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Tick Tock, Tick Tock.  Does time seem to be speeding up the older you get?  There may be an unlikely culprit keeping you stuck in life's holding pattern – it's physical and emotional clutter that has crept into your life over the years.  In this article, I'm going to provide a three step solution you can use today to start letting go of the clutter and declutter your life.

We all have excess material things and even people in our lives that may cause us chaos.  When you're constantly focused on the clutter, you don't have the energy to do the things you want.   I got an email the other day with a new definition for CHAOS.  It stands for Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.  If this happens to describe you, it's time for a life cleanse.  Part of the process of letting go of clutter is acknowledging the emotional junk causing you to stay stuck in life.  

If you've been running a con game with yourself—pretending things are ok, but you know deep down they're not. And you're worried all the balls in the air you're juggling are going to come crashing down, here's help.


Step 1. Make a Decision

Become aware that things are not going the way you want them.  Here's how clutter begins.  It starts out harmlessly. It's barely noticeable.  You continue to bring things into the home, but you never get rid of anything. Then one day, you just can't find anything in your home.  Perhaps finding your keys turns into a weekly major event.

If you don't make a conscious monthly effort to purge the junk in your life, you'll be using energy you could be using for something else and this may cause you to get into a rut.

Until you change your thoughts about how clutter is controlling your life, the clutter will come back no matter how much you throw out.  Flush out what's not working in your life.  You've heard of the fat flush? Well this is the lifestyle flush.  Become aware that what you're doing is currently not working.  Make a decision to start decluttering your life, both physically and emotionally.

Step 2. It's all In Your Head

Most self help books try to provide you with information to help you effect just about any type of change. But unfortunately, information is simply not enough.  If you don't get clear on WHY there's so much clutter in your life, all the information, seminars and coaching you receive may be all in vain.  To make room for the life you want, you've got to do some emotional housecleaning.

Another self defeating emotion that inflicts many people is guilt.  Guilt revolves around living in the past and in the future.  And when you do this, you can't live in the moment.
Spending your life energy worrying about the past or the future is a one way street to feeling bad about yourself.  You can't rewind to the past and you can't fast forward to the future.  So you're not even living in the now.  You're Stuck!

Step 3. Release Toxic People and Thoughts

Look at yourself, if you're tired, stress, overwhelmed, trying to live up to people's expectations and you're sick of it. Perhaps you're afraid to make changes because of what others may think of you.  Here's a decision you need to make for yourself.  Are you more committed to what people think of you or to getting your life back on track?

The toxic people I'm referring to are dream stealers.  They take delight in bursting your bubble, negative Nellies.  They can even be your family members, spouses or boss.  These are the types of relationships that will take up a lot of your energy if they are toxic.  

Toxic thinking is another area of mental clutter. You must get absolutely crystal clear on what results you want.  If you decide to clear the clutter, make a plan and so something every day to bring you closer to your desired result.

A toxic environment can also be physical clutter.  If your house is bursting at the seams, you may not need a bigger house.  You may just need to get rid of things that you have no intention of ever using again.  Physical clutter can sometimes be a manifestation of what's going on in your life.

Resist the thoughts rolling in your head in which you are powerless to control the clutter, both mentally and physically.  

One of the best ways of letting go of clutter is to acknowledge it and move on. You are where you are.  Live in the moment.  Act on the 3 steps provided in this article and take baby steps each day to detox your life.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Suzann wrote May 30, 2010
    • Michelle, what a great post! There’s so much involved in de-cluttering. Have you ever seen that show on cable called “Hoarders” or there’s another one, “Hoarders: Buried Alive“?
      Of course those are extreme versions of clutter, but it’s all in our heads.  

      Like you said about guilt, “Guilt revolves around living in the past and in the future.  And when you do this, you can’t live in the moment.”  

      I’ve moved 4 times in recent years, each time to a smaller place, so each time I’ve had to downsize. I’m now in a 750-square foot apartment, and I’ve downsized so much over the years this place feels like a mansion. I LOVE love love having “a place for everything and everything in its place,” it makes it possible for me to think.

      Good writing, Michelle, I enjoyed it a lot.

      [Link Removed] 

      Suzann, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kyah wrote May 30, 2010
    • I know why I have so much stuff, I’ve moved 18 times since I left my parents house and when they died, I inherited some of their stuff as well.

      I’ve seen the show Hoarders on A&E and that’s a sickness. Being a pack rat is just that. I just don’t have the time to go through all this stuff, and when I do have the time, I’m busy with every day things. We’ll see what I can do when I’m on vacation next month. I would like to use my living room as what it’s supposed to be, not a storage room which is what it looks like now.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote May 30, 2010
    • Good advice!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michelle Greene wrote Jun 5, 2010
    • Suzann, I watch the show Hoarders...and every week it keeps me on the ‘straight and narrow’ happy

      It has a way of creeping up on ever so slowly.  I suggest we all create a list, room by room of all the little things that need to be done.

      Plus, having a place for everything is a great way to stay organized and keep clutter at bay.

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