Between my radio show, courses, clients, and social media channels, I get asked a lot of questions about clutter, its meaning in our lives, and what we can learn from it. I thought it would be cool to share some from time to time as you may have had the same wonderings.
So this week I present the first installment of my new monthly series cleverly called Clutter FAQs.
Q: How can I stay the course when, despite having gotten rid of lots of things, it looks like I’ve hardly done anything?
A: The struggle is real, my friend. Our present self loves immediate gratification and when you’ve been hard at work clearing and you don’t easily see the fruits of your labor, it can be discouraging, to say the least. Here’s something important to remember: Despite your clutter hotspot not being all spic and span just yet, you have made HUGE energetic strides with the work you’ve already done. Those “lots of things” you’ve gotten rid of have opened up space to help you think more clearly, make decisions easier, and breathe more deeply.
While visually it may not be where you want it to be yet, take a moment to revel in the success of what you’ve done. This way, you can train yourself to see that success is in the action and not just the outcome.
Q: Is it normal to feel sick while decluttering?
A: It is not abnormal, no. Often when I’m teaching a course, participants will mention onsets of headaches, mild nausea, the start of a head cold, and more. While I can’t say for certain that it all is due to clutter clearing, I have no doubt some of it is.
When you work on clearing physical clutter, it’s never just stuff that you’re sorting and removing. You’re also stirring up the stale energy your clutter holds as well as the energy of what it represents in your life. For example, getting rid of photographs of your ex also opens up space in the relationship sector of your life. That could be both exciting and scary and your body will respond to this change.
If you begin feeling ill, dizzy, nauseous, or tired, stop. Honor your body’s and soul’s alert and rest. Neglect those taps on your shoulder and they’ll have to get more severe to get your attention.
Show your fear and your Little One that she can trust you to take exceptional care of her. Doing so will make her much more likely to get on board for the next round of clearing.
Q: My biggest obstacle for letting things go is the thought “What if it’s worth money?” or “You better hold on to it – it will have value one day.” How can I get past this?
A: On the surface, this seems like a simple question — why get rid of something that could be valuable? Where things get complicated is when you decide what action to take (or not take) to explore that idea.
If that question prompts you to investigate the value of the item, then that’s cut and dry. You have a question and you’re addressing it. You’re taking intentional action on determining its value so you can then decide, from an informed place, if and how to get rid of it.
If, however, you use the possibility of value as a stall tactic, there’s likely a deeper fear or belief at play. Ask yourself what you’d do if you found out the item was worth $10. Now ask yourself what you’d do if you found out the item was worth $100. That will begin to clarify for you how much you love, need, or use this item, or if you are holding on to it for some reason other than value.
Finally, consider the cost of keeping something you don’t love, need, or use — the cost of space, of energy, of bandwidth, and of time. Is it valuable enough to take up that much room in your life?
The reframing approaches can be super beneficial in helping you to understand what’s really going on underneath the struggle to let go.
Q: I like using Facebook to keep up with loved ones’ happenings and life developments, but I tire quickly of the posts from some friends that are filled with negativity. What tactical and emotional approaches would you suggest I use to clean up my Facebook feed?
A: Ah, good, old Facebook — a blessing and a curse. From a practical standpoint, I’d start with your “friends” list. First, be mindful about who you add to it. I have a rule that I only accept friend requests from people who I know right away. If I have to investigate who they are or what mutual friends we may have, they are not an integral enough part of my life to add to the lot.
Then, spend some time scrolling through who you are currently friends with and make a note of who you wouldn’t miss if they weren’t in your feed. I know it can feel uncomfortable to “unfriend” someone, however, it’s worth considering: If you have trouble setting boundaries on Facebook, where else in your life do you struggle to do the same?
If you simply can’t get yourself to click that “Remove friend” option, you can choose to unfollow the person. This will keep them as a “friend” but you won’t see their posts.
Social media can be a vapid drain on our time and energy so if you choose to engage in it, it’s worth setting it up to work for you instead of the other way around.
OK, those are your FAQs for this round! Do you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future post? If so, click here to email us and we’ll put you in the queue!