Tuesday, December 1, 2009

De-cluttering December

This past year I've been "dabbling" in clearing out clutter. I've cleaned out some drawers, organized closets and did a mass cleaning on the basement. Little things like that. I've felt this inner desire to clear more, but have managed to set it aside - until now.

In November, I took the art every day challenge very seriously. Within the first three days of art-making, I rearranged my studio. This is when I felt a huge shift. Moving some furniture and organizing my supplies freed up so much creative energy, I honestly felt swept away by it. It has been amazing.

And now the desire to clear every part of my house is too huge to ignore! As I get ready to share my e-course with you, I am highly in-tune to my observations that our lives are reflections of what's going on inside our heads. That the forms, or symbols in our external world are reflections of our thoughts. So if I'm living in clutter, there must be some clutter within myself that needs dealing with.

I don't think having "things" is a bad thing. I love my things. And, yet, I'm in a new place in my life where I am finding it much easier to know when it's time to let them go. Everything has a time and a place. Just because it served its purpose 10 years ago, doesn't mean it still serves that same purpose today. So why are we holding onto it?

I've come to the realization that many times we buy, or hoard, or hold on to things in an attempt to distract ourselves from dealing with the deeper stuff. You know, the stuff that says we aren't good enough, or don't have enough, or need this or that to feel validated and important. I also find that holding on to things for that day when we might need them, puts out a message to the universe that we don't trust that it will provide for us in the future. I now believe that instead of holding on to every art supply known to man, thinking I'll make something with it one day, I can let it go, knowing that when the time comes, the supplies and the projects will find me. But I need the SPACE, or when it's ready to find me, it won't have anywhere to go.

I know that if I clear old socks out of my drawer and put the pairs neatly together, I feel much better when I go to that drawer where I can find my favorite pair of socks with ease. The same thing has to apply when I think about my thoughts. If my mind is bouncing from thought to thought, regretting the past, or worrying about the future, I know that this mental clutter is taking up precious space where I could otherwise feel more at peace. I see my home as an extension of my body. The closets are the arteries, and we all know what happens when we clog arteries, so I'm seeing that clearing the closets has to help my home (and life) run more smoothly.
To honor my need for space this holiday season, I'm giving myself the challenge of de-cluttering something everyday in December. It can be as small as my sock drawer or as large as an entire room, but it MUST happen. My intention for clearing is simply to create space. I'm trusting my intuition that greater, BIGGER, deeper change is on the other side. (On the right side of my blog I'll post each day what area I've conquered!)

Your Personal Reflection: Are you ready to de-clutter December? Look at the "clutter" in your life and see how you can take small steps towards creating more space. What things" are you holding on to, and what are you ready to let go of?


  1. I SOOOO needed to read this post today. I too have been cleaning out closets and what not but more so in preparation for a move I have coming up in a month or so; the less to move the better!
    I had planned on cleaning out this big box of old stuff I had, letters from High School, cards from family, etc. and I couldn't bring myself to do it. However, when I read that me reisiting letting go of those past events is stopping me from truly becoming and creating who I am now, I realize that I must let it go. I keep thinking that some of those things are what I will want to show my kids, but in reality it is just junk, clogging up my arteries. :)

    There are a couple notes I will keep, like the 'I Love You' note my dad put in my lunch box when I was in 2nd grade or the journal I had from when I was 8 (those stories are hilarious!) But for the most part, the rest of it can go. It most certainly is clogging up my future.

    Thank you for sharing this post! PS. I love your new Twitter Pic!)


  2. this is just the thought on my mind! my attic is due for a huge purge soon. i don't even want to go up there - i'm afraid the mess is going to eat me alive!

  3. Tis the season!

    I just posted yesterday that now AEDM is over I am going to clear out my house {let me tell you---there is plenty there to clear out!} and I got a small start on the project today.

    Perhaps I will get some of the side benefits you mentioned as well!

  4. Good for you, Shannon! I am a bit of a clutterbug - I did a decluttering e-course in February and went on a decluttering spree. I really did quite well, I think, although I have to admit rather shamefacedly that some of the garments and objects I dragged down to the garage, got carried back to the house a few weeks later. But only a few! The rest were all given away to charity. Books are really my worst - I gave away hundreds when we moved to a smaller house, and regularly put piles in a bag for charity now, but even so, before i know it, I have bought dozens more. Oops.

  5. What a great, thoughtful post. The sense of freedom that de-cluttering brings is enormous. As you say, "things" aren't bad, but they are not what ultimately makes us happy. Thanks.

  6. Very well written Shannon. You've gotten me excited too, about de-cluttering. You've tapped into some mysteries of the human condition as to what hoarding means. I have 4 junk drawers in my kitchen. There. I've admitted it. Now to clear out..

  7. oooooooh my... what a post.

    i agree wholeheartedly... the connection... and i know i certainly could use some de-cluttering.

    when i tackle this and that... even a small something... i feel a true "lift"... there IS a shift... a change!

    i am loving your thoughts. love that you share!
    you certainly inspire... !


Thanks for sharing!