Decluttering the physical environment and how it can help clear your mind.

Written by Donna Roberts, NLP Master Practitioner and Miriam’s Admin Guru

I don’t know about you, but I have certainly noticed that there is some weird energy going on at the moment! This is partly to do with the eclipses that are happening this month – we’ve just had the solar eclipse on March 8/9 and are in the midst of a 2-week portal before the lunar eclipse on 23 March (which also happens to be my birthday!). This energy is helping us shift old ways of doing and being that no longer serve us, and some of you may have noticed a desire to clean out closets and declutter your living space.

 

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Physical decluttering has been shown to have a clearing effect on our inner environment as well as the obvious clearing in the outer environment. How can this be? you may ask. Well, if we take the perspective that our outer environment is a reflection of what is going on inside, we can start to see how chaos may be present in both, and that letting go of the physical stuff – the old clothes that we no longer wear, ornaments that sit collecting dust that we’ve had for years and years – allows us to let go of the emotions and feelings that may be attached to those items, bringing us greater peace of mind.

So, what are the best ways to go about decluttering, given that the size of the job may be overwhelming if you look at everything you need to go through. There are a couple of methods that can be used, the first is one is quite ruthless and emotionally detached and focused on removing items we no longer need or use whereas the second is about only keeping those items that bring joy and positivity to our lives.

Method 1 – pick one room to start in and obtain several large boxes or baskets. Label these boxes

– “tip or bin”, for rubbish, stuff that is broken and cannot be used

– “recycle”, for stuff that can go into the yellow recycling bin, such as paper and cardboard

– “op shop”, for items that are still serviceable that you no longer want or need

– “other rooms”, for all the things that belong in another room – the idea is to remain in the room you are working in, and not get distracted!

– “sentimental stuff”, the things you’ve had for a long time, and aren’t sure where else they might go right now

– “other”, this is for the items that are possibly useful and you’re not sure whether or not you will use them in the future.

The objective is to sort through everything in the room, and add it to the boxes as appropriate, keeping only the stuff that is meant to be in that room, and that is used regularly, organising it as you go.

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Once this is done, you have a week to take the first 3 boxes to the appropriate places – putting stuff in the bin can be done immediately, of course! The items that are in the “other rooms” box need to be returned to their appropriate locations.

For the last 2 boxes, it gets a little trickier and this is where the ruthlessness comes in! We now need a further 5 boxes, this time labelled “1 week”, “1 month”, “3 months”, “6 months” and “12 months”. Items in the “other” box are then sorted into these 5 boxes according to when you think you are likely to use them – remembering that if you do not take them out of that box in that time frame, they must be disposed of either by binning, recycling or taking to the op shop. You are NOT allowed to move them to the next box!

Do the same for the items in the sentimental box, asking yourself, “do I really love this item and what it represents?” Applying method 2 here may help!

Method 2 – this is the KonMari method developed by Marie Kondo, the author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  A fabulous blog post http://theartofcharm.com/empowerment/the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up-how-to-clean-up-your-life/?hvid=1N91y6 sums it up perfectly from the author’s perspective.

The basic principles of this method is that every item you have in your personal space – home, work, life/relationships – should bring you joy. The method starts with gathering together all the items in one category – books, clothes, utilitarian items – and going through all of them, asking yourself “does this item bring me joy” (the author of the above blog suggested substituting “gratitude” for “joy”) – if the answer is ‘yes’, the item stays, if the answer is ‘no’ then the item is placed on the ‘discard’ pile (which can then be sorted as per the 1st 3 boxes in method 1 above). By the time you have been through all the items you own, you will only have those things around you that bring positivity and joy into your life, allowing that feeling to permeate all aspects of your life!stopholdingmakeroom

So, how does the energy of the eclipses tie in with this? Solar eclipses are energetically about endings and new beginnings, leaving behind one chapter of your life and starting another. This year, the eclipse season is about shifting to a new paradigm of doing and being, leaving behind the old ways. This can, in some cases, also mean ending relationships that no longer serve us, so that we can build new relationships that are grounding in the new paradigm we are creating. So, do the deep emotional work, clear the “old crap” and get ready to ride the waves of the new energy that is bathing us now!

And don’t forget to apply this ‘rule’ to new things you purchase too – if it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t buy it!