Reflecting on successes of 2014 I can recall one major factor that assisted me on the road in terms of working to realise my goals. This was my De-clutter challenge 2014. Below is an article I wrote to assist me in future times to support me in keeping on track with this ethos. Now in 2015 I need it more than ever! My schedule is so tight I want to focus even more on order and steer away from chaos! Here is the piece from last year, and the principles I m ready to charge up and get into my 2015 endevours!! Enjoy!
Wow! I am blown away with how the de-cluttering exercise has effected my mindset and how I am starting to live!
I am amused to think that I am considering myself as a person that can advise people on this topic. Indeed Im no expert. I have gone through the long haul, from chaos and clutter to gradually learning and adapting techniques from minimalist cultures; a concept I would have sniffed at before….. I will be forever a student , however I feel at this present moment informed and practised in the subject of de-cluttering and have some definate learning points to share with you about why I recommend a paring down of lifestyle so to speak, and I want to share my little epiphany of sorts, that in my life, I finally grasp benefits of engaging in lifestyle in what I consider a less hectic, chaotic and confused and have improved my day by adding a little more space, time, and focus on the values personal to me!
Based on my recent endevour, the de-clutter challenge, I have designed an exercise I challenge you to try if you are have difficulty knowing where to begin or how to continue your life with a bit less clutter. This is a guideline I am printing up so I dont forget it myself. I found it helpful, hope you can get value from it too!
Consider your goals!
You might wonder what this has to do with clearing out the kitchen cupboard or re-organising the office but bare with me! This excerise helped me to get in touch with my values in life and aligning these with how I live. This is about getting to the route of the cause and helped me discover my values.
Write down this question and list 10 things as your answer. WHAT WOULD I DO IN 2014 IF I HAVE UNLIMITED TIME AND UNLIMITED MONEY?
Take your time. You are wiping all limits here, and it can take a few minutes to connect to the concept!
When you have ten things down, read them out loud!
The purpose of this is to re-connect with your values in life. This brings me to the next step. This step is about connecting the dreams you just wrote down to the values that you cherish. Its time now to write a new list, this time of the values that reflect this list.
So for example I had on my list of things if time and money were not an issue, that I would take my family on a snorkelling safari holiday!
….so on my value list I have travel and adventure.
I really want to share my whole lists, but I dont want to influence yours as it is important for them to be personal. Words describing values can be love, spirituality, creativity, gratitude, loyalty, fun, adventure, physical fitness, discipline, ambition, style.
Pin this list up in a room your are about to de-clutter. This list will help you keep a handle on the stuff you have collected, and the stuff that contributes to your values in life. The next question you need to ask yourself is,
do I need this item to live according to neccessity and according to my values in life?
I read somewhere a great question if your deciding to keep or clear an item from your home.
‘If you dont need it to survive your days, and its not breathtakingly beautiful to you let it go!’
Now to the practical tips of how I have tackled a room and not knowing where to start!
1. clear out the whole room. This means removing everything that can be moved out of the space.
2. Clean and clear. I love this one. Dont focus on the stuff you ve just taken out, just enter the new space with the intention of cleaning every corner, furniture etc, cobwebs etc.
3. Cleanse. Prepare the space for a new start…salt is used for cleansing a space, removing old energies, and will also prepare you to let go of emotional attachment attachments. You can use your favourite scent in candles etc.
Caution: If you are under going a big change, such as a loved one passing away, or a child leaving home, consider having support around this, emotions came up for me WHEN I LEAST EXPECTED IT!
NOW, turn to the stuff you have taken out, and get a rubbish bags, or boxes, considering donation box, recycling and rubbish sort through everything, and pass on anything your consider you need to part with, anything thts not used, old, broken tec.
Next …consider your new clean room and what you want it to be use for. What is the use of the room, and things that will help this room work for you and yr family if you have them to consider.
Often times, there are storage problems you come accross, and may need to think about layout and design within the room, and this is the time to consider these factors and what the solution might be.
Everyone is working on different time factors and budgets that will influence this but I would suggest that you play around with surviving on less things, for example,
My mini-wardrobe challenge
I didnt have room for all the clothes I owned in my wardrobe, and as a result there was no system of how I operated my wardrobe and often complained of not having anything to wear, as I was wading through clothes that were draped over everything in my bedroom!
So I removed all but one weeks supply of outfits, and folded the rest in a cupboard away from the bedroom. I gave myself the month of January to survive on these clothes only! I was a little unsure, but I also knew that my other clothes were available to me if I wanted them. By the end of January I couldn’t even even recall most of the items I had folded away! Its Feb now, and I have replenished the items (swapped January’s outfits for a selection of February outfits and I am surviving with no feeling of inadequate clothing!!!!
I also find it easier to get the clothes through the laundry system making life a lot clearer for me! In The major difference isn’t in my organising skills, but in the fact that if every item of clothes were scattered on my bedroom floor….it would take me minutes to clean them up….because of less stuff!!!!!!!
I also moved a box of photos to the attic that had been taking up a large corner of storage, that I now use for my art practise, before this had it no home, and was cluttering up free spaces in my kitchen and laundry.
Next Step…back to your values
When you have things placed into your room, look at soft furnishings, pictures etc, and how they fit into your values. Do they add value to your day to see them….are your ready to live without them?…. or maybe your ready for a trial without them and will put them in storage to see how you get on! Sometimes we can gather up things from presents to impulse buys that we can part with and make room for meaningful purchases.
One challenge I set myself, was to only display pictures that I have made myself in my art practise, plus recycle and create things that cost very little, and frame the childrens art. This is line with our value creativity. We had already adopted this mindset with salvaging furniture from neighbours shed and upcyled them to decorate our home….( will share some of these on another post)
There is no doubt that modern day living living has increased our ownership of things possessions have increased. We are marketed to consistently through t.v, magazines, and internet that I find it helpful to reconsider what makes my home a place for my family that reflects who we are and how we want to live.
De-cluttering has been an exercise that has brought simplicity and calm to my living space, and I can move forward in my goals for 2014 with a clearer head. Its a constant paring down and making sure that possessions are kept to the things that are in alignment with values, and as a family living in modern times, there is so much to fill our time, and space with that we can forget that we dont have to own something just because we can!
Thanks to all in the de-clutter challenge group, get your project underway and tell us what you ve gained from the experience.
Thanks and appreciate you all!