I was reading a story about Paris Hilton the other day (yes, I am that shallow.)
She had a new man. I was confused.
Didn’t I read last week that she already had a man? (See, I really am that shallow – I read about her all the time.)
I read further and learned that that man was her old man because now she had a new one.
Inside a week.
Sheesh, I don’t change my sheets that often.
I got to thinking about the parallels of her life with mine.
You know how it goes…
(Well, maybe you don’t but bear with me.)
You’ve been mulling things over. (And I’m not talking wine, here.)
You lack your normal enthusiasm for your favorite things. (Let’s not even get started on your un-favorite things.)
You want something different but you’re not sure what.
Life seems humdrum. Settled but not exciting. A bit grey around the edges. You’re ambivalent but not hateful. Perplexed rather than anti.
When you get a free moment, you slump.
It’s like life in a hammock – easy to fall into, even comfortable for a while but ultimately unproductive and difficult to get out of.
Well, I’ve been contemplating life from my hammock place just recently.
Something has changed.
Like Paris and her man, the love affair with my laptop has been shaken.
It hasn’t been giving me the rewards I’ve come to expect from a big pash.
I’ve been feeling a bit down after spending time with it and reluctant to go on as many dates.
So we broke up and while I couldn’t go strictly no contact, I went on a laptop diet.
Which freed up my day no end.
I spent time with my children, interacting rather than merely inhabiting the same physical space but entirely different mental planes as we surfed our different electronic worlds.
It was fun but then they dumped me, went off to camp and left me alone in an empty house.
I was determined not to go back to my laptop.
I am an empowered woman, am I not?
And one day, while I was slumping on my own in my sad, little world (aww, so sad, too bad,) I pulled out a book I read many years ago before I moved to the US, before I had children even.
I can barely remember my life back then.
But I do remember this book.
I’ve owned at least two copies before, lent out, never got back.
It’s that kind of a book.
The cover is a gorgeous thing and being (yes, I know, I know,) one of those women who have little interest in what goes on under the hood/bonnet but who is entirely riveted by the color of the seats, the cover of a book will often draw me in and make me buy.
But this time, I found my latest copy at a secondhand book sale.
Gorgeous, interesting and inexpensive?
Had my name all over it. 😉
And now, all alone, I picked it up.
Maybe I was a sad, lonely soul on the rebound from a fading love affair with my laptop.
Maybe I was unable to be alone and enjoy my own company as I rattled around my home like Paris changing her men as quickly as she changes her knickers (and not in a superhero way.)
As I gazed on the orange of the poppy and the yellow of the candle, juxtaposed with the black of the tabletop in the cover photo, I knew what would fill the hole in my life.
Clearing my clutter.
Physical, electronic, mental.
(Very mental if that statement about Paris Hilton is anything to go by.)
Three weeks it’s been now.
I didn’t have a lot of stuff to begin with.
I have even less now.
It’s been something every day. Sometimes a lot of stuff, other times only one thing.
And I’m still going.
I’m still not sure where all this will end up. The process isn’t quite over.
But I feel I’ve turned a corner and things are starting to settle.
I know for sure old half-finished projects are getting resolved.
One way or another.
Freeing up energy these halfway projects were dragging down.
Clutter clearing makes my energy hum.
I book the donation truck and I get to work, piling bag after box.
Sometimes I get sad I paid good money for an item that didn’t get used or not as much as I’d like but I shake myself out of it.
It serves no good purpose.
Many treasures are unearthed besides the ones that end up on the driveway. Just today a tin I’d long forgotten about was the perfect storage solution for some tangly bits.
And the cleansing is satisfying, justifying, even electrifying as new possibilities are exposed to the sunshine.
I firmly believe clearing clutter can change your life.
10 Reasons Clearing Clutter Can Change Your Life!
1. You gain energy. Ever set a small clearing goal and got so motivated you couldn’t stop? That’s what I mean. It feels sooooo good. Great to do when you’re a bit down (but not so down you make poor decisions.)
2. You gain a place for the eye to rest. Not having anywhere for the eye to rest can be stressful even when the body is able to. I found that even my kids play better when the place isn’t strewn with toys.
3. You gain space. More space so you can see the things you actually have, more space to create anew, fresh ideas, investigate different paths now the junk’s all out the way.
4. You get to pass on your stuff for someone else to love. Someone who will use it and enjoy it. (Are you listening, Paris, darling?)
5. You find money. Nearly always. I found two $10 gift cards to Target I purchased 4 years ago! Your old junk can also be a money raiser for a organization. Making something of nothing is one of the most uplifting feelings you can experience.
6. Clutter from the mind and the body often follows physical clutter out the door. As I clutter clear, I find my mind mulling over things for a while then it just stops. Everything becomes more mindful as I think about what I’m doing instead of darting from this to that. Physical, mental and body clutter inevitably go out the door.
7. You gain closure. As I sort through my kids clothes, I enjoy the memories, remembering the times when they were small enough to wear them. Folding them up and donating them is an acceptance that they’re not that little any more, they’re on their way to big, strapping lads and it’s time to move on.
8. It feels liberating. You realize how little you really need, how much of what we have is unnecessary, outdated, of no use. Therein lies freedom from ‘things.’
9. You re-discover forgotten treasures and discover new ones. I found some ornamental teapots I hadn’t seen in years. Finding them gave me such a thrill, I wondered what on earth I’d being thinking storing them away in the first place. I also donated items to our community theater for period piece props (yes, I’m that old. ;-))
10. It brings a consciousness to new purchases. As you pass along items you no longer use or never used, it brings new attention to the purchases you do make. Do I really need this? Do I truly love it? Is it more stuff to clutter up our home and stress myself with? Or do I just need to do without, repurpose something else, or simplify what I have?
11. You traverse the neutral zone. When I’m a bit lost, looking for direction, in need of a purpose or goal, I often turn to clearing out. That neutral zone where something has ended and something else has not yet started feels a lonely, unproductive place. Having a clear out can occupy that time with some purposeful activity without making a premature commitment (something you definitely don’t want to do when going through this temporary stage.) The lessons you learn as you go if you clear mindfully can even help you reach the other side and form part of your next project, job or lifestage. Clearing clutter can work wonders!
Now I seriously doubt Paris Hilton clears her own clutter but someone must. She shops, she drops (some serious cash,) she probably plops. Maybe she buys a bigger house to accommodate it all.
But I think she would gain a lot of benefit from the process, don’t you?
Like, maybe, take a breath between men.
Or perhaps actually go see Paris.
Now, that would be progress.