Ok, so you feel really great about clearing out your clutter and want to keep it that way, right? If you don’t change a few key habits, you might find yourself back in the exact same cluttered place. Don’t let this happen to you!
One: Stop the retail ‘therapy’!
There is a psychology to purchasing – when you feel down or unbalanced and go shopping to make yourself feel better, you end up choosing things that are not really you and will not feel good to you once you are feeling better. This is where we tend to impulse shop, overspend and regret our purchases. Replace retail therapy with a healthier alternative; go for a walk in nature, exercise, talk with a friend, read a good book…you get the picture. Changing this habit will stop bad purchases from becoming future clutter.
Two: Be thoughtful about everything that comes into your home.
Yes, EVERYTHING! From junk mail to gifts, know that everything that comes into your home affects your energy in some way, so choose a positive influence. Get in the habit of asking yourself how something makes you feel and if has negative feelings around it, let it go immediately! Don’t put it somewhere to ‘decide later’, just let it go now.
Three: Be grateful for the things you have.
I have a small newspaper clipping in the bottom of my Christmas ornament box that I ‘find’ every year that says to be grateful for what I already have. To want what you already have is liberating! Being grateful in the context of clutter clearing simply means honouring what you have by keeping it clean, in good repair and ensuring it has a place. Organizing your belongings and tidying up each day will help to keep the peaceful atmosphere you’ve created.
This was meant to be the last installment of my clutter clearing series – but who I am I kidding, clutter clearing is never completely finished. As we grow and evolve, so should our living spaces. We will need to keep at it so our homes support our newest dreams, adventures and the lives we want to lead.
Here are a few of my favourite books on organizing and clearing clutter to keep you inspired! xo
I promised a while back to give you the inside scoop on shungite, the stone powder we mixed into the primer for our bedroom. Why did we do this? Being sensitive to EMF’s, we wanted to create a wi-fi free zone and protected space for sleeping. See full post here.
Shungite is an ancient stone found in northern Russia that has been credited with many healing qualities, one of which is to provide protection from the electromagnetic radiation that comes from computers, cell phones, microwaves, televisions and wi-fi emanations.
This stone is also used for healing purposes and considered a ‘miracle healing stone’. It is positive, grounding, calming, and associated with the base chakra.
I work on a computer a lot and find it helpful to wear a shungite bracelet. I also find it especially helpful when I am visiting Toronto. (Wi-fi in the subway cars? Are you kidding me? Let’s bounce radiation around a metal box with people trapped inside and see what happens over the long term. Don’t get me started…)
Other crystals that are wonderful for your home:
Amethyst – protection, overall healing, aids with sleep and dreams
Citrine – cleansing, creative, abundance, joy
Rose Quartz – calm, loving, peaceful energy
Selenite – comfort, peace, protection
Clear Quartz – cleansing, healing, balancing, amplifying
Tourmaline – grounding, protection, balancing
My go-to source for information on crystals, and the one I use in designing my healing bracelets and jewelry is The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall. You might also find this great blog post helpful from The Luminous Spirit, titled Crystals 101: How to Use Crystals and Which Ones to Start With.
If working with crystals seems overwhelming, try just one. Go to a quality source, and see what calls to you, hold it in your hand and pay attention to how you feel. If it feels great, take it home, study it’s properties and place it in a location where it can greatly benefit.
If you are skeptical about their healing properties, the intense colour and beautiful geometric shape of crystals can simply enhance your home’s decor.
