Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Review: Clearing Your Clutter with Feng Shui

If you read past posts of mine, you know keeping the house clean is a real issue for me. I've tried so many systems and schedules, till I realized one day that it was all the 'stuff' that was killing me and I needed to get rid of more 'stuff' before I could even start to feel ahead. Unfortunately, it is deeply engrained in my genes to hold tightly to whatever enters my home. While opening wedding presents my mom told me I should save the paper and bows. I'm not sure where the paper is, but I still haven't been able to toss that box of bows! Weeded it down, but many still there ("If I ever wrap a present ahead of time, I could dig through the box for a nice bow to top it off!").

Anyway, wandering through the library at the end of October I noticed this book on the shelf and thought what the heck, I'm always looking for good ideas. I knew nothing about feng shui (not entirely sure I know much more now) but I figured I would take that with a grain of salt and go digging for the good clearing clutter ideas.

What a find! Since I've been reading this I've found myself tossing and organizing like crazy. If I didn't have so many things to do besides, I could truly "ninja through [my] home like a white tornado, decluttering with glee" as Ms. Kingston mentions at one point in her book. As it stands, I'm just part-time ninja, or when-I-get-the-chance ninja, though still doing it with glee.

Here are some of her other words of wisdom as a record for myself, if nothing else:

"[When you hold on to clutter] you tend to look back rather than forward in your life... You have to release the past to create a better tomorrow."

"After clutter clearing you are likely to surprise yourself by wanting to do things you have put off for a long time."

"Write a list of all the things you would love to do if only your clutter were sorted, and let this be the inspiration for you to get on with it."

"Keeping things 'just in case' indicates a lack of trust in the future... The more you can learn to trust that life will take care of you, the more life will take care of you."

"Life is constant change. So when something comes into your life, enjoy it, use it well, and when it is time, let it go. It is that simple. Just because you own something, it doesn't mean that you have to keep it forever. You are just a temporary custodian of many things as they pass through your life."

"Get in the habit of leaving a trail of discarded clutter in your wake, and start to think of it as a sign of progression!"

"Everything you are holding on to through fear is blocking you having more love in your life; clearing it allows more love to start pouring in. Fear stops you from being who you truly are and doing what you came here to do; clutter clearing brings you greater clarity about your life purpose... Letting go of clutter leaves you free to be you, which is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself."

On books, "Your books symbolically represent your ideas and beliefs... Learn to let your books go when it is time." Besides all the obvious ones like cookbooks you don't use and textbooks you haven't used for years, "There are books that inspired you deeply years ago but whose concepts are now so much a part of you that you no longer need to read them anymore. Aim to end up with a collection of books that represents you as you are today and the intended 'you' of tomorrow."

"Sit down and make a list of the many things [you] want to do in [your] life that [you aren't] allowing [yourself] to do because of unfinished jobs."

"Working with a clear desk increases productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction... It is psychologically far more uplifting to start with a clear desk than with mounds of paperwork, which makes you feel defeated before you even start."

She goes a bit into physical, emotional, and spiritual clutter as well, but I think I'm doing okay there, with a big yikes at her discussion on colon cleansing (I'll stick with my basement, thanks). All the advice has been motivating so far. So much to do, so little time.

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