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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Clutter Busting

From time to time, I read a blog by someone else that is so on target that it just knocks me off my feet. Such is frequently the case with articles by creativity consultant and author Christine Kane. A recent article by Christine about clutter made so much sense and was so fitting for this series that I felt I had to include it as one of my weekly entries. Yes, I know she’s talking about throwing stuff out, while I’m talking about saving things for later, but really, we’re both talking about the same thing…how clutter and disorganization drain you of creative energy. 

So as you read Christine’s article, think less about throwing things out, and more about actually putting them to use, getting them organized so you can find them, and finding new uses for old stuff. And yes, you really should throw out anything you are only keeping out of guilt. Take a good hard look at the craft supplies you have accumulated, and make that hard decision about what to keep and what to throw out. Only keep the things you really love. That way everything you make will be something you really love, too!

9 Seemingly Logical Reasons We Cling to Clutter
by Christine Kane


"Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away." 
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A retired man once told me he loved going camping with his wife because camping showed her how simple life can be "without all that bloomin' stuff she keeps everywhere!" He's right!

Our lives are meant to be simple. Our intuition and creativity thrive when given freedom and space. Clutter is a disease. Each moment we ignore the reasons we hold on to things we don't want, those things rob us of energy, health, and clarity.
If you're a clutter-clinger, be kind to yourself. Begin with an awareness of your thoughts and excuses. For starters, read over this list to see if you can find YOUR excuse!

Clutter Excuse #1: "I'd be a bad (mean) (horrible) person if I…"
Guilt is heavy gooey energy that convinces us we're bad people if we let go of heirlooms, knick-knacks, unwanted clothing, or unwanted gifts. These items clutter up our lives and keep us in a comfortable – but draining – place. And conveniently, we never have to decide what we actually do want in our environment. We become environmental victims. Often, that spreads out into other parts of our lives too!

Clutter Excuse #2 - "I spent so much on it!"
Do you punish yourself for having made a bad choice by keeping the item around? Or convince yourself that you're going to get your money's worth – even if it drains the hell out of you? You won't. And it will. We've all done stupid things. And we've all had to let them go. Now it's your turn.

Clutter Excuse #3 - "I might need this someday."
I often wonder how many idle telephone cords exist in the world. Way in the back of old desk drawers. Stuffed on closet shelves. They can't be gotten rid of. Why? Because we might need them some day. Evidently, some day - in spite of technological progress - you're going to need that particular grey phone cord that came in the box with a phone you bought in 1989. Throw it out. Now. Same thing goes for: the broken fax machine, switch plates from your first house, and every glass flower vase that came with deliveries.

Clutter Excuse #4 - "I might do this someday."
I know. I know. Someday you'll take those broken pieces of china you've collected and create a beautiful mosaic birdbath. And you'll go through those stacks of magazines and make that collage for your sister's 30th birthday party. (She's 51 now.) Now – I don't mean to deny you your plans and dreams. However, I urge you to consider experiencing the infinite relief that appears when you let old project ideas go. Call your sister and tell her the collage ain't gonna happen. Buy a mosaic birdbath from an artist who makes her living from creating such treasures. And then, make space for what you want to do. Don't fill your space with what you should do.

Clutter Excuse #5 - "I gotta look good to my guests."
CD's. Books. DVD's. Are these items treasured? Or are they simply a prop so your guests will be impressed by your intelligence and diverse tastes? Remember this: we are motivated by two things: Fear or Love. Which of these keeps you clinging to items because of appearances?

Clutter Excuse #6 - "I Don't Know Where It Goes."
When items don't have a home, it's harder to determine whether or not they are clutter. Some things may seem like clutter - like the cute card that your daughter made that floats around from drawer to drawer - but they're not clutter. They're homeless. Once you start defining spaces for items, then it's easier to see when something doesn't fit anywhere and should just get tossed.

Clutter Excuse #7 - "My thoughts don't have any power. Do they?"
Everything has energy. The thoughts you have about the things in your home CREATE energy. If you are surrounded by stuff you keep out of guilt, then your environment holds guilt. If you hang on to stuff given to you by your ex, and you still feel bitter – then there is bitterness in your home. Get it? It's either fueling you, or draining you. Some things might be neutral, of course. But if anything triggers you, then that is your barometer. Let it go. 

Clutter Excuse #8 - "But I never wore it!"
See Clutter Excuse #2.

Clutter Excuse #9 - "There's too much stuff!"
Overwhelm can stop us in our tracks. If this article makes you aware that there are lots of items in your life you don't like, then go slow. Schedule small chunks of time each day. It takes time to be clutter-free! But the newfound clarity and lightness are worth it!

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Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 11,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at http://www.christinekane.com/ .