Once a year London hosts the London Gem & Mineral Show which takes place on November 18-20, 2016. It’s a great place to learn more about crystals and purchase something special for your home. Maybe I’ll see you there! xo
So you’ve cleared a lot of your clutter and are expecting to feel what I’d promised – light, spacious, full of possibility…and what you’re really feeling is anxiety about all of the empty space. Don’t worry! If you are used to being surrounded with lots of stuff, empty space can feel a bit uncomfortable, or even downright scary. You have two choices here 1) fill it with other stuff as quickly as possible or 2) sit with the emptiness a while, let it become your new normal. You already know where I stand on this. Relax. Breathe. And learn to find comfort in the empty space. Change can take a bit of getting used to, give it time. See the empty space as potential, as possibility, as open and wide as the sky. xo
If you have been procrastinating tackling your clutter, wait no longer. The stars are especially aligned to support shedding activities over the next few weeks. You may also feel like I do, that September is a chance to start over. A new year, with new beginnings. So let’s make room for the new by clearing out the old. It’s not just physical clutter, it’s also the emotional and energetic stagnation that is attracted to the clutter that needs to shift. And it will shift. There is a lightness that comes from letting go. A sense of breathing a bit easier, of spaciousness, and what I can only describe as a sparkle. And who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle?
There is much information and many books written on the subject of clutter clearing. One of my favourite authors on the subject is Karen Kingston (I will be studying with her this fall!), author of Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui and Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. Check out her website here for lots of great tips.
Some experts say tackle it all at once, some advise one small area at a time and whether you find joy in each item you own (and keep) or choose to eliminate it all and start over, the process may be different but the end result is the same. A shift to a more conscious space. A lighter, fresher home, full of possibility and promise.
No matter how you tackle it, to me it boils down to this bit of wisdom.
During the next three weeks as you move through your own clutter clearing, I am happy to answer questions and help you get through moments where you might feel a little stuck. Send your questions via the comments below or a private note to me on the services page.
To get us started here are my top five FAQ’s regarding clutter:
- What if someone I love gave it to me? Oh, the guilt gift, we all know this one. We don’t really like it but we hold onto it for fear of insulting the giver. Look at it this way, every time you look at the item or even think of the item, it is depleting your energy. Lighten up and give it to someone who will appreciate the item. As for the giver, their intention was not to give you a gift that would bring you down, right? (and if that was their intent then you need to let go of more than just the item…just sayin’). Seriously, once the gift was given, it is yours to do with as you wish.
- I’m so overwhelmed, where do I start? I would say start with one room and set aside enough time to go through it start to finish. Start with closets or cupboards. Pull everything out, make the decision to keep, donate or throw away each item. Be sure to give both the room and each item a cleaning before putting it away. Return all items that belong in other rooms. And get the donation and garbage piles packed and out of the house right away.
- What do you mean by energetic cleaning? Lower frequency energies are attracted to clutter and create a heavy, dull feeling. By physically moving items, and getting rid of items that are personally heavy for you, the energy in your space will shift to a higher frequency, which feels light. In addition to clutter clearing, there are many ways to consciously raise the energy levels in your home, such as; a good vacuum cleaning, burning sage, using sound (bells, clapping, drumming) or having a professional energy worker clear your home.
- What if it’s not my clutter but belongs to someone I live with? This is a tougher one. There are reasons why each of us hold onto things. If that person is not ready to let go, they will quite quickly replace the clutter you have cleared. The best way is to focus on your own things and spaces. The shift will benefit the other and hopefully inspire them to do some clutter clearing of their own. If it’s a child, teach them to regularly go through their belongings and make decisions to pass along toys and clothes they no longer need or use.
- Is there really a connection between my outer world and inner world? YES! One reflects the other. Are you disorganized? Are your thoughts? Is your house drowning in stuff? Are you feeling heavy, overweight, depressed? Are their untended repairs in your home? What part of you are you neglecting to nurture? There is a definite connection between your physical space and your inner being. The saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is true. In the sense that you need to be clean (clear) to access the divine spark within you. Creating a nourishing, conscious space, free from clutter will help you connect with your own truth, your deepest desires and your ability to see the opportunities all around you.
