7 Great Reasons Why It’s Time You DeClutter
How does a day spent with Coach Diane “Didi” Weekley help en*lighten your life?
First of all, let me just say to you, if I had any idea I’d be coaching people on how to declutter when I first enrolled in Coaching School back in 2008, you could have knocked me over with a feather-duster.
It was when I read Marie Kondo’s book, The Japanese Art of Tidying Up, that all my life experiences converged in the great Epiphany! Space – “the final frontier” – where “heaven and earth meet” — my love for “negative space” and “form plus function” — that was it — I fell in love with the Art of Creating Space and new avenues to live into my calling.
Why is decluttering more important than you might think?
First of all, you feel more organized with enough time.
We live in an extremely busy world with many conflicting expectations and priorities. Living fast and hard from one activity to another, work to school, school to home, home to the gym, carting kids to Scouts or karate or dance…. It’s a lot to manage and all those activities require additional “stuff” you have to do something with. Ugh!
It can get pretty crazy on the run, especially if you don’t have a “place for everything and everything in its place”. My grandmother used to say that to me all the time. I hated hearing it. Bottom line, organizing all the things required for all those extracurricular activities takes time, and managing your time, feeling like you have enough time, is pretty essential to a life that feels like it works.
Second of all, your relationships improve exponentially.
Having stuff ready to go, organized for easy access is important, but have you thought about how your stuff may be impacting someone you love or who loves you?
If you have so much “stuff” that there is no room for your significant other’s things, what does that say about how you really relate to one another? Do you see that special someone as an individual with their own wants, needs and desires? Does he or she feel important to you? Is he or she fully open and honest with you about your stuff? Is clutter a bone of contention in your relationship? Maybe it is a regular topic of conversation. Or maybe it only comes up when tempers flare and the not-so-pretty side of yourself shows up in that fighting not-so-fair way of fighting that, if we are truthful, we all know we do. Have you ever sat down not in the heat of the moment to share what is really going on with you about all the “stuff” in your life? This can be a thorny conversation to have, and can feel difficult, but it’s worth a closer look.
Or maybe you’ve been on your own for so long you’ve filled up your space with so much stuff there isn’t much room for someone else. If that’s the case, is there any space physically or emotionally for real connections with a special someone? If you want someone in your life you may need to ask yourself, “What needs to change or be released to allow the space for it”?
Thirdly, you sustain a sense of freedom.
Have you ever felt like it’s Ground Hog Day foraging for your keys? Here we go again, trapped in the daily hunt. Have you noticed how much time is lost “on the hunt” for things when there is not a specific place to put it? Shuffling through piles of papers or books you haven’t read in a millennium. Trying to find that “one piece of paper” you knew you put somewhere. Or maybe it shows up in your closets. Trying to figure out which outfit works or feeling stymied because the closet is overflowing but you “have nothing to wear”. Wishing you had something new, vibrant, something that matches your inner wild self. You can feel stuck.
I had gotten to that place. My closet was overflowing, but nothing worked or inspired me or delighted me. Picking out what to wear was a chore. No wonder I resorted to wearing so much Black!
Can you connect with the feelings of frustration, of feeling stuck or trapped? If you do, ask yourself this question: Is life really worth all that? Should life be about “the daily hunt”? Or is life about freedom to move to the next thing with ease and grace? What would it take to change it?
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Fourth, laundry days are quick, simple and efficient at saving time.
One solution some folks I know have tried in the effort to save time is to just buy more clothes so they could save time by not doing laundry as frequently. That seemed to save time, less frequency washing, but then their clothes and drawers and laundry baskets overflowed — onto the couch, on to the floor — just about everywhere. It created more clutter in the long run — lots more work when laundry day rolled around, and too many clothes turned out to be a time wasting pit that made laundry activities something to dread.
Having way too many clothes that need to be washed, folded, put away — forget the ironing because who has time for that — all this takes time. Having fewer clothes means doing laundry more often, but faster and more efficiently, saving time. Time you may secretly desire to use to write that book you’ve always wanted to write, or take up painting or pottery, or just being able to sit and “Be”.
