Clearing up physical clutter is important for our energy, health, and well-being. But clearing up other types of clutter, the mental and emotional, is just as necessary.
Another Kind of Clutter
We frequently talk about clearing up the physical clutter in our homes, offices, cars, garages, and other living spaces. But there is another type of clutter that gets in the way of our growth and happiness. How do we clear up the mental and emotional clutter that hampers our relationships, our family life, our finances, or our health?
Peter Walsh is a professional organizer and author of a number of books about organization and controlling clutter of all kinds. He advocates a process for dealing with clutter — physical, emotional, mental — in all areas of life, relationships, work, finances, family life, and health.
If you have an area of your life that isn’t working as you want it to, put this clutter-clearing process to use. It may be just the exercise you need to get “unstuck” and move toward creating a better life.
- Create a vision. Create a vision of the things (not necessarily material) that you want in this area of your life. Do you want your partner to share more of the household chores? Do you want a different career? What kind of body do you want and how do you want to feel when you wake up each day? What would make this area of your life perfect for you?
- Overcome obstacles. You know you’re going to come up against them, so plan beforehand how you will deal with obstacles, WOOP style. Don’t become overwhelmed; don’t try to do everything at once. Take this one step at a time. You can do it!
- Commit time. Even ten minutes a day can keep you moving toward your vision. Feel the energy you get when you are taking steps toward your new life. That energy can entice you to find ways to devote more time to your goal.
- Communicate. Communicate with your partner, your children, your friends, or your colleagues if you want their help and support. Don’t assume they know what you need. (Be careful here. It’s best not to communicate a cherished goal to people who are not supportive or helpful or who don’t have your interests at heart.)
- Set boundaries. “You can only have as many books as you have bookshelves for.” This is a prime rule for dealing with clutter of any kind. (As a matter of fact, we’d have less clutter if we thought about this BEFORE we brought something else home.) Other boundaries include spending less than you earn, setting aside time for yourself, making healthy choices of the food you eat, etc., etc.
- Make changes. If you want a different life, you must do different things or do things differently. Determine what changes are needed to fulfill your vision. Take small steps – don’t try to change everything at once. Be persistent.
- Live in the present. Don’t hold on to mental clutter or emotional baggage. “Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.” (Matthew 6:34 CEV)
- Face fears. Clearing away clutter of any kind means learning to let go. You may need to deal with problems that you’ve procrastinated on. Or you may need to face up to an unpleasant reality. Again, persist. Take small steps and consult a professional if you need help.
- Celebrate success. Bask in the good feelings you get from the accomplishments you are making. You’ve earned it!
Clearing up physical clutter is important for our energy, health, and well-being. But clearing up other types of clutter, the mental and emotional, is just as necessary. In fact, that’s part of embracing your Exclerated Life™!
What have you experienced after doing a clean-up, whether physical, emotional, or mental clutter?
Share your experience by leaving a comment below.
Excelerated Organization™ — being clutter-free and well-enough organized (able to find what you need when you need it) — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life™, a life of flourishing and well-being, and a life of meaning, purpose, and service.