Tag Archives: self-esteem

Clear Clutter Daily for a Great 2018!

On this eve of a new year, I was thinking about the work I do — clutter clearing to help people

Clear clutter daily for a great 2018!

get unstuck and moving in the direction of their desires, dreams and goals. Some people think of clutter clearing as a dreaded activity that happens when you can’t stand the clutter anymore, when you’ve got to find something, or when family are planning to visit. That’s the problem.

To keep your life moving and vital, it’s essential that you clear clutter daily, that it be part of your daily routine. Clutter blocks clear thinking, lowers productivity, and lowers self-esteem. When you clear clutter intentionally on a daily basis, you will be able to find what you need when you need it, get more done, think clearly, make good decisions, and feel grounded and in control of your life. Also, there will be little need for a major clutter excavation except perhaps occasionally in storage areas like closets, the attic, basement or garage.

Daily clutter clearing is about maintaining order in your life by regularly cleaning up, putting things away, throwing things away, recycling things, and giving things away. Following are the most important clutter clearing activities to make yourself do every day:

  • Put your clothes away. Hang up your coat and other outerwear. Place dirty clothes in the a dirty clothes hamper, and hang up clothes that can be worn again. Put your shoes in your closet. Put jewelry in your jewelry box.
  • Put away things that you use: tools, utensils, toiletries, supplies, kitchen utensils, etc.
  • Process your mail. Sort it, and recycle the junk mail immediately. Take important papers (bills, papers that require action, papers to be filed) to the location where you will deal with them later.
  • Empty shopping bags immediately and put purchased items away.
  • Restore order immediately after you’ve finished a project, a meal, or a creative endeavor. For example, after a meal, put away everything associated with the meal — dishes to the dishwasher, leftovers to the refrigerator, spices to the spice rack, etc. If you’ve rearranged furniture, put everything back in place before you stop.
  • Throw away trash.
  • Put plastic, metal and glass containers in recycling.
  • Throw away anything that is broken and cannot be repaired. For example, no one repairs printers these days because it would be cheaper than a new one. Just put your dead printer in the trash.
  • Give away things that are useful but that you no longer love or use at least once a year.

Many of the above activities are boring and repetitious and often are procrastinated. In 2018 choose a more helpful perspective about those activities to motivate you to take action every day. One way to think about daily clutter clearing tasks is to remind yourself that each small task is an investment in maintaining a peaceful life, a life where it’s possible to function at your highest level. Most of those tasks take just minutes to do, whereas digging out accumulated clutter can take hours, days or even weeks.

Make a commitment to yourself and others that you will clear clutter daily, and I guarantee that you will have a new story to tell at this time next year!

Happy New Year!

Clutter & Distraction

DSCN0014Clutter and distraction go hand in hand. Clutter has a very negative, noisy energy that beacons you to do something about it. I’m sure it’s pretty easy to see that the visual appearance of clutter is distracting. But, actually clutter creates layers of distraction.

Not only is clutter visually distracting, shifting a calm space to an uneasy, unsettled space, but when you look at clutter it stirs both thoughts and feelings that are also distracting. For example, picture yourself walking into a room that has pockets of clutter in it. When your eyes scan the space you might be thinking, “What a mess!” or “I can’t believe they left this room like this!” or “I’ll never get this room straight!” Those thoughts then trigger feelings like disgust, anger, hopelessness. 

Negative attracts negative. A space with pockets of negative energy in it stirs up negative thoughts and feelings. Anything negative is distracting. To get back on track you are challenged not only by the appearance of your space, but by what’s going on in your head and heart.

Where to begin? You have no direct control over your feelings. However, if you clear clutter and/or shift your thoughts to more hopeful thoughts like, “I can clear this clutter 15 minutes at a time,” or “I can clear this clutter with help from others,” negative energies will shift to positive and your feelings will follow along.

When you avoid tackling your clutter challenges, you are investing in distraction. Over time the distractions only become more negative and paralyzing. Distractions reduce productivity which in turn affects self-esteem and sense of well-being.

What will you do today to reduce clutter distractions and invest in yourself? Remember, clearing ANY clutter will reduce distractions and shift negative energies to positive.

Clutter Clearing Shutdown, Facing An Anxiety Challenge

IMG_1324

Anxiety provoking clutter challenges can be faced with caring support.

According to Eric Maisel, PhD, author of The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path through Depression,  a normal internal reaction to a perceived threat is anxiety. The purpose of anxiety is to keep us out of harm’s way. It triggers the impulse to flee, to retreat.

For years I’ve watched anxiety rise up and shut down clients in the process of facing their clutter challenges and the decision-making it involves. But, I wasn’t clear about the source of the anxiety. Sometimes it seemed to be a by-product of overwhelm. At other times it seemed like avoidance of doing a challenging task. And, for some it seemed like a fear of making a mistake. I had never considered that the source of their retreat was an instinctual response to a threat to their self-esteem.

With this new perspective I can see that a person facing a nightmare of their own making would certainly feel anxious and want to retreat. They might be thinking:

  • I’m such a mess. How could I let it get this way? (I’m flawed)
  • I don’t have a clue where to start. (I don’t know)
  • I’m overwhelmed. (I’m weak)
  • It’s too much to face. (I’m incapable)
  • I caused this. What does that say about me? (I’m responsible and incompetent)

It’s much easier to flee from threats to your self-esteem than turn and face them. People are neurologically programmed to run from threats. If it’s natural to retreat in the face of anxiety-provoking clutter, then how can progress be made?

First, it’s important to be aware that anxiety is the culprit in your avoidance of clutter clearing. Naming the challenge is one way to reduce its power over you. That frees you to consider options for neutralizing the anxiety so progress can be made.

Over the years of learning to manage my own anxiety and working with clients for whom anxiety is an issue, I’ve learned that the best way to handle anxiety is to get support. Anxiety is much more likely to expand and run the show when you are alone in the ring with it. Add caring support and any threat can be addressed and eliminated. That’s why people who have been stuck in self-defeating behaviors and a state of inertia begin moving when they get help from professional organizers, coaches, therapists and supportive family and friends. Anxiety is debilitating. Support is empowering.

Could anxiety be at the heart of your stuckness? What support would make forward movement possible?