“My house sent me to your class!” Those are the words of a participant in a clutter clearing class I recently offered. Her story was that she’d been so busy with caregiving for older family members that her own house had suffered and had become quite cluttered.
There are times when the urgent needs of others take all our time and energy. When that happens one of the first things to slide is maintaining our own home. We figure that when the crises pass we’ll catch up. Unfortunately, if you let your own home go for very long, you’ll end up with a chaotic clutter challenge that you’ll find overwhelming and want to avoid.
When that happens, I recommend you first look for things to purge. Here are some suggestions:
- items you hate
- items to donate because they are still useful and you haven’t used them in more than a year
- items that are broken
- items that have a negative association with a person, place or event
- items that don’t work right
- items that are irritating (not children or spouses).
Just focus on reducing the volume of items in your space. Don’t worry about organizing anything until you’ve done a thorough purging. The magic of purging is that moving all those things out of your space shifts and releases energies that are then available to you. Purging also creates space that feels so good that you are more likely to want to keep working to restore order to your environment. You will also find it easier to think and make decisions.
Overwhelmed by the size of your clutter challenge? Focus on purging!