Seeking an Uncluttered Life Part 2

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Why I felt tired every time I walked into the office was beyond me. I just knew I did and didn’t like being in there. There were other rooms in my home that I did not feel peaceful in and did not know why. This curiosity and frustration led me to read Laura Stack’s book – The Exhaustion Cure.

Laura Stack recommended books on Feng Shui. I decided to read them with an educational mindset and implement the things that added to my faith, not distracted me from it. I checked out 10 books from the library and seemed to gravitate to two of them the most. Both were written by authors who translated Feng Shui into a western outlook since they were born and raised in America. The tips in my blog are from Laura Stack, the Productivity Pro: and two books from the library – The Holistic Home by Laura Benko :  and Feng Shui That Makes Sense by Cathleen McCandless :

6 steps to unclutter a room:

  1. Survey the objects in the room.
  2. Define the purpose of the room. Some rooms are meant to be restful, others lively and fun.
  3. Take out what is not necessary and does not bring you joy.
  4. Clean and organize the space.
  5. Add objects that match the purpose and overall feel of the room. It should feel safe and be functional.

I went through our home and evaluated each room. I asked myself the following questions and took action according to the answers.

  1. What comes to my mind when I look at this item? Does it bring me joy? Do I love it?
  2. How do I feel when I am in the room? Do I feel peaceful, energized or overwhelmed?

I was surprised that a few items really had negative thoughts attached to them.  A few in particular were some photos from before I was married and a jewelry hanger that was handmade. When I reached for a necklace or earrings, I not only thought of the artist, but her sister in prison who was not nice to her.  For six years I thought of this, but did not realize it came to my mind every time. I had also accumulated a lot of extra stuff in the area surrounding the jewelry hanger and go rid of that too.

I got rid of clutter from each room and things that we were not using. If the item was purchased by my husband, he made the call on what to do with it. He purged a lot of stuff as well. I thoroughly cleaned each room before moving onto the next. I rearranged pictures on the walls and furniture until calm was the only thing left in my heart.

Since most of my clutter had to do with paper, I devoted a whole action item to handle the job.

Laura’s motto: “Keep paper under control.”

  1. First, I donated books to the library that I was no longer reading.
  2. Next, I tore out pictures and recipes from magazines, put them in a binder, and recycled the rest of it.
  3. Finally, I made monthly folders, weekly and days of the work week folders to help me remember upcoming events. Instead of piles of papers and post it notes, I now have a small file on my desk along with my calendar. The rest of the papers are in a filing cabinet. I made a master file for my binders and files from the filing cabinet so I can keep track of what I stored inside.
  4. Now, when I receive paper, posters, magazines, mail, etc., I take action right away. I throw it away, delegate it to someone else, date it (when to work on it), or file it.

Remember when I said the office was overwhelming? It was because I had all my papers posted on 4 boards surrounding me and they were all calling for my attention every time I sat down.  I also had too many drawers around me and too many art projects on the desk and under the desk that were not finished.  I moved the computer desk to the middle of the room instead of right by the window so that both my husband and I could work without being distracted.

Our home and life is definitely not perfect, but my energy and focus have greatly improved over the last month.  We kept only the things we absolutely loved and the items in each room have a place as well as a function. The rooms feel more peaceful when I walk into them.  I now think twice about “freebies” from work, yard sale items, and paper I get in the mail.

My desire for a clutter free life will continue to be a daily goal and I vow to win the battle against clutter one paper wad at a time.

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