CLUTTERFREE LIFE TRANSITIONS
This is the fourth article in a series: ‘Preparation of your decluttering/change project’.
And you’ve developed a clearer and more objective idea of your home and your belongings.
The next step is to get to know your clutter better.
What is clutter?
‘Clutter’ can be defined as any obsolete object “that weighs you down, distracts you, or depletes your energy”. It “is symbolic of your attachment to something from the past that must be released in order to make room for change”. (Julie Morgenstern)
If we consider clutter as being ‘anything that no longer serves’ us, the process of ‘decluttering’ loses its negative image. Instead of being the unpleasant activity of just throwing things away, it evolves as a powerful ‘change assistant’.
Knowing for sure what you wish to leave behind because it no longer serves you, makes it is easier to decide how to move on and what to take along when you enter a new chapter in your life.
In fact, decluttering can be a positive and productive experience, it offers the opportunity to free up space in your home and in your mind. It’s also an opportunity to learn about yourself and your values.
You don’t have to hate your clutter or feel ashamed of your clutter. You can accept it as what it actually is: a collection of belongings that no longer serve your needs but that were useful at some point in time. And it probably still has some meaning today, otherwise, you wouldn’t have kept it.
What are your clutter ‘hot spots”?
Take your notes from your ‘home-discovery-tour’ and walk from one cluttered area to the next.
‘Clutter hot spots’ are those areas in your home, those categories of belongings that contain an accumulation of things that no longer serve you. It’s the stuff that holds you back because it belongs to the past.
It could be, for example,
- areas of a room or furniture no longer used, such as an inherited armchair nobody sits on,
- books you are no longer interested in or no longer intend to read, or recipe books from which you never cooked a recipe,
- piles of paper you never touch but expand by continuously adding new pieces, or papers from former phases of your life, e.g., materials from school years or a previous job,
- kitchen appliances that don’t fit your current cooking habits,
- a dresser drawer you never open because it contains out-of-fashion tops,
- a wardrobe full of clothing that no longer fit you, that you hope ‘may come back in style’, that you don’t wear but keep because it was expensive,
- a 24-piece cutlery set never unpacked but kept because it was a wedding present from your aunt.
Do you see a special pattern, – certain areas in your home or categories of belongings where the clutter accumulates? These are your personal clutter hot spots. (E. g., areas such as The kitchen. Your wardrobe. The garage. Or categories, such as Books. Clothes. Papers.)
Imagine the clutter hot spots had been cleared up and would be clean and neat and free of any obsolete stuff. How do you feel? Are you getting excited and motivated to make your life easier and lighter?
You will become even more excited as soon as you start to uncover the buried or forgotten treasures under the clutter, – the next step of the preparation of your decluttering/change project.