Sunday, April 01, 2007

Spring Cleaning

With Spring just around the corner, it was interesting to read an article this weekend about decluttering your life.

The author, a life coach, was encouraging readers to be brutal with their “stuff” and clean out fifty items from their lives. Books, for example, just counted as one so you could not cheat by recycling 50 books from your collection. No, you had to take a systematic approach and work your way through your home. She also recommended keeping a list, so you can look at it later and actually feel lighter.

As someone who has lived in the same house for 23 years, raised two daughters who have left and come back but never empty-handed, our basement looks like a battleground. We have a two-car garage that has not seen a car in years, as it too is home to the leftovers of lives lived elsewhere.

And if I am really honest, I am a bit of a packrat. I’ve had several careers and still have the paperwork to prove it. I’ve kept every file, study or report that I have ever written… just in case … you know, I may need it again.

But what was really interesting about this article, was the premise that when you get rid of the clutter in your life, it is much easier to move on to letting go of the negative thoughts that litter your head and hold you back. And you can count them in your fifty!

She suggests you make a list of the old convictions, fears, negative assumptions and depressing voices that weigh you down and commit to letting them go. Every morning for two weeks, recommit to eliminating them from your day-to-day thinking and congratulate yourself on the progress, however slight.

One woman was concerned when she contacted the author because she’d only got rid of one thing – her partner. But as the coach said, that was perhaps all she needed to take control of her life again.

Her advice – spring is here, and it’s time to lighten up. Don’t let yourself be shackled to irrelevant debris of the past, either physical or mental.

So, as I start to sort through old files and boxes of stuff, it becomes very freeing, and already I feel lighter because of the process.

What are you going to throw away? Start counting…

1 comment:

Janet Auty-Carlisle..living la vida fearless said...

Anne, This is a great exercise and one I suggest everybody do at least once every few months. When we moved to our current home we had to downsize tremendously. I can't tell you how liberating it was to not have to worry about "stuff" any longer. We can now find our paperwork and I don't feel so trapped in piles of stuff around my home. Thanks for the reminder. Living la vida fearless...Jan