Clutter is anything standing between you and the life you want to be living (per Peter Walsh). By this definition, clutter is not just physical belongings. It also includes beliefs, attitudes, inherited values and more. Sometimes clutter is made of mental confusion, fogginess, lack of clarity. It can also be made of anger, depression and other unprocessed emotions. And clutter can simply be a pile of papers you have no intention of ever looking at. Clutter oftentimes produces lack of clarity and stagnation. When you have a pile of “stuff” that is never moved, it does not allow energy to circulate through it. The energy is unable to support and nourish this area of your life. The pile is also reflecting back to you, “you can’t make a decision, you hang on to things you have no use for, lazy pants” or whatever you hear your pile telling you.
The following are questions that are good to ask when you are unsure what to do with this or that and need guidance or direction.
- Do I love it?
- Do I need it?
- Does it reflect who I am now in my life?
- Does it need to be fixed or repaired and am I willing to do it?
- If I lost it in a fire, would I replace it exactly as it is?
- Would I pack it and move it 5 times?
- What positive or negative thoughts, memories or emotions do I associate with it?
- If it is time to let it go, am I going to sell it or give it away?
It can also be helpful to have a consultation with an objective professional. I have been in many spaces where I have noticed something that doesn’t belong with the others – not because of style or fashion – but because is doesn’t carry the same energy as the other pieces in the space. I will say , “tell me about that _______________.” After we discuss it further, we come to find out it has been kept out of guilt, fear, shame, unconsciousness, etc. Once it is brought to the person’s attention, they then have the opportunity to choose what they would like to do with it – on purpose. Now they are bringing their intention and purpose to their space. In this way, they are empowering themselves and participating consciously with their environment.
There are many reasons we hang on to things – it is complicated and involved. Always be respectful of others who share space with you. Something that appears old and tired to you may be a house mate’s only connection to a deceased friend or event that is meaningful to them.