Physical clutter is a reflection of our toxic cultural and social norms of material accumulation. Buying more for ourselves and our loved ones makes us feel so good. It releases dopamine and gives us momentary fulfilment. We buy to show love. We buy to feel worthy. We buy to get validation from others. We buy in search of some kind of immediate inner happiness.
But when this immediate high wears off there is a come-down that doesn’t feel great at all. When the validation doesn’t come. When the kid doesn’t really love the toy for that long. When the dress doesn’t look as good as it did in the shop. When the perfume doesn’t really make you feel as empowered as the model looked in the magazine.
The positive feeling of dopamine diminishes. And then the product gets tossed aside with everything else in your home that was once so loved and needed and it quickly stacks up and before you know it you have a room full of toys, a bathroom full of cosmetics and a wardrobe full of dresses. And before you know it the very sight of these masses of things become a burden.
Clutter is also reflection of your internal state. It is a reflection of your spirit.
Decluttering and minimising your stuff can be overwhelming. Before I was ready, as I slowly drowned in a sea of toys and baby clothes, even the thought of clearing space felt unachievable and overwhelming. I was low in energy, sleep-deprived, not eating well, emotionally drained and disconnected from everyone in my life – except for the immediate physical and emotional needs of my children.
Start with the bottom drawer in the cleanest room in your house. Start somewhere small. Before your shower tomorrow just start with removing the big/ small/ ripped undies in your undies drawer. Take them straight from your bedroom into the bathroom bin. You will automatically feel a little better.
If there’s something that you pull out of the cupboard that you no longer need but that just tugs at your heart then put it in a bag and store it for a while. I have a small bag of clothes that I first put on my babies when they were born. I still have the carriers I used for months to keep my babies attached to me. I still have not been able to donate those and that’s ok. Maybe I’ll keep them, maybe I’ll get to a time when I will be ready emotionally.
For years, I thought about selling all of the stuff I had accumulated. Years worth of clothes, toys, ornaments, bikes, scooters, books! They all had so much value (memories, emotions, love) to me and I thought that they would have all that value to others who would want to pay for them. I knew I could organise everything into categories and sell them online. I could pay for a holiday for my family with the money I would have made. But as a working mother of three tiny children I just did not get around to it. It simply was not a priority and I was forever postponing actually doing the work to organise and sell.
And to be honest and in reflection, the thought of needing to sell all of the material stuff was actually coming from a place of lack. It came from need to justify having spent money on these things in the past. And one day I decided to change the way I thought about the situation. I acknowledged how well these material things served my family. I acknowledged the need I had to buy it all at different times. And then I decided that I was abundant and did not need to sell it all to justify anything about myself.
And to create even more abundance I decided that all of this stuff needed to be cleared. It needed to be donated to a charity. To be given freely, openly and lovingly to others who needed it. So that’s what I did. As I cleared each room I felt more expansive, more abundant and happier.
As the clutter in my physical, emotional and spiritual clutter continues to clear, I am finding that I am constantly making more space in my home. And when I choose to donate rather than sell I actually create more positive energy and I create more time for myself and my family. Time and space expand when you begin to do the work – you don’t need to sell it, you will feel even more abundant when you donate it. When you begin to clear the cobwebs in your mind, body and spirit, you will literally find the need to clear the cobwebs in your physical space.
Clutter sits in all areas of life. As you do the work in one area, you will see how smoothly and naturally you create space to begin to clear others. Once you begin to consciously make all of your decisions in reflection then your life becomes a piece of art that you continuously craft. You are choosing what goes in and what goes out across every realm of your existance. What do you choose to put in your body? What do you choose to expend from your body? What do you choose to bring into your home? What do you choose to let go of? What kind of beliefs, thoughts and stories are you allowing into your mind? What kind of beliefs, thoughts and stories are you perpetuating?
Clearing your clutter is a cleansing process. It is about making choices and decisions based on reflection and from a place of internal peace and worthiness. It may sound like too much effort and it is. But beginning to do this work can change your life and the lives of your family.
Do life with love, Leila A