• Linda
    Thanks for this article…our household can well relate…change req’d for 2013!

    From Trev Witt
    January 11, 2013

Conquer Clutter and Reclaim Your Life

Do you find yourself making the same resolutions year after year? For most of my life, the top two were 1) lose weight and 2) get organized. It’s been about 10 years since I finally crossed off “lose weight.” After 30 years of extremes that nearly wrecked my health, thank goodness I got off of that roller coaster.

But as my waistline shrunk, I discovered that other things besides my body were out of shape, e.g. closets, drawers, shelves, files, even electronic files, all bursting at the seams. Despite my lighter body, my world still felt heavy.

My big “aha” came about a year ago when I realized that excess weight and excess stuff are related—same set of problems, just manifesting in a different way. So I went on a mission to clean up my mess once and for all, and here’s what I learned.

When it comes to clutter, purging the piles is not the complete answer. You see, the simple act of putting things in order is only the first step toward the permanent solution. Unless we change the way we think and act on a daily basis, the spaces we occupy will return to their state of disarray.

The same thing happens when we set out to lose weight. We can go on a restrictive diet and/or embark on an extreme exercise plan and temporarily shed a few pounds. But if we want to achieve and maintain a slimmer silhouette, a deeper change must occur. Otherwise, it’s too easy to return to the familiar habits that got us in trouble in the first place.

As a coach, I have become more and more aware of the ways in which different areas of our lives are connected. Many times when we are carrying extra weight on our bodies, we are also carrying extra “junk” somewhere else. Maybe it’s in our closets, cupboards, garages or attics. Often it’s on our shoulders or in our hearts…

This year, I finally got rid of clothes I haven’t worn in years, a stack of recipes I will never prepare, and assorted odds and ends that were serving no purpose but to contribute to my stress and crowd out my joy. At the same time, I shed some old hurts, resentments and grudges, cast off unrealistic expectations and threw away my well-worn personal beat stick.

I’m feeling much lighter now.

Tips for Conquering Your Clutter

1)      Start. This may sound obvious, but it’s where most of us get hung up. Make a list of the areas of your home that need attention. Then pick a starting point. It can be one room, one closet or one drawer. Finish before moving on to the next area.

2)      Get help. If the task of de-cluttering is overwhelming either physically or emotionally, ask a trusted friend or hire a professional organizer—someone who has no attachment to your stuff—to help you sort through it.

3)      Give every item in your home a place, and then create a rule: For every new item you bring in, one or two old items must go out.

Connect the dots. Unsettled surroundings may signify an unsettled mind. As you let go of unneeded material possessions, examine and let go of negative thoughts and emotions and that are weighing you down.

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