Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bring In By Clearing Out

Q: How can I bring in new things for my life, my family, or myself?

A: Bring in new things by clearing out the clutter.

Are you reaching your goals? Do you feel stagnant? Are your relationships struggling? Is your work thriving? Or, is one part of your life thriving, but you find your home is becoming a shambles?

A yes to any of these questions can be frustrating. Why not examine the sources of what causes us to feel stagnant and blocked? Often, when I find part of my life is in disarray, I can also see that I'm lacking organization, there is dust on the shelves, and I'm holding onto things I need to clear out. Basically, I've allowed my life to become cluttered. One thing I've learned in life organization is that you can always bring in by clearing out. In other words, a key to manifesting is CREATING SPACE for what you want to bring in. The best way to do that is to CLEAR OUT CLUTTER in the current spaces you COULD fill up with the new things, people, or ideas.

Clutter blocks our mental and spiritual energy and makes it harder to create. Therefore, I decide to clear out clutter on a regular basis - as creation enables us to think clearly, be more artistic, and have an open mind.

There are many books and advice methods on clearing clutter. I've read many of them. The first thing most will recommend regarding clearing clutter is first and foremost, have a system. Here is the system I've devised to help clear clutter and create space for growth and new ideas, love, and happiness in our life.

AspireNow's Clutter Clearing Process:

1. Evaluate it. Decide which clutter is bothering me the most.

2. Clear it. Give it a home. Declare the proper home for the clutter culprits.

a. This may mean creating a temporary home, such as for things which truly no longer belong in my life or I want to give away to a friend or goodwill, take to a yard sale, or simply throw away. Take these things to their place within a week, if at all possible.

b. If this is a permanent item or something I wish to keep, I put it in the home I've declared for it. This requires common sense. Clothes belong in drawers and closets or hampers, not on the floor.

c. Start with the obvious. Things which are just laying around, like magazines or newspapers, clothing on the floor, bills/paperwork, or things out of place are the easiest to tackle first. These are also the things that will make you feel the most out-of-sorts.

d. Create ownership. Who owns the item? If children are making a mess, they need to own it. Also, children can be assigned weekly tasks, such as vacuuming or dusting, to help keep on top of their part of the process of maintaining clear space. In my own house, if I discover something I don't own or no longer want to own, it goes to the temporary home space until I designate time to ship these things away. Time activate sending the things off within a week though, or else you might procrastinate.

3. Clean it. This includes cleaning the clutter item and cleaning the space where the clutter was located. If you're moving clothes on the floor and they are dirty, well, then why not take them to the cleaners or throw them in the washing machine? If the drawer is empty, is there a better time to clean it than now? This is the best time to clean out the dust, mold, and other things that cause visible (and often invisible) health problems. If you ever doubt whether a room builds up dust or molds, just put a de-ionizer in the corner of a room for a week, then look at the rods while you clean it. If dust collects on the de-ionizer, it could also be collected in your lungs. I personally recommend the Ionic Breeze Quadra, by Sharper Image.

4. Focus. Do one thing at a time. Focus on one drawer, one shelf, or one room. Even if your day is quite hectic, you could find 30 minutes in one room if you just eliminated watching that T.V. show or something else from your schedule that day.

5. Be consistent. If bills don't belong on the coffee table, then don't ever take them to the coffee table.

6. When it doubt, throw it out. Do I want this in my life, today? This is a good rule; however, I also believe in asking if something is helping us create or maintain something we truly want in our life, today. If the answer is no, toss it.

7. Use it or lose it. If we aren't using something, then something we keep is at risk of becoming a clutter-bug. When did I last use/wear this? If I can't be happy with my answer to this question then the answer is clear that the item must go bye-bye.

8. One person's junk is another person's treasure. But we really are only caretakers of our possessions. We truly do not own any of our clutter, because when we die we do not take it with us. Yes, my "clutter" once seemed to be a cherished possession. I like to ask if I am not using it, could someone else use it better? If the answer is "yes" then it is time for the clutter item to go to become a "treasured possession" for a new caretaker.

9. Creating. If the item helps us create, then we may need it. Does the item help me become great at something I am aspiring to? Does it make me feel good? If so, then keep it. Otherwise, dump it/sell it/give it away.

10. Something in, something out. One way to keep life simple is to make a rule that anytime I buy something new, something old must go. This is a great rule with clothes - especially if we already have a full wardrobe. The "do I truly love this?" question is great both for determining new clothes to buy and to determine which clothes to give away.

Now that we've cleared our clutter, cleaned the space, and focused on what helps us create, it is time to get down to business: time to be the master artist/creationist we truly are.

Learn more about clearing clutter at these links:

See similar articles in Elegant Simplicity

Recommended program: Get Organized Now: Finally Free!
Recommended program: Franklin Covey Organization Systems
Recommended program: 7 Lessons From Masters of "The Secret"

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