I am a hoarder. I admit it. I really struggle to let go of my belongings. I have clothing that saw me through my teens and I keep it, not only because it still fits which makes me feel super, but because fashion is cyclical right? Animal print will always come back, so will florals and ripped denim so I would be stupid to throw out cute outfits that I wore in grade 9 because every few years they will be completely on-trend and I can feel proud that I’m rocking my school girl figure.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop me adding to my wardrobe. I am also an impulse shopper and while most of my clothing purchases these days come from Lululemon, Lorna Jane, L’urv, Dharma Bums or other active wear brands, I cannot walk past a store without trying on ‘that black dress’ because even though it is nearly identical to my ‘other black dress’ it is different enough that I would regret walking away. This is a real problem. A real first world problem.
I have also held onto a lot of other ‘stuff’ over the years and that ‘stuff’ has accumulated to the point that the idea of de-cluttering engenders such fear that I may as well curl up under a pile of my lycra leggings and call it a day.
I was in Sydney with my bestie a couple of weeks ago and we were talking about clutter. She has just bought a house and had to clear out a lot of her stuff. As a person who also used to hold onto belongings, she surprised me when she said that she had let go of everything that wasn’t serving her – a concept that I often refer to and feel like I live by, except when it comes to my ‘stuff’. Then we got talking about the amount of clutter that we keep in our minds and how much we hold onto, mentally and spiritually. Feelings, emotions, ideas and memories that do not contribute to our lives in a positive way need to be cleared. The amount of nonsense that runs through our heads daily and the number of thoughts running through our heads at any given time simply prevent us from being completely present.
I said to her “yeah but I have fairly good control over the mental clutter – I am very focused on being present” and she asked me “but how can you have the mental clutter under control if you are surrounded with physical clutter?”
She told me about a book that changed her attitude to de-cluttering. Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. She said regardless of whether you believe in Feng Shui or not it makes you look at de-cluttering in an entirely new way.
When I got home from my trip I looked around the house and despite the house being tidy, I recognised how much space is taken up with old books that I will never read again, clothing I am unlikely to wear in this lifetime, magazines that we have kept because….well I have no idea…and the list goes on. I realised that there are rooms that I do not walk into or I dread walking into because the amount of ‘stuff’ is just so overwhelming.
On the back of my conversation with numerologist Cat Collins who contributed to The Joyful Juggler recently, I realised this is a 9 year and it is the year to get rid of everything that is no longer serving you. So my challenge over the next few weeks is to tackle the ‘hoarding demons’ and de-clutter the house so I can truly feel comfortable that I am serious about de-cluttering my life and therefore my mind so I can be more present and productive.
So I am throwing it out to you now – look at your house, your car, your relationships and your thoughts and be honest with yourself. Do you really need it? If the answer is no, it’s time to say goodbye.