Fifth, when you make space in your life literally, you make space in your life emotionally and soulfully.
Years ago I read a poem by an extraordinary woman, Mary Oliver. Through a line from The Summer Day she asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Have you found out? Decluttering creates space to answer the question.
Sixth, less clutter means less stress.
I believe that our surroundings, our outer life, reflects our inner life and that we are at our happiest when our outer life nourishes our inner life. Take a look around you. Is your space topsy-turvy with things? Is every inch of wall space, table top space, closet space covered or crammed in? When you look around you how does your world make you feel? If the answer is “not so good”, it’s time to DeClutter.
My goal for you is to create a home for your soul, a sanctuary, a place to breathe easily and regenerate. As you experience feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment in your surroundings again or maybe for the first time, you may feel more confident, happier, and better able to breathe. When you breathe easily you are more in touch with your mind and emotions – your soul has room to Be. When you “b-r-e-a-t-h-e” you “stress less”. Space with everything in its place means less stress.
And finally, Seventh, your overall physical health will improve.
Less clutter means less dust, dirt, and pathogens in your home. Cleaning becomes easier as you are not having to move stuff to clean. Removing dust and dirt from your home can help your allergies, asthma and prevent more issues and problems. To learn more about the causes of breathing issues, click here.
Which brings me to how I support my clients when they declutter and what to expect when we work together.
I could come in to your house and tell you what to get rid of, how much “stuff” you ought to keep, set you up for some level of minimalism or standards set by House Beautiful, give you advice on what looks best.
Here’s the skinny.
I believe that you know exactly what you need and want and that your choices are the right choices for You. I also know that many times we don’t know what we want because we’ve forgotten what delights us. You may have been taking care of everyone else so much you’ve lost touch with your essential self — you’ve forgotten what you really like and love and what makes you go “WOW”. Connecting to that inner wisdom is like a muscle — it takes practice. You may not have used that muscle in a long time.
What I have noticed is people who want their space decluttered often have closets and drawers that are overflowing as well. We start with your clothes and then move on to the rest. By starting with your clothing, those items that are most intimate to your daily life, you gain practice in getting in touch with your soul; what brings you enjoyment and delight. As a dear friend of mine once said, “I only buy those things that shout back at me with a resounding YES!” Some things we own shout back at us saying, ‘Oh Yeah!’. Others quietly whisper, ‘Yesssss’. As you declutter you discover what gives you a thrill. As you declutter you may be surprised when you ask yourself, “Does this item shout back and say, Oh Yeah?” “Does this (item) bring me delight?” at just what type of answer you get back. And if the answer is “NO way” then Out it goes!
Many people put off decluttering because they think it will take too much time. They go into overwhelm at the thought of sorting through drawers of t-shirts, blouses, pants, junk drawers. THE LINEN CLOSET! Ack!!! That is even scarier! It’s easier to just ignore it or promise to do it another day.
Get this – it’s amazing how following a system eliminates the terror and effectively handles that issue in 50% less time than you might think.
Decluttering is an art and a science. I use Marie Kondo’s methods along with some of my own to make the process easy. I like to take before and after pictures and encourage you to do just that if you tackle this on your own. The sense of satisfaction that comes with completing the process is amazing to behold. I stay close to my clients, partnering with them in their process of establishing a real connection to each item they must make a decision on. Sometimes people get stuck. Memories connected with something sometimes clouds the issue.
This is when the natural born coach in me kicks in. Through curious questioning we explore why the hanging on seems so necessary and how just the opposite may be true. The letting go is necessary to move forward to what you really want next. Can you imagine living in a space with only those things that bring you joy and delight?
What gifts can the Universe bestow upon you next? My clients find it’s often more than they ever could have imagined from a simple day of decluttering!
We can work virtually or one-on-one in your space. Whichever works best.
You’ve just read 7 Great Reasons Why to It’s Time to DeClutter. Which one is your most pressing reason? Is it space for more peace and calm in your home and in your heart? Is it more harmony in your relationship or perhaps attracting a new one? Is it a move toward more minimalism, for greater meaning with the things around you? Is it because you are down-sizing and you want support in making the tough decisions?