You can make the process of letting go fun, turning the task of de-cluttering your life into an addiction. Guaranteed, the more you practice letting go of what is no longer serving you, the more freedom and joy you will feel. Incorporating an energy of releasing the old to make space for the new will bring you into alignment with the natural, abundant flow of life, giving you a sense of peace knowing that everything you need will come to you in perfect timing.
De-Cluttering Your Material Possessions
Think about it, all of your possessions belong to the person you have been in the past. If you're like most people, the majority of your possessions were acquired months, years, or even decades ago. Much of this "stuff" is a reflection of your old and outdated energy. When encountering your possessions, ask yourself... does this item reflect the person I'm consciously creating myself to be?
Try out some of the following ideas for clearing your physical clutter. They require little or no time, and the payoff is receiving a huge energetic boost as well as activating the flow of abundance into your life.
A friend of mine showed me this wonderful way to de-clutter your clothing. Choose one or two days per week (or more if you like) and set the intention to give away a piece of your clothing to someone who will be simply delighted to receive it. It's important that you set the intention of this energy exchange of (you) giving and (them) receiving. Next, look into your closet and see which article of clothing grabs your attention (if you set your intention, something in your clothing should make itself seen). Now, wear it for the day. And, if you encounter someone who compliments you on it, they are the intended receiver. If, on the other hand, you received no compliments on it, then you have a choice to make. Ask yourself if wearing this item has given you feelings of joy, confidence, and pleasure. If the answer is "no", then it's time to either sell it, or donate it to your local charity shop. Once washed, express gratitude for the joy this item has brought into your life, and take action: a) give it to the person who complimented you on it, b) list it for sale, c) put it in your charity donation pile, d) return it to your closet with a "thank you" and a smile.
If you practice this process once or twice a week, you'll find that you'll soon have a clutter-free closet. And, you will have generated an abundance mentality around clothing which will surely result in you having an entire wardrobe of clothes that bring you joy and happiness when you're wearing them.
Also, another easy closet de-cluttering option is to simply hang all your clothes with hangers in the reverse direction. After wearing an item, face the hanger in the correct direction. Discard the clothes you never touched after the season ends.
Your on-line presence and digital space is also energetically affecting you. Keeping a tidy email account and keeping the files on your computer organized, backed up and easily accesible is important when it comes to helping you feel digitally organized and in charge of your on-line assets.
Your Other "stuff"
Schedule an amount of time each week to perform the following routine. Any amount of time will do... even if it's just 5 minutes 3 days per week. Whatever amount to time you decide, write it down and then set yourself appointment reminders so that you'll remember to it.
Try it for a week and see just how good it feels to let your old stuff find its way to a new home. Once you've made your weekly plan for when and for how long you will spend de-cluttering you "stuff", use one or more of the following tips to get you started.
Choose one item to sell or give away each day. So, if you had scheduled 5 minutes, 3 days per week as your plan, you could spend the first day locating 7 (1 item for each day of the week) items to either sell or donate. Then on the second and third days, you could spend the 5 minutes taking photos and listing the items you wish to sell. You can just keep a box handy for the items to donate and place those items in the box. Then, once the box is full, take it to your local charity shop. With just 15 minutes per week, this plan could remove 365 items every single year from your home. Later, you could increase your goal to two items per day, and keep increasing this number once it gets too easy.
Take the 12-12-12 challenge. Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to be returned to their proper place. If you've only budgeted 5 minutes, you could instead do a 1-1-1, or a 2-2-2 challenge.
Walk into your home as if you're a first time visitor there. The moment you see an area that needs de-cluttering help, dedicate the time you have available to cleaning up that area (either by putting items where they belong, or by setting them aside to donate or sell). Then commit to keeping this area clean. If you stick with this practice every week, you will eventually find yourself in a clutter-free home.
Based on the prior tip, you can also take before and after photos of the areas you de-clutter. Refer back to them often to inspire you and to give you a sense of pride for the good work you're doing.
Get four boxes and label them: trash, donate, sell, and re-locate. Set them in a central place in your home. Spend your allocated time putting items in one of the four boxes. Once a box is full, deal with it.
For the items that you sell, use the funds to either celebrate with an evening out or treat yourself to something new with the money made from the sales.
De-Cluttering Your Relationships
For most people, de-cluttering their relationships is a difficult and often avoided task. We fear letting go of people in our lives without knowing what will be on the other side of it. We are also afraid of hurting the other person. Regardless, it’s important to assess where you currently are in your relationships, and where you want to be.
If a relationship is bringing you more negative feelings that positive feelings, then it's clearly time to let it go. But many times a relationship has just run its course, yet we stay in it because it’s familiar, rather than releasing it to make room for something more fulfilling. We fear the unknown... and we worry that we will cause the other person pain.
Here are some signs that your relationship (regardless of whether it is platonic, romantic, familiar, and so forth) might either need to be cleaned out or let go of:
The relationship is one-sided, and you are doing most of the work to hold it together.
Your partner, friend or family member doesn’t respect your boundaries.
You feel unsupported and unheard most of the time.
Either you, or the other person, is generally uninterested in spending time together... and any time you do spend together feels forced and unfulfilling.
You can feel it in your gut that it’s time to move on.
Take some time to assess your relationships, gauging the level of respect, mutual interest, reciprocity, and trust in each one. If you find that any are consistently falling below your standards, ask yourself what you’re gaining by hanging on to that relationship? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to work through your concerns together, as every relationship needs to be nurtured. But any relationship that consistently takes up space in your life without adding value to it needs to be de-cluttered.
As I mentioned before... you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. When it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced by the people closest to us. Our relationships affect our way of thinking, our self-esteem, our habits, and our decisions. So, it is prudent to choose your relationships wisely... to choose them consciously.
