Welcome to the new year! It seems once we pass the New Year’s mark and notice spring just around the corner, a universal reset button activates new beginnings and fresh starts. Not wanting to hire a coach or sign up for an expensive life make over? Then keep reading, take charge of your own life, and get ready to do your own do over.
Look around your life. Your car, your garage, your office, desk, closets and home. Like what you see? Great, then you’re probably making a ton of money and sitting on a beach somewhere. No? Well consider taking a peek into your personal life. Are you a clean person and not a clutterholic? I’m still betting that you’ve got your share of excess, so stay with me here.
Clutter is not only bad for your health, it blocks your prosperity. There’s literally no room for new energy. I can almost guarantee that if my client is overweight or having money troubles, there is a source of clutter or excess in their life.
My first suggestion for feng shui clients is to go through every room and fill a bag. Yes — a whole bag and give, sell or recycle the contents. Clutter and holding on to things is a big fat sign to the universe that you don’t believe you’ll have the resources to replace or buy it if you need it again.
Holding on “just in case” sends a strong signal of poverty consciousness. Someone out there can use what you’re not using and might really need it. Trusting that when you realize you must have widget A to use with widget B; you’ll be able to buy it sends a signal of trust. Holding on to your “just in case” items that you haven’t used in years sends a signal of fear. Excess items block the energy from flowing in your home. Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed on vacation or at a spa? The rooms are sparse and functional.
Let’s start with your bedroom: Go through all of your drawers and closets. If you haven’t worn something in two years, you’re never going to wear it. I promise. If you haven’t loved it enough to find a match or accessory to make it work, you don’t love it enough to keep it. Studies have shown that we all wear the same 11 outfits week after week anyways. Less is truly, the new more. When we have less, we tend to mix and match and get creative.
If you stand in your closet not sure what to wear in the morning, it’s a sign that you have too much. Keeping old clothes that used to fit? They are either a constant reminder of what you perceive as current failure, or a guarantee that you will indeed gain that weight back and need to wear them. Think about the symbolism here. Let them go. If you lose the weight you’ll want new clothes anyways and if you do gain the weight back, you deserve something that makes you feel fabulous, not your old fat jeans.
Sheets and Bed: If you’re like most people, you’ve replaced sheets but not thrown the old ones away. If you’re having trouble letting go, think of homeless people who don’t have any, and then drop them off at a local donation site. Blankets? Same thought process. I recently noticed I had three down comforters, and I’m not a pack rat. One of those is being donated this week. Sure it was expensive, but I’m not using it and the idea of someone out there being cold at night gives me the strength to say goodbye.
Feeling really brave? Replace your bed. There is nothing more powerful for your relationship than to do a complete mattress do over with fresh energy that hasn’t been cried on, argued on, or sex’d on by another person.
There should be nothing under your bed, period. Shoes stored under there? Get a behind the door rack. The energy needs to flow so you can get a good night’s sleep.
Now the bath: How many half-used jars and bottles do you have under that sink and in your closets? I get a cheap thrill out of using the last of something before allowing myself to buy another. Make up? Do we really need all of it? Same rule as your clothing. If you haven’t used it, lose it. Towels have the same rule as sheets. Get rid of the old ones when you buy the new ones. Go through your medicine cabinet and throw out expired products as well as your “just in case” items. Remember to trust that if you need some medicine, you’re going to be able to afford it rather than keep expired products that could be dangerous. Scrap the scraps of soap in your shower too. Feel how abundant you feel with one big bar of fresh soap.
Your office: Consider having six pens and no more. Buying pens and paper can be a habit like any other. Go through your piles of paper and either file them, transfer the data somewhere else, or recycle them. Business cards accumulating? Spend a rainy sunday afternoon transferring the data and then throw them away! Go through your books and donate the ones you’ll never read again. Some reference books and books that you love to read over and over should be kept, but let’s face it; you don’t need to keep your Office 04 for Dummies when it’s 2013. I actually found a farmer’s almanac from 1994 the other day while helping a client fish through their shelves.
Your kitchen: Like the bath, the kitchen can be a place where half-empty bottles collect as we buy new items. Go through you refrigerator and get rid of the duplicate bottles of condiments. I’m notorious for letting herbal remedy bottles collect. Old dishes that aren’t sentimental but are beat up and chipped? Donate them. You’ll be surprise by how good you feel when you toss all of those plastic cups and mismatched coffee cups. Tupperware cabinet? You know what to do.
Now my thoughts on gifts and sentimental items: If someone gives you a gift, it is yours to do what you want with it. If you don’t love it, keep the memory of the person and donate the gift to someone who might love it. Feel overwhelmed with guilt? Take a photo of the item and then donate it. Things you don’t love in your home and your closet wear down your energy.
Keeping your children’s toys well past the time they’re grown doesn’t make you closer to them. Much better to give those toys and clothes away to families in need and enjoy the time you’d spend walking around those boxes and creating room in your garage or basement playing with your kiddos instead.
Trust me. Clutter weighs you down whether you realize it or not. Grab a friend or a coach to give you courage and go for it. Once you start, you’ll be hooked on the feelings of freedom that come, and I promise, those feelings are worth it. My favorite tip? Start by putting 12 things per room in that bag. Soon, you’ll get into the flow of letting go and you’ll be surprised by how quickly you start de-cluttering your life. Ask yourself these three questions: Do I love it? Do I use it? Does it work?
Clear it out. Give it away. And trust that if you need it again, you’ll have the resources to replace it.
Life consists of a series of starts and finishes, why not take charge and set the ground rules for this year’s new start?