"Feng Shui and the Energy of Your Home — How Clutter Stunts Your Energy and Your Life"
by Kathryn Weber
One of the biggest problems associated with clutter is how it roots you in a home that leaves you little or no room for growth.
Of course, the growth I’m talking about is the growth in your life, your career, your relationships, and your wealth. We’re not so different than the beautiful plants you buy at the local nursery that look wonderful but then need to be divided or repotted into a larger pot — everything grows.
Your life is a living, growing thing.
When you’re overwhelmed by stuff, like a plant, you outgrow your pot and that’s when you start to see your relationships suffer, your business opportunities dry up, your health and vitality sapped, and finances become tighter and more restrictive.
Worse than all the stuff and visual blight that clutter represents is the way it robs you and your home of vital, happy, and lively energy.Decluttering helps to remove blockages from your life that stop the flow of energy to you and everything you enjoy.
How does clutter affect you and what benefit does decluttering offer?
WITH CLUTTER YOU HAVE… WITH CLEAR SPACE YOU HAVE….
Low vitality, lethargy Improved energy and interest in life
Bad luck, misfortune, upheaval Happy surprises, good fortune
No opportunities or money New opportunities, better finances
Feeling stuck, lack of options, choices Life flowing smoothly, active, energized
Melancholy, depression Improved energy and interest in life
Pessimistic outlook, negative opinions Optimistic, forward thinking and positive
Anger, anxiety, waiting for other shoe to drop Happy mood, pleasant feelings, excitement, enthusiasm
Life is energy
All life requires growth, evolution and movement. When we lack these elements in our life, the energy that makes up our lives becomes stunted. Imagine not having enough energy to power a light bulb: it grows dim and burns in a weakened state. When we have overstuffed homes – especially with outdated, unused and unloved items, our lives become weakened too.
But how do you know when it’s clutter and when it’s disorganization?
Clutter is when you have eight spatulas or a closet full of clothes you haven’t worn in years. Disorganization is when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Simply organizing your home with shelving, baskets, boxes, and other organizers will often clean up the disarray. In fact, by using organizing items you can often make more room than if you didn’t use them.
Look at your challenges to find the kind of organizers you need. Is the big mess in the kitchen or the bathroom? Maybe the living room is out of control. You might not be able to find an important bill that needs to be paid because you don’t have a place to put the bills when they come in. No matter what your need is, there are containers of every possible size and description that can help you organize your house where you need it.
Unlike a tornado, clutter doesn’t just happen. It gets that way over time.
Sometimes clutter is so insidious that we don’t even notice it until we’re deluged by it. Hopefully, you’ve learned some things about clutter, like what it is, what to do about it, and how it’s different than disorganization. But, just like any good habit, such as exercise, decluttering isn’t something you do and then it’s done: it’s something you start and then keep doing.
Too often people are bitten by the declutter bug and make one big push to declutter. That’s wonderful and having your clutter cleared in one fell swoop feels incredible and unburdens you. Most of the time, though, clutter is related to a vitamin deficiency. Either someone is frozen in fear and doesn’t do anything about the clutter, usually because they’re just overwhelmed, or they do it once or then forget about it for the next 25 years. The key to both is Vitamin C – “consistent C.”
Having a regular routine for decluttering is the single best way to keep it from getting out of hand. Pick a daily time that’s convenient such as every day at four o’clock. Then, spend fifteen or so minutes working at removing clutter (tossing mail, magazines, clearing out the refrigerator). Make it long enough you can accomplish something but not so long that you’ll give up.
Declutter with other activities
Instead of just putting freshly-washed towels away toss out your old tired towels first. Or, while your child is getting ready for bed, take a moment to go through some drawers and remove outgrown or stained clothing. Decluttering as you do other things makes decluttering part of daily living — and that creates a routine.
Make it a habit to be aware
Don’t unload groceries into the refrigerator that’s messy or cluttered with jelly jars with only a teaspoon of jam in them. Instead, quickly go through the fridge and toss old items out and wipe down shelves before restocking, and do the same in the pantry – this is the quality of being present with clutter and your environment. Likewise, if you take a phone message and the pen you’re using doesn’t work, make it a habit to throw it away and not put it back in the holder (and I know you do this).
Becoming present means that you are aware where you are. That sounds obvious, but if you’ll start becoming more aware and present wherever you are, you’ll notice that you stop forgetting things and misplacing items and you’ll notice how your home and office stay cleaner and neater more easily.
You’ll also notice that you get more accomplished, you’ll scratch things off your mental and physical to-do lists, you’ll become less patient with people who drain you and you’ll get three very valuable qualities back into your life again. They are initiative, motivation and enthusiasm: the zest of living.
Yes, old, broken, crowded, and too-much stuff can do that to you — rob you of your zest for living. Free yourself and become aware of what you have and what you really use or don’t use. Getting rid of useless items will unburden your home, mind and spirit and will open up your life again to all kinds of new and wonderful opportunities.