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Decluttering: Purging your way to more air

I have never liked clutter and the sense of things being out of control around me. Clutter is synonymous with mess. Clutter is synonymous with ‘things’ around me that don’t add value but that take up space. Clutter zaps energy and contributes to stress.

I am always purging to reduce the clutter around me but these days I am purging on steroids! What I am realizing is how amazingly freeing it is to clear away stuff that I don’t need and to rid myself of papers that are not relevant. Through this process, I am clearing out the old and anticipating a path forward that is different than my past and offers excitement and potential.

Clearing out stuff means acknowledging that my past life is no longer and recognizing where I am now. It involves assessing my current lifestyle, my current interests, my current focus, and my current sense of self. Through purging, I cleanse the old me and I embrace who I am today. This is energizing and relieves stress.

Decluttering clears my physical space and my mental space. Less clutter means more room for me! Less clutter means more air to breathe. Less clutter means not being stuck in the past but living in the present. Less clutter makes me feel that a weight has been lifted and that the air around me is clearer.

Purging is a process that takes consistent effort and investment of time. Decluttering is not something that can be accomplished in one day. I find that focusing on one area at a time is helpful and that setting goals can also help. Here are a few tips that have helped me:

  1. Start small. Tackle one drawer, one shelf, one cupboard. Eventually, you may tackle one room.
  2. Sort items (use 3-4 boxes) – give away/donate, recycle, throw out, keep
  3. Use the OHIO method – Only Hold It Once – make a decision about an item and move on … best not to mull over it and decide that you will make a decision about it later… sort according to #2
  4. Ask yourself if you need this item and think about it being useful for someone else. (My greatest joy is that someone else might benefit from things I no longer use).
  5. Have a garage sale if you have the energy/time and would like to make some money.

It is difficult to feel peaceful in a cluttered and chaotic environment. If you are not taking care of the clutter around you then you may not be taking care of yourself. Respect yourself and get the clutter out!

Adeena Wisenthal

ERGO-Wise is owned and operated by Adeena Wisenthal, PhD, M.Ed, OT (Reg.) Ont.

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