Today is “Old Stuff Day.’ Yes, there is literally a recognition for just about everything. But this day can recognize getting rid of old stuff that no longer serve you.
It is widely believed that if your surroundings are cluttered, you will not be as productive. It has an impact on your psyche which means if you unclutter your space you will also unclutter your mind. When you open your mind, your thoughts and ideas will flow more smoothly. This is one of the major ways keeping your environment clutter free will lead you to be more productive.
I have found that when my space is overly crowded, it creates frustration and stress. I often get torn with dilemma of keeping or throwing away as well as where I will put my ‘stuff’ so I don’t forget about it. As a visual person, I need to see things in front of me so this last point adds to my stress.
Why is it so difficult to unclutter? Why do people collect and hoard things? There are psychological blocks that keep someone in this state. It tends to having either an emotional attachment to an item or another fear, such as ‘what if I need the item later?’ or ‘when I lose weight, I’ll be able to fit into those jeans again.’ But how long do those items stay on the shelf?
After doing a deep purge last year, here are some tips to help get rid of old stuff and live more peacefully:
- take inventory – you have to know what you’re dealing with. Having a checklist or some type of listing will let you know what you have used frequently and what you haven’t. This action can be the start of letting go.
2 Put items into categories – used/keep; not used/discard; on the fence/maybe pile (to go through again later); donate. This is an eye-opener on what you have been using or, more importantly, what you haven’t been. I found this a good exercise to let go.
- For items that you are on the fence about or feel some anxiety of discarding, sit in the space and identify what the thought is for you; is there a sentiment attached to it, perhaps given to you by someone meaningful, does it bring back a happy time, and the like. Identifying the thoughts behind our emotions helps us to begin to find solutions to turn them around.
- Do it quickly – it’s amazing when pressure is given to see how fast we move. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is not to think and just do before any intrusive thoughts occur. Set a time for 10 minutes to start and see what you can remove from your life. If there is an emotional attachment, you will know but, most likely, you will have them sitting in the discard or donate pile.
- Remove the mental chatter and replace with positive self-talk – when a negative thought arises, stop right away, before it fully emerges and then replace with 3 positive ones; use self-talk to affirm that you are going to be okay and how much better you will feel when you are in a calmer environment. Applaud yourself for these actions and revel in accomplishment.
I remember when I was in a major purge when selling my house, which had to happen quickly, They buyer wanted to move up the date which, at the time I agreed, seemed easy to do; however, people who were to help me move were unable to come through so I essentially had to do all the moving myself. The step on taking quick action really was impactful as things went. But, how freeing it was once they were gone, which I don’t miss. In looking back, I am amazed at how long I held on to certain items which I realize were stifling for me.
You will reduce your stress levels when you create an uncluttered environment. You will be able to find things faster which gives you the time to work on important items. Even if not for work, you will have more time to spend with your friends and family. Take time each day to get rid of one thing – you will be amazed at how peaceful your life will be.
Mindset matters, so if you’re feeling stuck in your business or life, contact us to moving forward.