Saturday, July 17, 2010

...On Clearing Clutter

I know I am not the only person to have this problem. I have a lot of clutter. ...Now I feel like I am in an AA meeting, and it is pretty much the same thing. I know my method of handling my stuff is like an addiction. I know I am going to take it in hand and change, and it may not be the easiest thing I have ever done. Why have I come to this public announcement? ...Because maybe it will help someone else, and knowing that I have outed myself will help keep me on track.

In the past three days, I have discovered something I want to share. I discovered Louise Hay on YouTube. I have been feeling overwhelmed lately. Anyway, her series of ten videos on You Can Heal You Life. I am big on body awareness, and her videos made me feel better. Right from the first "I love you!" on Day 1, I felt lighter and freer. Day 2 was amazing. I felt so good that I set ten tasks that I wanted to do that day just because I love myself. The tasks I chose were things that have been hanging over me for a long time. They ranged from clearing off a comfy chair in my office, to taking care of sticky note actions (that have been on the face of my pc for the past week), to fun things like taking time to knit. I got eight of the ten done, and that was great because I got several other things done that had just popped up. On Day 3, I listed the two remaining tasks and added 8 more. ...And guess what? I did eight out of ten and the two remaining were the same two! They both had to do with clutter.

For a long time, I have been agonizing over piles of clutter. My results were not that surprising to me, but what is there to be done about this dilemma? I have had a mix of fun and work,…Very light on the work. I have read books, watched the TV shows, and challenged myself before, and I know there is a solution! So, I asked myself: "How can I look at this in a different way?" When I look at the clutter task at hand, I feel lost, and it seems overwhelming when I look at it, just too much.

Here is what I have come up with in terms of each of the reasons that come up as I ask this:
  • I don’t know where to put it ...Have a plan in mind before beginning. Example: I bought several plastic file boxes at the dollar store for saving old tax papers, which went into the attic.
  • There is so much to sort! ...Don’t mix things in the first place (I have a tendency to put stuff on top of other stuff)
  • How do I sort all this? ...Have a container for tossing out, one for saving what I think is mostly there, and make piles of the rest.
  • Where do I begin? ...If the mess is contained, as in a box, remove the box to an organized place (as in bedroom floor) and attack it there. It won’t be amplified by surrounding mess, and each sort will look like a neat stack. Then, each neat stack can be dealt with appropriately, and this is how you are to think of it. …Not “I am going to get rid of it all.” This implies an all or nothing approach that is defeating from the beginning

Here are a few other thoughts I have had that I believe to be helpful:

  1. Take before and after photos so that I can relish the positive change!
  2. Give myself the “I love me” talk before, during, and after the task
  3. Have a solid benefit in mind of what each task will provide before beginning, as well as the “after” image in mind, and remind myself of it as I work.


  1. Maybe, after all, there IS a cure for my hopeless and relentless accumulation of clutter!!!!! Good work and good post... thanks!

  2. This clutter thing must be inherent in our genes!