I have a confession to make, I am kind of an ex-hoarder.
I would like to say that my hoarding days are long behind me, but now that I have an almost 4 year old, I can see some of my habits of collecting "special things" and of not wanting to get rid of something "in case I might need it one day" being passed down :) OK maybe kids just like to do that sort of thing, but I honestly use to (until very recently...unfortunately) collect any small container and my husband would always try to convince me it was garbage (think jars and containers of all shapes and sizes). I absolutely could see the use for all of them, or at least I would think of something..someday. I also have this thing for health magazines. I tend to want to hang onto them because they have all sorts of amazing recipes and great articles that I know I will come back to one day when I miraculously find hours of free time. Also, If you have written me a note or given me a Christmas card, I could probably still dig them up. Or at least, that is until recently.
In my experience, one quick and easy way to deal with hoarding... have kids, move provinces, and move into a house much smaller than you currently live in. I promise, you will either go crazy climbing over your junk, or deal with it.
What about the rest of the population that are probably not going to go to those extremes.
It's time to intentionally begin clearing the clutter
What is the importance of clearing the clutter?
Clearing the clutter will help you get on track emotionally and physically allowing you to put everything you have into stepping past obstacles that are standing in front of your goals. There are three main areas that we need to address when clearing out the old. If you are going to think about renovating your mind and body just like a house, the old junky furniture has to be tossed out to make space for the new updated furniture. I don't think Marie Kondo would approve of having both in one room, especially not among unorganized piles of clutter! So, first things first – putting your hoarding desires aside because they are keeping you STUCK. I have walked through these steps on my own and have started to feel the benefits already. Living a life with any sort of clutter takes space up in your brain, and we all know that there is too much going on in life to let things like clutter take valuable space up in there, am I right?. Following the steps below can have an amazing effect on every area of your life.
Are you Ready? LETS DIVE IN.
CLEARING THE CLUTTER
Whether or not we want to admit it.. excess physical clutter, clutters the mind. If you have followed along on my previous post about consistency it is important to include clearing the clutter to be able to stay consistent. Our external world can be a very real comparison to our internal world. None of us are perfect, but we can make steps to stop the excuses of why we can't stick to our health goals. Believe it or not, some of those steps have nothing to do with FOOD or FITNESS. Even so, the outcome can be dramatic health changes because it is a symbol of us shifting internally, telling ourselves we are changing things for good this time. There is no going back.
Step #1 Clearing the Clutter of papers, even the electronic ones!
This is the biggest area and it includes those spots around your personal office, your home, your junk drawers that have collected piles of papers, receipts, bills, junk mail that need to be either filed or recycled.
-Magazines, papers, projects from out of your bedroom, your counter tops, or that spot you think no body sees... because you put them there in hopes no one would see them :)
-Clearing your bookshelves, dusting them and organizing your belongings in a way that you love.
-Unsubscribe from at least 5 electronic newsletters! Seriously people, since I started this I am down about 25 DAILY emails of things I wanted to read AT SOME POINT IN TIME. If that point in time is NOT now, it contributes to the noise and the overwhelm. If you have been hanging on to emails or freebies that you have signed up for AND NEVER OPENED, then delete them. Can you feel the pressure decreasing already? If there are old emails sitting in your inbox that you haven't even looked at in more than 2-3 weeks.. delete :) This is like severing an arm for some of us. Seriously, I get it. But you will feel SO MUCH lighter.
Start with what sounds easiest for you, but make a plan and get started!
When I first started working through this I had a hard time getting rid of my ALIVE magazines. I had these big hopes that I would make a dream board one day or have the time to make the recipes. I have had to be very honest with myself and look at my life and realize that these are not priorities to me, and they are just causing extra stress by trying to find a space for them. I went through each one, ripped the recipes out that I know I would actually make and added them to a binder. My recycling bin was happy to take the other 100 pages. So far I am enjoying being able to let go of the pressure of having to do something with them "one day".
#2 Time to clear your SCHEDULE. Are you saying YES to a whole pile of things that you wish you had the guts to say NO to? Maybe you have that people pleasing mentality like many of us do.It is not bad to serve others, that's lovely and I believe we should live to love on others BUT sometimes we agree to things that our hearts really aren't in. In that case there is someone more suited to the job and we really need to stop saying YES. There isn't time to do everything and please everyone but what we can do is make the time count for the fewer things left on our schedule and do them 100%.
#3 Lastly how is that closet and dresser of yours looking?
Along with clearing the clutter of things and paper to make room for new opportunities, cleaning out clothes that might not fit you right now is a big step into embracing your body NOW, and not only when you feel you have reached your goals. Do you have clothes that you have been hanging onto for years hoping that one day you might fit into them taking up a large portion of your closet? I'm guessing this is causing you a little bit of anxiety. Lets set you up for success by clearing those out. Create piles to give away. You haven't worn the item in a year, It probably won't be worn again and it's time to move on. Box up the clothes that are currently taking space in your closet that do not fit right now. You might want to hang on to these, but put them away. This might be hard to hear, but you do not need 10 pairs of the same black leggings. I understand they are a staple, but 10 is excessive. Please don't tell me that it is just me that seems to find something different and fun with each pair of black leggings! Keep the clothes in your closet that help you feel comfortable and beautiful in the size and shape that you are in NOW. I have said it before but I will say it again. There is no amount of self hate that will motivate you to fit into clothes you want to be wearing. You have to come at this journey in a place of love, so box up what doesn't fit and wear what does.
Clear out the clutter in these 3 areas:
#1- Magazines, piles of papers,including the electronic ones!
#2- Your schedule
#3- Your closet.
Remember that when we have successfully made a shift, if we start to notice those piles of paper start to gather once again, it's a good idea to assess the internal situation as well.
Time to take action
What is one area that you can commit to working on THIS week to start clearing out the old to make way for the new? I don't mean making room for new STUFF, but new cleared out space in your mind to take on new challenges and goals. Lets be honest, the bigger that pile of magazines gets, the more overwhelming you feel and the longer you put off actually opening any of them up. We are all promised so much amazing information through the internet, but again, if you are not opening those emails up and reading them right away, its just noise. It's just taking up space. Keep what inspires you but as for the rest, it is time to cut the ties and say goodbye.
Good bye noise, hello new opportunities.