4 Mindful Practices to Declutter Your Home
Spring is a time of renewal. Awakening from the winter slumber, you find yourself with motivation that was dormant for several months. All of the sudden, you have bursts of energy as you open the windows, breathe in the spring air, and then realize your home is messier and more cluttered than you would like. You’re hit with the unpleasant thought of where to begin and how to go about getting rid of things you no longer need. Overwhelm takes over, and you find yourself wanting to go for a hike in the woods, rather than confront the task at hand.
As part of your extended body, you can strive to make your environment an extension of who you are. Instead of looking at getting rid of clutter as another task or chore, consider it as a means to bless your space and make it sacred. Your decluttering activities can become meditative as you contemplate the energy you want surrounding you.
Assess the Energy
Even though inanimate objects seem to be just that, inanimate, everything carries energy. Have you ever talked to your car? I know people who not only name their vehicles, but talk to them too. If you have an old car, that sometimes doesn’t start, try talking to it. Innately you know that this energy exists everywhere.
As you begin to declutter a room, start by assessing the energy in the objects that are contained within. Does the room feel confined and constricted or open and airy? Do you feel sad when you walk in or neutral? Notice your body as you stand in the center of the room and look around. How is your body responding to the space?
As you go around the room and start to pick up objects, assess a positive or negative vibe. Make a pile of objects that are positive or neutral, and ones that are negative. If it’s furniture that’s too difficult to move, make a note of the energy and place sticky notes on them. Then, take several of the objects that are in the negative pile and move them out of the room. Go back in the room and assess the overall energy. You might notice a shift. Repeat the exercise until you only have objects with positive vibes in the room.
In order to make a correct assessment about the energy, you may have to clear the room once you’re done assessing it by burning a white sage smudge stick with the windows closed. Once you’re done smudging the room (with the smoke only), you can open the windows to let the negative energy out.
Keep What You Love, Let Go of the Rest
Even if an object feels positive or if it evokes a great memory, you might not love it enough to keep it. Crocheted doilies from the early 1900s, or shot glasses from senior year spring break may remind you of people and places but might have no place now in your decluttered space. Oftentimes, you may keep objects out of obligation to others, such as the blown glass horse your mother-in-law gave to you or the painting your sister convinced you to put in your dining room. You might have loved these objects at one time or perhaps you never loved them. Try to keep only the things that you absolutely love in your space or that are absolutely necessary, and you will find that you’re able to rid yourself of a lot of unnecessary items.
If you’re unsure, take an object you kept from your positive energy pile and hold it to your heart space. Breathe in its energy and see how you feel. Then, imagine how you would feel if you parted from it. Let your heart be your guide. One thing I have a hard time parting with are my children’s art projects from school. If you have children, you know that art projects take up loads of space, especially over the years. I have saved a lot. But eventually what I learned to do was to hang up a picture or a painting for a few months, take a picture of it, and then put it in recycling. I still have the digital copy to enjoy for years to come and I now have a small folder for each child, where I only keep a handful of special projects that were too meaningful to discard.
Bless Others with Gifts of Abundance
As you progress on your spiritual journey, you will notice you need less and less objects in your space. One fear that many of us hold onto when it comes to letting go of things is that we might need them someday.
I’d like to offer you a thought. If you were able to attract these objects into your life one time, you have the same ability to attract them into your life again. Poverty consciousness says, “If I give something away, I will be in lack.” Abundance consciousness says, “I can attract anything into my life that I need or desire.”
My favorite things to accumulate are books. I can give a home to anywhere between 10 to 20 books per year. And over time, they seem to multiply. I have a hard time giving away books. The thoughts running through my head include, “I haven’t even read it yet.” Or, “I might need it as reference material later.” Yet, how many books am I going to realistically read in a year? Keeping a mind of abundance, I get to bless others with many of these books and know that they will reappear at some point in the future if I need them.
Let Your Space Make You Smile
Ideally, you should be able to smile as you enter every room in your home. Think about the most precious things that bring brightness and vibrancy to your life. Photos of family, friends, and great times will create good feelings. Decorating with natural items, such as flowers and plants, will increase the vibrational energy of your home. Opening up your space will allow the freedom to breathe freely and free up your time, otherwise spent cleaning and organizing, to spend creating new memories with the people you love.
Finally, make it a daily practice to walk through your home in gratitude for what you have. As you go through this daily ritual, you will notice yourself spontaneously smiling every time.
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