Thanks to a great article by Jacey Edson on forgetting New Year’s Resolutions, I am kicking them to the curb and putting up a big “Welcome” sign for goals. If you haven’t yet, you must check out her blog. I came up with a nerdy equation for 2015: Goals + Focus = Abundance. Yep, abundance is my goal for 2015 and I am already off to a great start; feeling dressed for success and refreshed.
It’s only the first week and I felt this way at the breaking of a new year and you can too! I tell you what. The last 5 years have been nothing short of a whirlwind. My husband, our 17 month old daughter, and my 9 month pregnant self purchased and moved into our first home. A couple years later we had our third child and in between all that, I quit one job to start my own coaching practice and decided to go back to school to become a teacher. Lots of growth in the last five years and I have loved every changing moment of it.
Well…. almost every moment. I haven’t so much enjoyed the CLUTTER that has surrounded me. Clutter is what has become my focus for the start of this year and how to rid my life of as much of it as possible. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Ask and It Is Given by Ester and Jerry Hicks, you are missing out on some great nuggets for life. It is full of tools to help you change your way of thinking and attract the life you want to have. I’ve read it through a couple times and find something new to apply every time. Mostly I love how it has helped me to listen to God and what he is trying to tell me. Hopefully He will have to spend less energy beating me over the head in 2015.
I have been losing the emotional clutter over the last two years and now it is time to tackle the material clutter that surrounds me. In the above mentioned book, they present a “Clearing Clutter for Clarity” approach that I am absolutely LOVING! In short, you get to lose the clutter without wasting away hours of your life trying to sort it all out. How wonderful.
So for New Year’s Eve and Day, I focused on toys, stuffed animals, books and my office. I chose these areas because I spend much of my days and energy searching for a toy to play with or an animal to sleep with for the kids, picking up books, and I work from home so my office space is sacred. I hate when energy is being sucked from me due to these areas in my life.
This is how we did it with the toys and stuffed animals (I got the kids involved). We got out a bag for the animals. Any animal that wasn’t currently on the floor or in their bed went in the bag. Then they each chose three animals to keep on their bed. No more. I assured them we would store the rest away and that they would not get given or thrown away at this time. They had fun telling me stories about each one as they went into the bag and why the remaining got stay. We did the same with the dolls!
On to the toys: If it hadn’t been played with since Thanksgiving, it went in the bag. This surprisingly took care of the majority. The rest had to fit in the toy box and three totes that fit nicely on the book shelf. Speaking of the book shelf, we did the same with the books. We all have our favorite kids’ books that get read time and time again. They each got to pick three additional books to keep. The rest went downstairs to the book bins. Downstairs is the out of sight, out of mind area. There will come a day to do this process down there to and actually permanently purge items, but for now it is about decluttering the immediate space for clarity and peace.
My office space was full of notes, notebooks, journals, tax preparation for as far back as 2011, old text books, and all sorts of things that somehow never found their place or I thought I would need… someday. I got an empty box and dove in. Anything that was not immediately needed for a project I was working on was placed inside the box. I opened up my excel spreadsheet and noted everything that I placed inside “BOX #1” and alphabetized the list. I have a record of what is in there so if I ever need it, I know exactly where to go.
I can’t begin to describe my new found clarity through this process. The creative energy has streamed in and I have noticed it after only a few days. I am excited to continue the process in other areas- like the bathroom cupboard and closets.
I hope you will give this clearing clutter for clarity process:
- Collect five to twenty of the same style box or tote
- Ask yourself, “Is this of immediate need (this week)?”
- If “yes,” leave it where it is
- If “no,” place it in the box and record the item on paper, in the computer, or voice record for transcribing at a later time.
- Stack boxes neatly in storage area out of sight.
- Revisit boxes at a later time. Purge what you haven’t used. Continue to store the rest.
- Repeat regularly.
Happy decluttering, friends!