CLUTTER!!! We all deal with it in some form every day. Whether in our homes or office, our email inboxes or our Facebook notifications. There always seems to be so much clutter to sort through to get to the useful stuff. The necessary and important stuff.... And if you are a mum of small kids, you'll find your handbag on it's own can quickly become a minefield of your kids clutter!
This photo was taken last week. If I were to label it, it would be called "Clutter"!
This is how my study looked just after moving into our new home a week ago. In fact, every room had a similar look. Everywhere I looked I saw stuff. Clutter. "How did this happen?" I ask. How did we come to accumulate so much stuff?!? And this is AFTER a few car loads to Salvos to off load the stuff we no longer needed! So after a few days of sorting and unpacking, we are all moved in and still have a double garage stacked half full with "clutter" that we either have no use for, or no space for.
While pondering the clutter and trying to decide what to do, I discovered a dilemma. Certain pieces of the garage allocated "furniture-clutter" seemed to be non-negotiable keepers. Specifically a beautifully made yellow wood server with matching mirror. You see, this set was gifted to us 20 years ago as a wedding gift. A really generous gift from a beautiful aunt! We know that it is a unique Johnson Brothers creation from Pietermaritzburg in South Africa, an area we have considerable family and friend history with. An area that we have very fond memories of. We didn't bring much furniture with us from South Africa to Australia, but these items made it into the "keeper" category. Now it seems we no longer have the space for them. Do they stay in the garage to collect dust until we someday find the space for them? Or do we say goodbye to this sentimental set, a piece of our history that has been a part of our home for so long?
The more I thought about this the more I got to thinking about another type of "clutter" that we hang on to. I'll call it mindset-clutter. I started to consider the mindsets that have been given to me over my lifetime. Years of school, university, work, and communication with loved ones and friends tend to leave a mountain of mindsets in their wake.
What mindsets do I no longer have space for, or a need for, yet I cling to them because of where they come from or who they come from? One example I can think of is the mindset of "comparison". Somewhere along the way, I collected this one and packaged it neatly into my repertoire of mindsets. Another was "people pleasing"...argh, thankfully I dumped this one out a while ago, although at the time I tried to hang on to it as I was so familiar with it! Another is "fear of failure".... and the list can go on. The truth is, that when we do declutter these unresourceful, unwanted and unneeded mindsets, we gain a clarity of mind that allows for growth, peace and happiness.
So, how do we declutter? There is an art to it...
As with the art of coaching, it all comes down to asking yourself a collection of really high quality questions.
Here are my top five questions to ask yourself when it comes to decluttering:
(These can be used to declutter anything! From your email inbox to your mindsets... and even your garage!)
1. How is this serving me right now?
2. What kind of energy is this giving me right now?
3. What would happen if I ditch this now? What would happen if I hang on to it?
What would I choose to do with this if I hang on to it?
4. How important is this to me?
5. Do I need this to achieve what I really want?
Give it a go! Print out these 5 questions to ponder when you next open your full email inbox! Happy decluttering!
As for my garage dilemma, when I've asked all these five questions, I come to the conclusion that our yellow wood set does in fact get to stay for a while longer...it's all the other stuff packed around it that must go for now!
Do you feel overwhelmed by clutter? Does your mind feel bogged down by mindful clutter? Do you recognise certain mindsets you'd love to ditch but are not sure how? Click here to find out how coaching can help you to declutter, gain clarity and to live the life you've been designed for.
Till next time,