Thursday, March 17, 2005

Clearing the Clutter

Yesterday I spent most of my day cleaning out closets. They really need it and I have been remiss in doing it for some time. It seems the longer you let things go, the more difficult it is to keep them up. A lot of things in my life has been neglected, particularly around my house.

As we prepare to begin remodelling our kitchen and bathroom, the sheer enormity of clearing out the clutter has begun to overwhelm me. Each time I start on one area and make progress, something seems to happen that sets me back. And so it goes in a ever increasingly cluttered circle.

When more than one person is involved in the creation of the clutter, it takes all parties to remove it. For some of us, it is difficult to physically and emotionally part with things that may have once been dear or valuable, but no longer have purpose. So it was when I started in the kitchen cabinets last week. Who needs three fondue pots that have not been used in 20 years? Or a broken vegetable steamer? While I debated with myself over the merit of owning three fondue pots, I promptly tossed the broken steamer in the garbage, only to see my husband fish it out later in the day. De-cluttering is a frustrating battle in our household.

So I moved on to my closet and clothing. There, I have control and I am making great progress in my effort to simplify and clean out. First I removed everything that was on hangers and sorted it into piles on the bed. I placed all the pants in one pile, jeans in another, sweaters in a third, skirts in a fourth, and finally a small pile of dresses which I draped over a chair. I began with the pants and jeans and tried everything on. The reality of the extra five pounds put on a Christmas struck me harshly, as several pairs of pants were uncomfortably snug. So I made a mental note of seriously watching what I eat and forcing myself to get more exercise. Five pounds on a relatively small person like myself is significant.

As I made my way through the stacks, I began to think about a book I had bought a while back after a friend had recommended it to me. It is called "Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui." My friend bought it after she and her boyfriend of over eight years had broken up. It made such an impact on her, that she took a week off from work and completely cleaned out her house of the physical clutter. She also began cleaning her mind of the emotional and mental clutter. When she finished, she cut her very long hair and decided to search for a more satisfying job in her hometown. Within months, she found a wonderful job in her hometown, sold her house in less than a week, bought a home five minutes from her new job, and never looked back. She is so much happier now than she has been in years.

Cleaning out the clutter is not just a physical act There is an enormous amount of emotional clutter we all carry around. Lately, I have been thinking about some of the clutter in my life. Non-rewarding relationships, unresolved personal issues, and my hair, my hair, my hair have all been dragging me down. One of the most frustrating things for me lately is the amount of emotional investment I have put into people and things without getting any return. Maybe it is time for me to read the book again. Then I need to get a plan, clean out the physical clutter in my house, and try to change how I deal with the negative people and emotions that have been cluttering my life and hindering me from moving forward.

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