Declutter Tips

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Year?s Resolution: "De-cluttering" Our Lives

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If I have to pinpoint the most important resolution to make for the New Year -- it would be this-finding ways to de-clutter my life. Stress as we know it does not only come in the form of mental anguish. Much of it is experienced through the clutter we have in our daily lives: unnecessary commitments that are standing in the way of doing what we really want to do. What we need to learn is how to de-clutter our lives so that the road to what we really want becomes clear.

Most of us have a vague notion of what we want; but being able to define it clearly is another matter entirely. Do we want money, fame, achievement? Do we want to create something that we feel proud of, a legacy that we can leave behind as the one ultimate creative act we can strive towards and materialize?

And even if we have our goal defined, we are often side-tracked from it by the countless details in our lives. A goal or project demands time, uncluttered time and this is the most significant aspect of creating. You need space and time. Private space and private time. If there is a dream or vision you are re-visiting on a regular basis, then it is time to make this dream a reality. This means it is time to de-clutter your life, give yourself the private time you need to make that goal possible.

How do we de-clutter our lives? Get rid of things and activities that do not a) create a bond between you and your family b) encourage or enhance your private space( which includes the space your have cultivated in your relationship with God/Spirit.) It is also important to understand that creation of any kind affirms our relationship with our Creator. And whatever it is that you wish to create, be it money, fame, achievement or the one ultimate creative act, your work will be that much more meaningful when you place it within the grace of the Creator.

Now the elimination of clutter becomes easy. What can we identify as clutter? Do you need to make another trip to the mall? What about the nightly hour before the television set? Taking on extra hours or extra responsibilities to please the boss? The less than necessary party invitation?

There are responsibilities we cannot eliminate, however. The children's hockey games and music lessons. But there is a way to "renovate" this clutter as well. How about bringing your project to the hockey rink and creating private space there? Bringing your project to the waiting room of doctor's offices, music lessons and making private time there? It was the time I had during my son's weekly music studies in Toronto that allowed me the private space to complete a book.

The most debilitating excuse we can have is that we have no time to pursue our dream. We hear that often enough. But if we put our mind to the task, we can find some precious private moments in the clutter. And if we give thanks for these moments, they will be appear more frequently in our lives.

A runner for 27 years, retired schoolteacher and writer, Mary is helping people reclaim their bodies. Nutrition, exercise, positive vision and purposeful engagement are the tools used to turn their bodies into creative selves. You can visit her at or learn how she lost her weight at

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