Finding time to de-clutter is something that is often on our To Do Lists. It can be one of those items that keeps getting moved from list to list – never quite making it to the top.
Why is that? There are many reasons. Other tasks can often seem more pressing and take priority. Add to that the fact that many of us have difficulties with letting go, and you have a sure-fire recipe for procrastination. I would add that when a task like de-cluttering becomes a “should” in our minds, then that alone can often bring out enough rebelliousness to keep the activity shelved!
Last night when I was putting my work away and getting ready to leave my office, a guest post by Barrie Davenport on Zen Habits caught my eye. Titled “How to Simplify When You Love Your Stuff,” it offers ideas and insights about simplifying and simplicity that I found very intriguing – most especially her comments on mindfulness and balance.
Many of us like the idea of simplicity in practice but sabotage our implementation by confusing asceticism with our interest in simplifying. As with so many things, starting small and striving for balance will go a long way toward helping you realize your goals. Letting go is difficult for many of us, so be gentle with yourself and start small.
Try this. Stop reading and look around the room you are in right now. Do you see things that you seldom or never use or enjoy looking at?
Pick up 3 of those things and put them into a bag. Put the bag in your closet. Keep adding to your bag, repeating this exercise every day for a week.
Do you miss the items that you removed? Did you discover that you actually do need them for something? Then by all means, return them to their places.
However, if you find that, after some predetermined span of time, you never give these items a thought, then I suggest that you can happily either give them away, sell them, or dispose of them.
Slowly, your landscape will change as you let go of what you really don’t need. As this process evolves, notice how you feel. Does your breath come more easily in your decluttered space? Do things emerge that had been hidden? Do you have energy and ideas that you hadn’t known were “in there”? You will be amazed at what you find as you journey on your path of discovery!
Is simplicity already a part of your life? Do you want to start finding it? It needn’t take a lot of time. Go easy, and see what evolves …
© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.