Bringing Sanity via a Bin Bag

My partner recently fixed a shelf for me in my study.  It had been a bit wobbly on the wall for weeks.  OK, months.  Now, my DIY skills are such that our routine consists of me fixing something, then him following me round….. well….. fixing it!  So, I left this one to him.  It was a very straight forward job apparently, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the difference it made to the room.

For months, I had been pushing things to the back of the shelf every day as they’d slipped forward as the shelf got more precarious.  It had become quite a routine.  Switch on the laptop, push things back up the shelf.  Eventually, I had to move most things off it as they just ended up falling off.  So, then suddenly I had a shelf that was straight, and things stayed on it.  I had a wonderful half an hour sorting out what I wanted to keep, and putting everything back and arranging it in its rightful place.  And, for some reason, the room looks completely different.  It looks organised; it looks professional; it looks tidy and clean.  And, a little bit of the fog in my brain lifted somehow.

A couple of good friends have recently shared experiences of having a good old clear out, and we all agreed that it’s so therapeutic; even when it’.  How come it has such a major impact?  There are lots of ways of thinking about it, but some of the most common are;

  1. It lets you see your precious items as they’re not hidden away.
  2. It gives you access to all the things you need quickly, and can save you time
  3. Stuff can weigh heavily on our energy levels – reducing stuff can free up energy
  4. It can make you money if you sell rather than throw/donate
  5. It can give you a great feeling knowing that a local charity will benefit from the stuff you don’t want (or even knew you had!!)

I’ve realised I’m just talking about physical stuff here – many people come for coaching to declutter emotional and mental stuff too.  And, it has the most amazing impact. ‘Outer order has indeed contributed to inner calm’ Ryan Nicodemus. Holding onto anger and resentment means there’s no space for creativity, calm and imagination.  Remaining in unhealthy relationships takes lots of energy which leaves less for meeting the people who will help you be your best you.

So, once the decluttering is done, there are a couple of really simple things you can do to keep it that way;

The first one is very powerful; imagine what you want your room/mind/life/space to look like when you’re finished.  This can serve as a great motivator to keep going, even when you’re tempted to hang onto all that stuff.  Make it as clear as you can; colours, sounds, size, people, activity, season etc as this will make it even easier to work towards.

The second one is one I love and can be applied to whatever you’re doing/buying/investing in/thinking.  Ask yourself, how will this item/activity/thought etc help move me forwards to where I want to be in life?  If it won’t, or it’s not adding much value – ditch it!  Or, it’ll end up in your wardrobe/mind/display cabinet for life!!

It feels very relevant that I’m writing this in the New Year as its’ a perfect time to begin.  If anyone is looking for me, I’m the one with the roll of bin bags!!

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