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Too Much Stuff? 4 Steps To Freedom From Clutter

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Too Much Stuff? 4 Steps To Freedom From Clutter

Tackle Piles Of Clutter 15 Minutes At A Time
Dr. Christiane Northrup
Dr. Christiane Northrup More by this author
Jan 27, 2017 at 09:00 AM

As an ageless goddess, you deserve a home that’s a haven from the outside world, a place where you can replenish yourself.  That’s why in my book, Goddesses Never Age, I invite you to free yourself of negative emotions as well as any possessions that don’t serve your greater health and happiness. Possessions carry emotional energy and constantly talk to you, so you want to let go of objects that you don’t love, even if they’re practical.

Clutter isn’t just draining. It can accumulate dust, mold, and mildew and cause respiratory illnesses. You’ll literally have trouble breathing because of all the old stuff you’ve been carrying around. That’s why it’s very important to let it go—along with any old emotions attached to it.

In addition, piles of stuff in your home are one of the greatest stress triggers. Clutter literally increases your cortisol level! When you have a lot of clutter in your home, it has the effect of distracting you and can even cause chronic restlessness. When you reduce the noise of the things around you, you can focus on creating your life. 

Tidying Up with The KonMari Method

I want to share with you a book that has absolutely changed my life. It’s called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way to Banish Clutter Forever by Marie Kondo, the creator of the KonMari Method. As the title says, this is a very simple (though not easy) way to get to the root of your clutter problem and help you to resolve it once and for all: If you don’t love it, don’t keep it! 

With the KonMari Method, you can get out from underneath your clutter once and for all.

Here’s how:

1.    Set aside enough time to tidy all at once. You need to devote a good amount of time to this project and tidy all at once. Tidying bit by bit never works. 
2.    Visualize your ideal lifestyle. Think in concrete terms, such as: “I want to live like a Goddess, surrounded by peace and beauty.”  This will allow you to throw things away that support your ideal. Be as specific as possible with your goals. 
3.    Ask yourself “why?”  Asking yourself “why?” gets to the root of your needs to declutter.  Do you want to live clutter free so you can sleep better?  If so, why? Maybe you want to sleep better so you can be more efficient at work?  Why do you want to be more efficient at work?  Maybe it’s because you want to spend more time with family and friends. When you find the answer to your “whys”, you are ready to move on. 
4.    Cherish what you love.  Tidying is not just about throwing things away, which can bring unhappiness.  It is about making space for more joy.  Take each item in your hand and ask yourself “does this spark joy?” If yes, then it stays. If the answer is “no,” then throw it out. Touching each item allows your body and emotions to tell you what stays and what goes. 
5.    Tidy by category and sub-categories. Most people store items that fall into the same category in multiple places. For example, you may have clothes in your closet, in a guest room closet, in the hall closet, and even under your bed. Tackle it all at once by taking every single item of clothing out of every closet. Then, sub-categorize your clothes. Start with tops, then bottoms, then jackets. 
6.    Tidy in the proper order. Ms. Kondo lays out the following order for tidying: Clothes, books, papers, and miscellaneous. Once again, you will need to sub-categorize your items. 
7.    Remove discarded items first. Before you put away any items you are keeping, you must first remove the items you are throwing away. Putting things back before you finish throwing away won’t work.

Once you’ve created your haven-like home, establish routines to keep up your beautiful space so it doesn’t become cluttered again. Do this even as you continue your emotional release work and it will be easier to let go of things you feel you ought to hang on to “just in case.”

Every time you bring something new in, take something old out

Feel the pleasure of letting go of the junk -- and the emotions, such as guilt and shame -- attached to it so you can restore the flow of chi. And if you want to retain a sentimental memory, take a photo or digitalize your pictures and videos so you can go back and reminisce without having a basement stuffed with storage bins.

Dr. Northrup’s 4 Easy Steps to Decluttering

Just beginning the process of decluttering can feel overwhelming and cause you to put it off. Here’s how I recommend you get started:

1.    Set your intention. Say aloud, “Divine Beloved, please change me into someone who is organized and whose surroundings are beautiful. Show me what needs to be released.”

2.    Use the KonMari Method.  Read the book or just go through the steps I outline above. 

3.    Take in how good you feel. When you’ve finished throwing out what you no longer love, cleaning anything that’s become soiled, and rearranging the items you’re keeping, stop for a minute or two and take in how good it feels to have that much decluttering done.

4.    Repeat this process.  Decluttering is not a one-time thing, it’s a lifestyle. Be sure to repeat the process again tomorrow—and the next day, and the next.

Now that you have taken the steps you need to declutter you home, imagine someone else getting joy from your discarded items. If you have “declutterer’s remorse,” here’s another trick. Imagine someone receiving your old possessions and being thrilled by them.

Feel the excitement as you picture someone putting on the sweater that never really looked good on you anyway, plugging in the appliance you only used once a year (if that), and being grateful for this treasure. When you know someone else will get joy from something that you really don’t love anymore, it’s easier to let go of it.

To further make your home a haven and let the chi flow, bring nature indoors through nature sounds, fish tanks, natural light, plants, photographs, and window views of nature.

Decorate your living space with natural scents and flowers, or pinecones or stones from the beach, or whatever makes you feel a connection to the Mother Earth energy of nature. You can get apps for your computer or devices that play the sounds of birds singing, waves lapping against a shore, and so on.

No matter how small your space, no matter what limitations you feel you have in your life, open up to possibilities by letting your grief, anger, and shame flow out and your joy flow in. Emotional release and physical decluttering open you up for living agelessly, with a renewed sense of vigor and enthusiasm.

About Author
Dr. Christiane Northrup
Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and the world’s leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. A board-certified OB/GYN physician who graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and did her residency at Tufts New Engl Continue reading