Make it your intention to start becoming aware of your relationships and the energetic effect they are having on your life. Begin to notice which relationships are consistently lifting your up, and which ones are consistently bringing you down. Once you become aware and clear about the relationships in your life that need to be decluttered, you can follow this three-step process to do so...
1. Become completely clear about what it is about the relationship that is not serving you, and write it down in this format:
My need that isn't being met is _______________.
It isn't being met when you do this/these thing(s) ________________.
Would you be willing to do this/these thing(s) instead _____________?
2. Once you're completely clear and have written everything down, schedule a meeting with this person. Item by item, share with this person the needs you have that are not being met (using the same format as above). As you communicate, avoid being confrontational, judgemental, or aggressive. Instead, set your intention to communicate in an open, honest and kind way. Be vulnerable, and communicate with your heart open. Know that this person is doing their best, and that they aren't meeting your needs because they either aren't aware of them, or because they don't know how. If you feel them becoming defensive, let them know that you're happy to discuss this later after they've had time to process the information, and ask if they'd prefer to read what you've written first, before talking about it. If so, give them a copy of your notes. Also, communicate to this person that you value the relationship you have together, which is why you're investing your time and energy in trying to improve it. Ask them if they'd like to take the time to see if they have any needs that you aren't meeting, and to communicate them to you in a similar manner. Be open to the possibility of taking your relationship to the next level. When both people are committed to the relationship, magical transformations can happen.
3. If, after you've done your best to communicate your needs and your requests for having them met, this person is unwilling or unable to change (or at least to make an effort to begin supporting your needs), then it's time to let the relationship go and to move on. And while it may be a difficult and painful process, there is no better investment for your future than to de-clutter your relationships.
Social Media Accounts
De-cluttering your social media accounts is another great way to improve the quality of the energy you allow to flow into your experience. If you notice information coming into your various feeds that doesn't lift you up and inspire your life, take the time to "turn off" that source of information. We are bombarded by so much information each day - why not take advantage of fine-tuning this energy stream so that it serves you to fullest potential?
De-Cluttering Your Habits
Your time is something you can never get back once you've spent it. Each of us have the same 24 hours in a day, and it’s up to you to decide how you will spend your precious time. There are activities you want to do (those that bring you joy and that are in alignment with building the future you desire - activities that make your life worth living), and there are activities you need to do (those that keep your life in order, those that support your health, your home, your personal affairs, and so forth). And if you're like most people, there are also a lot of activities that you do just because they "pop up". Unfortunately, for many people these extra activities consume vast amounts of their time.
In order to live a conscious life, you must master the art of consciously saying "no". You see, every time you say "yes" to one thing, you’re also saying "no" to everything else. You can never get your time back, so be careful where you say "yes" and make sure that when you do, it is in alignment with your dreams and your purpose.
It's also important to avoid over committing and spreading yourself too thin because your energy is also limited. When you spend all of your life-force energy on activities that drain you, you find yourself unmotivated and unable to focus your energy on creating your dreams life.
Become a time and energy snob, and choose your yes's wisely. Here are some tips to help you practice being more time-conscious.
Take the "Hell Yeah!" Challenge: For one week, commit to only saying "yes" to those things that are absolutely essential and to those that you feel a "Hell Yeah!" about doing them. In other words, if an activity is presented to you and your gut response isn't "Hell yeah, I want to do that!", then politely say "no, thanks". You'll be surprised how many things you decline that you would have otherwise done. Then, use that time consciously. Do something that lifts you up and brings you joy. Do something that makes you feel proud. Look at your passions lists from Week 2, and find an activity that helps you get closer to living your passions. Perhaps you've been wanting to get into better shape... you could do a workout using a YouTube video, for example. Or, you could try something new and creative... like painting, or writing a poem. Use this time to get to know yourself better... to find your limits and push them a bit further. Remember, in order to redefine yourself, you have to starting acting different. What would your future you be spending their time and energy on?
Logging Your Day's Activities: Decide to become aware of the times you say "yes" to activities that may not be serving you, and the times when you say "no" to activities that could. Then, after participating in a particular activity, make a note in either in your journal or on your phone that indicates the activity and how it make you feel after doing it. As you will see in the following example, it becomes very clear when you write it down which activities are lifting you up, and which are taking you away from your true joy. Once you've done this for a few days, you'll likely begin to naturally become more discerning with the times you say "yes". Here's the example of what your log might look like this after a particular day of doing this exercise:
Went for a morning hike -- felt amazing!
Met a friend at Cappuccino for a coffee -- enjoyed the time, but felt bad after because I couldn't resist the carrot cake.
Spent 2 hours working on my new project -- felt happy because I found some new inspiration!
Went to pick up my child from school and they really wanted me to take them and a friend out to lunch in a nearby town, so we went, and then they wanted to go to the beach so we did that, too -- It was fun, but we arrived home late and I wasn't able to finish the work I wanted to do on my project so I felt disappointed with myself. I also spent more money on lunch than I had planned which made me feel a bit stressed.
I didn't have time to do the workout I had planned today which made me feel bad about myself.
After dinner, I watched a show on Netflix because I was too tired to do anything else -- Afterward, I felt like I had made several bad decisions for the day and just wanted to go to sleep and start over tomorrow.
Planning Your Day: Successful people plan. If you want to make sure you're able to dedicate your limited and priceless time and energy to the things you want most, you'll need to create a plan and then stick to it. Make sure to budget some free time so that when activities come up that are outside of your planned activities, you can look at your agenda and decide which ones you're willing to spend your "free time" on. If you only have a small amount of time allocated to "free time" each week, you will likely choose carefully the moments you say "yes" to, and you will better able to focus your time and energy where they matter most.