As a Professional Organizer, I watch my clients and students deal with many levels of clutter when they’re trying to make sense of material piles of stuff, or making a decision, trying to sort out their thoughts.
I’ve realized over the years that there are 3 Kinds of Clutter: Inner, Outer and Other, and they overlap.
Where to start?
Start on one, the others will be affected positively or negatively.
WARNING: Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better!
1. INNER: Emotions, thoughts, opinions, beliefs and perceptions (stress and overwhelm)
2. OUTER: Material stuff and things in our environment
3. OTHER: People and our boundaries with them
Bottomline: Life’s too short to keep dealing with the same old “stuff” (mental, material or relationships) over and over again!
DO YOU HAVE INNER CLUTTER?
Organizing and decluttering of our “inner” house (mind), is actually more important than organizing your physical “outer” house. Of course, clutter of the mind and outer stuff and things are connected.
Have you ever used the child’s toy, an Etch A Sketch®?
If you have you know that after you’ve made all of your creative line art, and you want to start a new project, you just turn it upside down and shake it, covering the glass for the next sketch session, all fresh and new. In other words, “a clean slate.” We need to do the same kind of thing with our minds.
The problem is however, that if our minds are cluttered with stress, the past and old issues, regrets and resentments, fear of the future and worry, our “slate” can’t get clean because it too confused.
”What happens when a confused mind tries to find an answer?
It finds a confused answer.
What happens when a confused mind makes a decision?
It makes a confused decision.
Don’t you think it essential to clear your mind?”
~ Vernon Howard, Treasury of Positive Answers
Whether we actually turn ourselves upside down to do it or not is a personal decision!… but it is important on a daily basis to “shake off” thoughts and “sketches” – pictures and memories, worry and fear – that have written their lines and grooves and ruts into our minds. These paths of least resistance become a major distraction to the peace and flow that we should feel more often than not.
HOW TO ORGANIZE OUR THOUGHTS AND GET A CLEAR MIND
Make and take time to stop thinking.
Quiet your mind and meditate at least once a day for 15-20 minutes in the morning before your day and decisions and choices begin to collide with realities, the clock, others and emotions. The more you intentionally quiet your mind you will find short and long term benefits from lowered blood pressure to a quieter mind and a more balanced life through less crisis, and drama and more calm, relaxation and clear thinking.
Meditation can mean sitting in a “lotus” position of course, but it can also be just sitting quietly and rocking in a chair, walking mindfully, even in an oval in your home or in a large circle in your back yard! Just “being” with yourself and letting your mind rest, but not sleep.
With this daily starting point it will be much easier to declutter all areas of our life while keeping your thoughts organized and flow, with all of life changes that will inevitably happen in your day.
Happy INNER decluttering!