Declutter to Create Space for Change

Decluttering for simple living

Is there a change you’d like to create in your life? Maybe you’d like a new job or a new partner or to be healthier. Decluttering can help draw that change into your life.

Nature abhors a vacuum. When you empty a space of the material things that no longer serve the vision you have for your life, you signal that you are ready for change. The universe can’t help but take notice of a space that has been recently cleared. Like casting a spell, decluttering has unexpected power to bring change into your life through the simple act of letting go of what doesn’t belong in your vision of your future.

If you would like to pull a new employment opportunity toward you, clear out your closet to make room for the right clothes for the job. If you’d like to meet a new partner, throw out the dog-chewed bedding you’ve had for years, and create a bedroom that fits your vision of the future. We all hang onto things because they have some useful life left in them, but do they belong in the future you want to create? Clearing the space for change is incredibly powerful.

I love Marie Kondo’s dramatic decluttering results, but my Big Life doesn’t allow time for a day-long declutter process. I’d rather declutter “a little, a lot.” Meaning, a little bit of decluttering, a lot of the time. My decluttering happens in the background of my daily routine, and became part of my habit, instead becoming a day long event. Here’s how:

Create a Vision
This is a slightly woo-woo place to start, but it’s important.  What are you trying to bring into your life? My family recently moved to smaller place, and I wanted a space that created ease, peace, and beauty in our daily lives. Your vision, your choice.  But, start with the end in mind.

Pick Your Focus

Once you know what you’re trying to create, pick a room/area/catagory.  For example, you can focus on clearing a bedroom, or a closet, or all your financial documents. Then, on a daily basis, throw something out in the selected area.  When your daily routine brings you to an item that you don’t use on a daily basis, ask the question. 

The Question
Marie Kondo asks whether an item “sparks joy” to determine whether it stays. That’s a great place to start.  But, my question is slightly more practical: “does this belong in the life I want to create?” The question focuses the mind, and helps you make the hard decisions about what really moves you toward your vision. How do you really want to live, and does this object have a place in that life?

The Big Chuck
Decluttering “a little, a lot” is an easy way to make significant progress. But toward the end of the decluttering process, you’ll be at the point where the little things are left, what I call “life rubble,” that is, things we have just worn out. The list includes worn-out kitchenware, ripped/stained kids clothes, shoes that had served their purpose, etc. There’s always the impulse that you could get one more year of service out of that cruddy baking sheet, but that’s when you should lean into the question: Does this fit into the life I’m creating? If not, chuck it. Seriously, just let it go. Chucking all that rubble is extremely gratifying, like chucking out all the energy of a life phase you are ready to leave. 

Declutter as Habit
We’re in our new place now, and the move-in process was easy. Because we had only brought things that served our new space, most thing tucked away easily. And, the fresh energy is palpable. Going forward, I’m back to the habit of decluttering a little, a lot and maintaining this new, simple space. 

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