Yes, resolutions can be helpful, particularly those that are more general than specific, but it takes time to see results. Cleaning out closets, garages, etc. can be done in hours and signifies more than you might suspect. I have learned to pay attention to my clients’ cleaning rituals and have found that very often they begin to clean and organize when they are about to make an important internal shift. It’s as if they are moving out the external clutter to make room for the internal cleansing.
Even if you don’t feel as though you are about to make a seismic internal shift, you can certainly set the wheels in motion by getting rid of all that stuff that no longer serves you, appeals to your sense of aesthetics, or that reminds you of something you would rather forget. Donate to friends or charities, sell, it doesn’t matter, but just begin the process of simplifying your life by cleaning out your personal space. Find a new home for what you no longer need or use.
Once you have cleaned out your spaces and places, DON’T fill them back up with new purchases. Downsize your appetite for stuff. Too much stuff is stressful. You have to store, clean, insure, polish, repair, and move your stuff from place to place. One insightful author said our homes have become landfills of too much stuff. All it takes is a major life upheaval to realize how much of it you really need. One unplanned stay in the hospital quickly lets you know what matters and what doesn’t-and it’s very little.
I remember being quite content when all my possessions fit easily into my car. Granted, it was a big American car, (one friend named it the USS Kittyhawk) but you get the idea. For almost four years, I lived in a studio apartment of 350 square feet and I was perfectly happy with my little space and minimal stuff. I couldn’t do that now, or maybe I don’t want to do that now. But I do know that it feels good to see empty space in my home and on my walls, and in my closets.
I challenge you to free up empty space in your homes, space where nothing resides, and I mean nothing. No plants, pictures, stools-nothing. Sounds easy, but it isn’t. I will try if you will…