Somewhere along the way, having relocated often, I have developed a love of de-cluttering. In fact, there have been times I have questioned whether it has been an addiction. I have since come to the conclusion that it isn’t. Instead, the habit is just an incredible blessing I have gifted myself with.
Standing in front of my wardrobe at least once every couple of months, I consider what can go. Even doing so regularly, there is almost always something that I no longer resonate with. Perhaps it is an article of clothing that doesn’t express how I see myself anymore or is not the most comfortable. Maybe it is something that has hung on through the last few bouts of culling and has finally lost its fight to stay in the wardrobe.
Either way, at least every couple of months, some clothes end up at the charity shop. (I’ve also been known to go there with only one little shirt to give away). Occasionally such a trip may see something new-to-me come home from the store. At least I know, though, that the new item adds a different energy to my wardrobe. So it is welcome. If however, I have not worn the new item within a few weeks, then it is obvious that I am not as in love with it as I thought. It is then donated back to the store on the next trip. (I consider the small price paid for second-hand item to be a worthy donation back to the charity).
When I was very ill a year or so ago, my wardrobe became the most sparse it ever had. Weight had fallen off me and as none of my old clothes fitted anymore, I released them to the charity store (which we call Op Shops in Australia – short for Opportunity Shop). As my health has since improved and weight has returned, I could beat myself up over having to then buy new items in a size I was before the weight loss. I don’t though, and that is because I am not the person I was before. So I need to express myself as who I am now, not as who I once was.
We don’t actually need a lot of clothes to express ourselves creatively. For most of my adult life, I held absolutely no interest in fashion at all. I had my own style anyway and still do. (We all do, even if we think we don’t!) Yet the more I have grown into myself and the happier I have become, the more my desire to express myself creatively has increased. There is more awareness in me now in that regard. Hence my newfound love of clothing.
With this in mind, however, my love of de-cluttering still stands. So when I try something on with the potential of buying it, I have to love it, not just like it. If I like it, it stays in the store. If I love it, it earns a place in my wardrobe. That way, no matter what I put on for the day, I am happy.
De-cluttering does not belong only to wardrobes, though. It can apply to every aspect of home. There was a time that any furniture at all left me feeling weighed down and almost strangled. In those days I was terribly restless for adventure. These days, thankfully, having a settled home base is paramount to my wellbeing. But so is being able to breathe amongst my belongings. So books, CDs, crockery plates, linen, kitchen utensils, furniture, whatever has become superfluous at home, is given away. If it is in my home, it has to be used and/or adored. If it is not – sorry item, time to go!
An uncluttered home creates an uncluttered mind. So, de-cluttering can go even further than just removing surplus belongings. I also delete old computer files and emails, empty the trash bin on my computer daily, discard any apps that are not being used. That way, when I look at my computer or phone, it is like my wardrobe – only that which serves a purpose remains. (As written about previously, to keep my life simple, I also keep emails for computer time only and deliberately don’t have mail set up on my phone. If I do need to check emails for some important reason when out, I can always sign into my phone intentionally. These moments are very rare, however.)
Over the last month, I have been doing an intensive detox program for my body. It has meant I have been quite tethered to the kitchen, with an instruction booklet telling me what day to drink this, eat that, prepare this, sip that, gulp this, take this supplement before this meal, take this one after that meal etc! As well as the food side of things, the program includes a series of colonic irrigation sessions. That way I have an incredibly clean body to move forward with on this healing journey.
Despite doing juice fasts and the occasional colonic session previously, never have I applied myself to such a massive detox and cleanout. So while I was regularly de-cluttering my outer environment, I was never fully de-cluttering my insides – not to the extent that I have through this program. The familiar feeling of spaciousness that I love after a culling of my belongings is now being experienced as my awareness shifts internally, to this wonderful, precious body that my soul currently resides in. There’s no point stopping if you’re on a de-cluttering roll after all – may as well clean out everything!
Of course, de-cluttering can also apply to people in our lives too. There does come a time for us all when it is worth looking at our relationships, and considering which of those bring ease and happiness and which of those drain us. The choice is our own as to where we want to put our precious energy and time. The only relationships remaining in my own life these days are those that leave me feeling loved, positive, connected, and especially, valued.
The best form of de-cluttering we can really do, though, is to rid ourselves of outdated thoughts. Like with all forms of de-cluttering, saying goodbye to thinking patterns that no longer serve us creates space to breathe. It also makes room for new ways of thinking, room for empowering thoughts to flow instead. Yes, de-cluttering can apply to all areas of our lives.
So, I sit in my uncluttered little house enjoying the feeling of space, despite its size. It is not empty. It is gorgeous and full of the feeling of home. Everything here belongs. But there is space to move and space to breathe. The songs of the birds float on the balmy winter breeze into my office. And I feel a sense of capability. When there are no surplus belongings, excess computer files, toxins in the body, or negative people draining on our energy or cluttering up our world, we can breathe in a way that is wholesome and easy.
I wish you the courage to detach and surrender from the parts of your life that no longer serve you. You owe it to yourself to let go. They have served their purpose. Now make space for fresh energy to flow.
I wish you space. I wish you uncluttered living. I wish you peace.