5-Step Clutter-Clearing Process

5-Step Clutter-Clearing Process
Where do I start? It’s a frequent question I hear from clients who need to do some serious Feng Shui clutter-clearing. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you start to clear out the garage, a closet, or even one junk drawer. You set aside an entire weekend to get it done, but when the time finally arrives, so do the excuses: the weather is too beautiful, the sky is too gray, I’m too tired. You find it overwhelming to attack all of that clutter at once, so nothing gets done. To help overcome this inertia, I developed the 5-Step Clutter-Clearing Process.

In Feng Shui, clutter represents being stuck and unable to move forward. The 5-Step Clutter-Clearing Process will help you bust clutter and make progress without getting overwhelmed. The trick is to pick a time and a place, then do a little every day until you conquer your clutter hot spots.

The following are six general guidelines will help you get ready to begin your clutter-clearing adventures.

1. Clear clutter with a prosperity consciousness (that is, reassure yourself that you can afford to replace the item in the future if you need it) rather than a poverty mentality (the idea that you might never have enough money to replace the object in the future).

2. Avoid clutter clearing when you are sad, depressed, or angry and instead wait until you are feeling more like yourself. You may make bad decisions and get rid of things for the wrong reasons.

3. If you are undecided about getting rid of an object, ask yourself: “What is the worst thing that can happen to me if I let go of this object?” Unless you would suffer extreme negative consequences, let the object go.

4. Instead of holding on to all of your family mementos, keep small, representative keepsakes of special family holidays and special moments, such as a swatch of fabric from a party or prom dress, and let go of the rest.

5. If you receive a gift or inheritance from someone you love but you do not love the gift, donate it to your favorite charity, or pass it on to someone who will appreciate it more.

6. If you have accumulated items that you are going to sell, donate, or throw out some day in the future…that day is here! Start today and avoid any more procrastination.

Now, you are ready to start the 5-Step Clutter-Clearing Process.

Day One
Step 1

Start clutter clearing by setting aside 20 to 30 minutes. Put on your favorite piece of music or set a timer and begin anywhere in your home or office.

Step 2
Pick up an item and decide if you are keeping it. If you are keeping it, place it in its permanent place.

Step 3
If you are removing an object, place it into one of four piles:
Trash (hopefully, the largest pile)
Donate (items that are still usable)
Sell (objects for sale, consignment, online auctions)
Decide (things you cannot decide whether to toss or keep)

Step 4
While the music plays, keep sorting and placing your things. When the music stops or the timer rings, you are done for the day. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Step 5
Dispose of your piles in this way:
Trash: Immediately take these items out to the garbage.
Donate: Call your favorite charity and make an appointment for a pickup.
Sell: List your stuff on online auction and selling sites, or place an ad in the local newspaper, or set a date on your calendar to take a load of stuff to a consignment shop.
Decide: Put these items in a black plastic bag and place them in the trunk of your car. Drive around with them for 30 days, and if you do not need them during that time -- drive directly to the nearest charity drop box and get rid of the bag!

Day Two and Beyond
Repeat Steps 1 through 5 each day, preferably at the same time of day but not necessarily in the same place. Do this for 30 days and you will rapidly work through even your most cluttered spaces. You can move from room to room each day, or continue in the same room.

Each day of clutter clearing will help give you the self-confidence, satisfaction, momentum to continue. Then you can sit back and enjoy the positive results that fill the open spaces you have created.

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