Declutter Tips

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Give Yourself A Spring Clean - Unclutter Your Mind

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Do you know that the clutter in your home says something about the clutter in your heart and mind? Are you collecting dust or dreams? Does your living room mirror the mess you hide from yourself? Let's see what needs to be aired and re-arranged in your life in this article.

Your daily life is a reflection of your inner world. Knowing this, it’s very interesting to investigate the state of your home. Take a closer look at your house and try to link your rooms and objects in them with the state of your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. Time for a Spring clean?

Let me offer you a hand with some cleaning tips:

1. What area is a mess?
You can go to each room in your house to check what screams “I need cleaning now!” or if you know your home well, you just close your eyes and you can picture the bedroom where you always stumble over piles of clothes or your kitchen full of dirty plates and cups. If several rooms are a mess, just pick one untidy place that frustrates you the most. If you do not care that this room or area in your house is a mess, choose a particular spot that frustrates you. Mess isn’t good or bad, it’s only a place for focus if you feel it should not be a mess.

2. What does this area resemble?
Once you picked the area that obviously needs a big sweep, take a moment and ask yourself: “What meaning does this spot or area in my house have?“. For example: your kitchen can be a place for nourishment, socialising or perhaps feeling safe. Your bathroom can resemble a place to relax, to refresh yourself or to be creative. Each area will have a different label for every individual, even if they live in the same house. Your bedroom might feel like a place to rest to you, for another it might be the place to watch television in order to educate themselves on a topic. Your garden might be a sanctuary for you to meditate while planting new flowers or perhaps it is a place to get some exercise by mowing the grass. Or maybe it is both depending on the activity and mood you are in. If a place has more than one value or meaning to you, just focus on the association that is the strongest for instance: I use my garden more to find peace of mind than to exercise.

Write down what you discovered for example: my kitchen resembles a place where I relax my mind by cooking.

3. Why is this area a mess?
Now we take a closer look at the clutter in this place. Ask yourself: if my kitchen resembles relaxation of my mind but it looks a mess, what do I feel is not tidy, in balance, sorted out in my mind as well? Perhaps you discover that you are not taking enough time to relax in your life, or that you feel stressed. Or when you feel irritated by rusty knives or the broken juicer you will see that your tools to relax need some polishing. Suppose you spend less time in the kitchen than normal and eat more take-out meals: does it link with the amount of spare time that you reserve for yourself to relax?

4. Clean up tips
Once you discover what area in your life needs a tidy, you have a place to start sweeping out the dirt. You can clean the messy area in your home and also feel that your mind is reacting to this action. To stick with the kitchen example: by cleaning out the kitchen you might feel that you alleviate your stress. You can also start by focusing on the stress and work on those issues and then you feel your kitchen needs some attention too.

Be prepared that once you start cleaning, sometimes the mess gets worse: we have to take out stuff to air; we need to re-arrange furniture, just keep going. It’s like rinsing a pan: the water gets dirtier but after the scrubbing you will find a shiny, new surface.

5. Plan
Make arrangements so you can finish your task well: plan your Spring clean, buy tools, tell others that you want them out of that room or let them join you, take a break and then reward yourself for finishing the job.

Working on your home is working on your soul. The state of your heart and mind will become evident by checking your house. What room do you visit most? Perhaps you spend little time in your study room. If this resembles a place to nourish your mind, perhaps it is time to follow a course?

If you like this exercise you can go deeper and check the items in your home:
What items do you keep? Objects that reflect the past or future? Are you focused on the people and moments that have gone or on creating new contacts and experiences? What colours do you use and what do they reflect in you?

Focusing on the mess in your home can teach you about your emotional, physical, spiritual or mental state. At the same time you can focus on the area in your home that makes you very happy, relaxed or energised. Spent more time there to find balance.

Good news
Who knows what you will find under layers of dust or in the piles of paper? A sparkling new you! Wouldn’t you be willing to spend time to discover that?

Let me know what treasures you found during your Spring clean. Please feel free to send me an e-mail if you need support to clear your heart and mind!

Marianne Korten runs a personal and professional development company Soul at Work in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Corporate clients and individuals improve their conscious communication and creation skills with her expertise and support. Through coaching and training services clients gain greater self-confidence, balance, trust and skills to create the (business) life they want. Popular topics by demand are: public speaking skills, networking skills, career changes, mind-body-soul balance and finding your personal mission and vision. International companies and expatriates benefit from her background in the international meetings industry, of working with a variety of cultures and her personal skills as a certified coach, trainer, speaker and columnist. Sign up for her free E-Newsletter on:

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