5 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Quit Clutter Clearing

2012-08-06 16.04.46Clutter clearing is a complex process. Many people try to start and very quickly flee to the sofa, shopping mall, or anywhere but in the middle of their stuff. What makes that happen? Following are 5 ways to guarantee you will quit clutter clearing.

1. Start with paper. Paper is one of the hardest things to clear because every piece of paper requires that a decision be made. You’ll wear out your brain very quickly doing paper. It ranks up there at the top of the list as one of the most boring things to clear. And, it takes forever to clear enough paper to see that you’ve made any progress. If you start with paper when it’s not the only thing that needs to be cleared, you set yourself up for discouragement, frustration, overwhelm and failure.

2. Start with little things. Like paper every little object requires that you make at least one decision–keep it or pitch it. Every little thing is alive with an energy that talks to you. A collection of little things to sort is very noisy and overwhelming. And, like paper, you’ll have to make a lot of decisions before you’ll see and feel tangible results. You are more likely to quit first!

3. Start in the attic, garage, or basement. Attics, basements and garages can be the dirtiest areas in the home, especially if they are used primarily as storage areas. The negative energy of dirt will deter even the most conscientious and determined soul. They are also dump spots, places where people throw things that they don’t know what to do with, things they don’t want to make decisions about, or things they don’t want to deal with at the moment. As repositories of stuff that’s not used very often, the energy in those spaces can range from very static to very chaotic and overwhelming. Also, attics, basements and garages aren’t places where you spend much time. Unless they are the last areas that need clearing, starting in those complex caverns of negative energy, places where you won’t see the results of your efforts, is another great way to guarantee that you’ll run for friendlier, more rewarding areas to work or the sofa.

4. Start with anything that has strong emotional associations. Most people quite naturally avoid clearing things that bring up strong negative feelings like sadness, grief, regret, embarrassment, or anger. But, if you are unconscious that a particular item will stir memories of a loss, failure, loved one long gone, or precious memory, and suddenly come face to face with feelings you are unprepared to face, you are very likely to halt in your clutter clearing tracks.

5. Start anywhere with no plan. If you just dive into the clutter clearing process with no thought given to how you will do it and where you will start to achieve immediate positive results, you are very likely to start in the areas that scream the loudest, those places that have the most negative energy and are the most difficult to do–like paper and little things. That is a setup for failure.

Why set yourself up for failure? Now that you know not to start with paper, small items, items with emotional content, in the garage, basement, or attic, or with no plan, where do you start? With a plan to clear big things from high use areas that will produce visible results quickly.