Fresh air on the inside – Clearing Clutter
Autumn is not only a great time for cleanses and fasts, but for clearing our external spaces too. It’s time to focus on getting things ready for the winter months, when we spend much more time indoors. Giving a little clearing to our living space frees up our vitality and energy to focus, and allows us to relax and be creative in our home.
You know, that basement room could be a really cool extra family space if only all the boxes of old stuff and random collections were gone, if only it could be cleaned out, perhaps enjoy a new piece of furniture or art work… That office space that has become cluttered and chaotic… The sewing or craft room that was long ago overtaken by papers ‘to file later’ and now hosts the kitty litter box…
It doesn’t really matter how laid back we can be about our environment, it really does have an effect on our state of being in any given moment. These ‘unclear’ spaces in our homes create a lack of energetic harmony.
Even if we avoid spending time in these parts of our home that feel chaotic and full of should-do’s, they are still there, deep within us, as a niggle, as unfinished business, as areas of chaos and disharmony that affect our general disposition.
When we make positive changes to our living environment, our experience changes and possibility, energy, vitality and balance will respond.
A few years ago I began helping people with room-clearing projects, clearing out and creating relaxing spaces in their homes. It was never a simple case of a messy room. The environment we live in affects us more than we think, and commonly people would find it emotionally difficult to clear out. Often our clutter is a reflection of our inner state, perhaps holding onto memories, perhaps feeling overwhelmed and chaotic. What was so noticeable as I supported people to clear their space was the relief and clarity that came to people once they got started. Something as simple as clearing out the office or re-arranging some furniture can create space for whole new adventures in life.
It’s something about our inner world being a reflection of our outer world. We can clean up our inner world as much as we like, yet for as long as we leave an area of our home in chaos and stagnancy, we can expect to feel some of that in our being.
When it’s really time to move forward, we need to clear the stage first. Letting go of the old allows room for the new to flow.
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Here are a few simple ideas for getting started, which is often the hard part…
- Be gentle with yourself ~ If you don’t have hours and days to dedicate to clearing your space, start where you are. It feels great to tidy one kitchen drawer while you are waiting for the kettle to boil, to clear out under the bathroom sink while the bath is running. Break it down into short projects.
- Recruit a friend ~ It is so much easier and so much more fun to do this with a friend. They are not attached to our stuff, so can help us be more willing to let go, and, most importantly, a friend can provide the moral support we need to get started, to follow through and to finish the project!
Feel it ~ Before you start, sit in the space you want to work in. Close your eyes and notice how it makes you feel. Then ask yourself how it could feel better, think of how you would like to feel in this space. Having a new, feel-good purpose for the space helps a lot as you work towards creating it.
- Gift yourself ~ Perhaps instead of thinking of this as a chore (I don’t want to tidy my bedroom!), know instead that you are giving yourself a great gift. Taking care of our environment is a way of taking care of our need for comfort and clarity, a powerful way to nourish ourselves.