Last weekend I decided to combine a spot of dusting with rearranging my book shelves. True to habit, I started perusing through a couple of old treasured books. That is when I came across a book that I had bought almost a decade ago out of sheer curiosity called Spiritual Housecleaning by Kathryn L Robyn. Nothing along the lines of a rocket science manual or New Age remedies, but full of simple details on systematic housecleaning that incorporated spirituality and practical rituals for making one’s home a sacred space while helping to de-clutter the mind, improve energy levels and organize thoughts. (You can click on the book image to find out the contents of the book)
As I skimmed through it (that’s the book I was reading above), it struck me how clutter can actually create more stress and the need to be organised. I mean, how many times have you gotten irritated because you couldn’t find your pen, paper, an important document or even your car keys?
It happened to me on numerous occasions as a student and while I found excuses to avoid clearing up the mess with phrases like ‘there’s a method in my madness’, deep down I knew better and now have a weekly desk de-clutter scheduled on my weekend To Do List . I have followed this practice faithfully for the last two decades and it is so embedded in my psyche that I guess it is now a sacred ritual for me. One benefit that I have noticed is the increased focus, intent of purpose and a more organised manner of executing my tasks.
The state of a desk and the surrounding area says a lot about a person’s frame of mind. When I visit offices for meetings, I sense things about the person I am supposed to meet based upon the state of their desk. I sense chaos at the sight of heaps of papers, files & dossiers on desktops, not an organised, focused and logical person. Perhaps the person has a personal foolproof method here, but I am unable to understand it. Most probably others would too.
My advice to anyone who has a similar desk whether in a corporate office or a home office, or even as a student is – get organised. If you work in an office, come to work five minutes early and organize everything. Do it every time you have a clutter which impedes finding the ringing telephone or the car keys under a mountain of papers. It will save a lot of valuable time & increase your work efficiency not to mention reduce avoidable stress.
Believe it or not, there are life coaches who actually specialize in assisting clients to de-clutter indicative of a serious problem out there needing a solution. A cluttered desk is often associated with signs of a disorganized, cluttered mind and a symptom of a deeper underlying problem.
One of the tips offered by Feng Shui experts for improving the harmony of your environment is to rid yourself of clutter (which includes broken objects and those things that you don’t use) so there is something in de-cluttering, whichever way you look at it.
You might think that having a cluttered home, work space or even car is not a big deal and that you will get around to cleaning up when you have the time and energy, but hey, have you ever considered the impression that it makes on others and how they view you? If not for yourself, then perhaps for the sake of appearances in front of others, one could possibly consider a scheduled de-clutter session? Put it into your weekly to do list, and reward yourself on completion of this important task.
Depending upon what your clutter is composed of and where it is appearing in your life, it can tell a lot about you, your personality, and the state of your life and areas of stress requiring addressing. As an example, I am going to refer to 3 areas though there are of course many others one can think of.
Office/work space clutter
Your office space, whether it is a home office or in a corporate office represents your area professional growth. Too much clutter and disorganization indicates a sense of lack of control over your career path including being overwhelmed and job dissatisfaction.
Your Vehicle – clutter
Your vehicle is symbolic of your progress and movement in life. Even in dream analysis, the vehicle is symbolic of your body, which houses your soul. Clutter in this area could indicate that you are subconsciously not willing to move ahead and are restricted by the past or personal limiting beliefs.
Financial clutter takes the form of pending bills be they utility bills, credit card bills, poor savings habits, unread magazine subscriptions (the ones where you want the free gift for whatever reason but don’t read the magazine) and bad spending habits.
Financial clutter can point towards your inner insecurity and worries about your financial future. For some, it is transference of their inner emotional turmoil onto material goods under the excuse of retail therapy instead of facing the problems that they might have and dealing with situations head on.
The key to handling clutter and the related stress it creates is to firstly get rid of the clutter –
– If they are objects that need to be thrown away, just throw them away;
– If there are items lying around that you don’t use but can be useful to others, donate them to a worthy organisation that can use them; or
-Sell your usable clutter on the numerous websites available for resale and convert your clutter into good cash. (I have yet to meet a person who says they have enough cash or don’t need more cash!)
On a more long term basis, address the emotional issues that underlie the clutter in the first place. If you can deal with it yourself that is great otherwise consider seeking help from family, friends and, if required, even professional help whether it is a coach, counselor or therapist.
With this two pronged approach, you can rid yourself of clutter for good and remedy an often overlooked stress trigger.
Just curious, have you ever had a clutter issue? How did you deal with it? Please do share your experience in the comments box below and help other readers with their clutter challenge. Thanks!
Written By: Vatsala Shukla
Junk by Jean Sander
This post was originally published on 16 October 2011. It has been updated on 22 January 2015.Follow Me
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