on the more manageable level of the how and where: where/how can I keep those files/magazines/papers – keeping the biggies at bay and making us feel busy and therefore important and needed.
It’s essential not to be overambitious with the size of your clearing projects.
Treat yourself to regular little clear outs, one drawer, one file at a time. This new ‘clear as you go’ habit is very liberating and can slowly teach you to move from the where (to keep) to the why (am I keeping this??) – turning into a fascinating journey of discovery of your personality… Little by little you get used to the yes/no decision making process – one of the most important life skills. In fact, it has been said: the only really bad decision you could ever make, is not to make decisions at all. Unfortunately that’s what happens quite often, as we live our lives on autopilot one busy day at a time, and lose sight of the bigger picture.
So, how do we go about it to reap the benefits of clearing, invite in new energy, purpose and enjoyment? Here are the top tips to conquer the paper mountains:
• Scale down: don’t try to tackle too much at a time and set yourself up for frustration. We have thoughts and emotions invested in everything we own, and that’s why it can be tricky to sort through things. Even when we sort through bits of paper it is about all our memories, fears, hopes, future plans…. it’s never ever just about things. Give yourself credit for that, and celebrate the small clearing successes (hurrah I did one big, fat folder!) instead of getting bogged down with what is still to do.
• One explanation why paper clutter can get out of control is fear. ‘I might need this bit of information one day’ – and until this day comes, I put it here, for now. With clearing, we can teach ourselves to change from fear mode into a trust mode: when I need this information again, I will be able to find it – in a more updated and therefore more useful version.
• Dare to let go of your need to know everything. Try this out for a day: go on a media fast and cut your information consumption.
• Use one diary for all your appointments, to-do-lists and notes to self! No more notebook collections and loose bits of paper.
• Open your post next to the recycling bin.
• Your energy follows your eyes – treat yourself to a clear desk. Remove all ‘to-do’ documents from your desk space and store them in your top drawer or on a shelf instead. Enjoy!
• Try this funky new desk rule – only one piece of paper on it at a time! Once dealt with, off it goes into the file or bin.
Worry not – if you never achieve those dizzy heights of structure, just stop pointless desk-multitasking: finish one project before you start another. It makes you feel more in control, less mind-cluttered and gives you more of a sense of achievement.
• Paper inspiration in 4 steps: bin it – do it – delegate it – file it!
One of its most beneficial side effects of clutter clearing is that we end up living less on autopilot. Getting rid of stuff that doesn’t really do anything for us anymore makes us more alive – aware of the beauty and miracles in the everyday.. the smiles, the sunshine, the glittering rainbow colours in a raindrop….
You owe it to the gift of life to live your best life.