Do you remember in olden times [ahem!] the tradition of spring cleaning? You know, around March/April time when housewives (and their unfortunate daughters) would conduct a thorough deep clean of the home? Getting into every nook and cranny….
Quite a bit of work indeed, and these days one it’s hard for most people to find the time for. On the surface level there’s the obvious improvement in the general cleanliness of the household. But a deeper benefit of a really good clean-up, is it brings all the clutter to the fore to be dealt with. (That would be all those items you’ve been hanging onto just in case you need them some day….)
And clearing your clutter DOES have amazing, magical cleansing effects on your mental and emotional wellbeing! When we clear out our physical space we also clean up our energy – physical, spiritual and emotional.
We are multi-dimensional beings, and what’s going on with you on a physical level impacts on you mentally, what’s going on with you mentally impacts on your emotional wellbeing, and your emotional wellbeing impacts on your physical health. Your mind, body and spirit operate as an integrated whole. You cannot separate what’s happening on one level from other aspects of your being.
When you change your inner world it impacts on your outer world. And when you change your outer world it impacts on your inner world. So, if you’re feeling stuck in some area of your life, by clearing up your physical environment you can give yourself the mental, spiritual or emotional boost you need to get unstuck and get going again.
Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway) is an ancient Chinese science of balancing the elements of the environment and optimising the flow of energy or chi. An environment where the energy can flow freely allows for good health, wealth and relationships. And the converse also applies…
Clutter causes the energy flow to stagnate, and the areas of your home that are cluttered represent corresponding areas in your life where your energy may be stuck and circumstances may be less than favourable.
The solution? Keep your home environment clean, organised and simple. Don’t overcrowd rooms, cupboards or drawers with furniture, books, clothing or any other apparel you can think of. Have what you need and adorn with items you love. And nothing more!
Poverty Consciousness versus Prosperity Consciousness
It’s definitely nice to look around you and see that you have plenty – that fosters a feeling of abundance. But if you have stuff jammed into cupboards and drawers that you can’t even access because they’re so full – that is unnecessary excess. And far from fostering abundance, it will actually block the flow of abundance to you.
Ironically, hanging onto all your possessions regardless of whether or not you need them is known as poverty consciousness. Which simply means that you don’t trust that you will always have whatever resources you need whenever you need them. Prosperity consciousness is trusting that whatever you need will always be available to you at the time you need it.
So, instead of hanging onto something that you might need ‘someday’, let it go and trust that if you do ever need such an item in the future, either you will have plentiful resources to acquire another, or you will receive one as a gift at the perfect time.
The principles involved in clearing clutter are really simple:
Love it, Use it… or Lose it!
Decluttering is about getting rid of unnecessary excess. What you use regularly gets to stay (of course!). What you don’t use regularly has to go. Unless it’s a decorative item that you love. But be strict here. We’re not talking about something you kinda like, or that your best friend gave you so you feel obliged to hang onto it.
You want to surround yourself with items that you truly enjoy. What you’re looking for is: when your glance falls on these things its lifts your spirit a little. If you look around your room and nothing your eye lands on lights a little spark of appreciation, then in what way are you benefiting from having it crowd your space?
Be ruthless. Your home is meant to be your own private sanctuary and it’s in your best interests to enable the energy to flow easily and make it as uplifting a space for you as possible.
Some starting points
If you have alot of clutter to clear chances are the job will seem overwhelming to begin with. The trick is to start small and do it little and often. Assign yourself a morning, an hour, or even half an hour, and choose an area that can be easily cleared and cleaned within that time frame:
- sock or knicker drawer
- hall table
- kitchen cupboards
Set up three large boxes, and as you go assign what you’re clearing out to the relevant box: Donate, Dump, Recycle. And then just get to it!
Why go to so much trouble?
Regardless of what you make of the energetic principles of Feng Shui, living in a decluttered environment has many practical benefits:
- Less items to accumulate dust makes it easier to clean and improves respiratory health issues
- Precious time is saved when you no longer need to hunt for items
- Decluttered spaces are calm spaces, and calm spaces are easier to relax in than busy ones.
- You can use your space and furniture properly!
- You can see all the clothes you own and access them more easily. (Eventhough the quantity of your clothes will decrease, the variety of what you now wear will probably improve )
But of course, I can espouse on the benefits all day. For you to really know them, you have to experience the process for yourself. So, if you’re a bit of a squirrel (especially if you’re a sceptical squirrel), I challenge you to have a clutter clear out and pay attention to what you notice in your life afterwards – both practically and holistically.
And let me know how you go!