Obviously, I believe that clearing clutter is incredibly powerful. I also believe it can help you to shift in other areas of your life through the simple act of letting go. Try it for yourself! I challenge you to clear your clutter. Roll up your sleeves and get to it! Imagine me in the background cheering you on…you got this! If it’s too hard to do on your own, enlist the help of a friend who is kind and able to be objective. Once your clutter is gone, pay attention to how you feel and how your home feels. Keep an eye out for shifts in places you were stuck, for new opportunities that pop up, for connections with new people and most of all any new desires, journeys, and paths that unfold.
Good luck everyone! I can’t wait to hear what has shifted for you. Please share your stories! xo
It might seem like this story should have come at the beginning. Or maybe we needed time to fully appreciate all the synchronicities that led us to the yellow brick beauty. The house search was not easy. It began even before we left Toronto. After a deal fell through, we decided to rent a place in the neighbourhood we wished to live. We were lucky to find a beautiful, newly renovated home in Wortley Village to settle into during our search. And what a search it turned out to be.
Fifty houses later and five failed offers got us pretty discouraged. And then it happened.
We needed a fresh start. In the backyard fire pit we burned all of the listing sheets, purchase agreement offers, and notes on all of the houses we had seen. We consciously let each failed offer go and opened ourselves up to finding exactly what we were looking for. We wrote a list of all the elements we wanted in our new home.
The next day while out walking we saw a ‘coming soon’ sign on the yellow brick beauty. We immediately contacted our agent’s assistant, Lindsay, (our agent was away) and asked to see it before it came on the market. The listing agent was holding off showings until the open house that weekend and holding off offers until the following day (wait a minute, this sounds a lot like Toronto real estate!) I must have watched the online marketing video of the house probably 50 times and KNEW this was our home. I begged to get in to view it just before the open house. The agent agreed. We arranged for Shane, our amazing friend and contractor to meet us for the walk through to make sure the house was structurally sound and required minimal repairs. With his approval we would be able to put in a clean offer.
We were in the house less than 20 minutes and in my mind we had already moved in. This was home.
In that moment I made a promise to love this house.
We worked with rock star realtor, Veronica Jovicic to put together a solid offer. We also drew a picture of ourselves holding a sign with our names, the words ‘new homeowners’, the yellow brick beauty address and put it with the listing photo. We kept this image in our minds as we waited…
On offer day, four other offers were presented. We bit our nails as we waited outside the yellow brick beauty for the homeowner and the listing agent to review all offers. 45 minutes seemed to take an eternity. Finally the listing agent emerged from the house and my heart sank as he walked towards the vehicle of another potential purchaser. Veronica assured me this was good. I could hear them talking and laughing for an impossibly long time. Then the agent turned towards us and I held my breath as he walked the 100 feet to where we were standing. He was about 20 feet away when he said “Congratulations, you guys got it!”
We almost couldn’t believe our ears! A flood of happiness, relief and gratitude washed over us. After a little jumping up and down (ok, a LOT) and thanking the agents we celebrated our good fortune. Our new home, our new lives could finally begin on solid ground. And I could, once again, enjoy the process of falling in love with a beautiful old home. xo
A new year brings renewed energy and intention. What is your intention for your home and how you live? What if your decorating plans weren’t about getting a new sofa or light fixture but developing a deeper relationship with your home? You can create a home that supports your dreams, your hopes for your future, your evolution. This is a home with consciousness, a home with soul.
Inspiration for your future goals could be as simple as creating space for these activities to occur. Set up a writing corner, art table, reading nook, meditation room, or a place to roll out your yoga mat. Make a list of what is most important to you.
Don’t think you have enough space? Take a moment to walk through and review how you currently use your home. Go room by room, write things down. What can you let go of to make room for your new aspirations? How about old projects that have long been abandoned, seldom used exercise equipment, clutter that belongs to people who don’t even live in your home, etc. Let them go. Don’t be afraid to switch things up. As we evolve, so should our living spaces.
So this year, when planning decorating projects, ask yourself: “Does my home support how I really want to live?” Living each day in a space that aligns with your dreams and intentions is possible and feels absolutely amazing! I’d love to hear your design plans for the coming year. All the best in 2016, happy decorating!