What do you think of when you read the word clutter? Is it the closet that when you open it, things fall on your head? Is it the junk drawer in the kitchen or the room that you close the door when friends visit rather than tackling the mess? Have you ever considered that there are other kinds of clutter? Here is a definition of clutter that I like:
…clutter is any excess in life or emotional baggage we haul around that weighs us
down, distracts from our purpose, robs us of joy and mind-body-spirit health.
Let’s look at four types of clutter. Where does your clutter live?
Physical clutter in our environment is the “stuff” we purchase and collect that ends up in storage bins in the basement or in the storage unit we pay for to hold all of our unused stuff. This clutter can be found just about anywhere—closets, drawers, garages, cars, and offices.
Physical Clutter can also collect in our bodies. Consider what kind of “stuff” are you filling your body with? Are you carefully considering how you are nourishing your body or are you allowing yourself to become ravenous and then grabbing whatever is readily available? Junk food is the kind of physical clutter that weighs us down, consumes our energy and robs us of health and wellbeing.
Digital Clutter can include calendars, planners, computer files, texts, emails, twitter, pictures, etc. According to Mark Hurst, author of Bit Literacy, “When you have to-do items constantly floating around in your head, or you hear an alert every few minutes from your phone, your brain doesn't get a chance to fully enter a creative flow or process experiences." This kind of constant barrage of information and stimulation can lead to the final category of clutter.
Mental/Emotional Clutter. Our over consumption of digital “stuff” has the same impact on our brain as physical clutter. It can overload our senses, impair our decision-making and drain our mental energy. Our mind can also hold dust and cobwebs just like our physical space. This might include old ways of thinking and behaving, outdated beliefs, false stories we tell ourselves, and relationships that weigh us down.
When we recognize that clutter is negatively impacting our life, what can we do? The key question to ask yourself is, what deserves a space in my life? This can apply to the “stuff” gathering dust in the basement, relationships, destructive habits or limiting beliefs about yourself. Here are just a few suggestions for beginning the decluttering process.
Remember you can choose what you want to have in your life. If you don’t need it, use it or love it, it is not serving its purpose or usefulness in your life or the world.
Ask yourself, does this bring me joy and add value to my life?
Unfollow any social media that doesn’t nurture or uplift you.
Release what no longer serves you and feel the freedom that brings.
So, where does your clutter live? Let’s begin to release what no longer serves us and make space in our life for the things that matter most!
~Live Simply, Coach Linda