Melissa Williams, HL&S Editor | Co-Owner, Yoga Junction
Anyone who works from home can attest to the power of clutter. It takes you away from work first and foremost and also clutters up your head.
It distracts you and provides you with a way to procrastinate, so clutter = NO GOOD!
Whatever it is, it's hardly a helpful tool. According to Brooks Palmer, the author of the soon-to-be-released Clutter Busting (New World Library, 2012), clutter not only hinders our work flow; it also creates a toxic environment that can affect our relationships as well as our view of ourselves.
Unfortunately, we have emotional attachments to our clutter says Palmer. "We associate a lot of feelings to our stuff. We have lots of memories with each item."
But as Palmer reminds us, these items are not the events themselves, nor are they the people that perhaps we're reminded of within the clutter. In fact, we're more likely to feel better when we have room to have memories than when we fill our living space with cluttery reminders.
Author and declutter professional, Brooks Palmer, recently released his first book outlining the reasons we may find clutter in our homes and lives, how to get rid of it, and why we should. Here are five of his tips to declutter your life.
- Start by asking yourself, "Do I like this, or can I let it go?" The first feeling, Palmer says, is the honest one. Ask yourself, "Is this a part of my life?"
- Letting go is a process. As you start to let go you'll see it feels better to have space in your environment. When you start to notice clutter, go after it. Toss it. Donate it. Keep the space.
- De-clutter your past self. "By past self, I mean our old needs. The things that once served us, at some point no longer fit our current needs. By living with the things from our past, we muddy up our living space. A part of us is tethered to what no longer suits us, and it gets in the way of us enjoying what we love now."
- Teach your children to declutter. Ask them on a regular basis to go through their things and find the toys they don't play with anymore that you could donate to 3 kids that don't have toys.
- Clutter extends beyond material goods. Says Palmer, "Our main job in life is to take care of ourselves. We sometimes forget we have the power to say not to things. When a relationship no longer serves us, when a person's presence in our life hurts us, we take care of ourselves by letting this person go from our lives."