Declutter for spring

 
         
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Declutter for Spring!
 
” Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; from discard find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
-Albert Einstein

 
Its officially spring and for most of us that means, its time to declutter.  When we remove the negative, we leave room for the positive to enter. So, to transform into our best lives, we need to declutter/purge things that no longer serve us.
 
Here are a few tips to start your de-cluttering of “Stuff”
 
1. When starting your declutter of your car, backpacks, pocketbooks, home, office or any space, ask yourself these two questions:
* Do I love this?
* Do I use it?
These two questions will help you to make a better decision in what you should keep and what you should remove.
 
2. Am I holding onto things that were from my old self? We can hold onto things from previous chapters of our lives that no longer fit who we are today. Look at items and ask yourself:
Does this work in my life today?
Is this part of who I am today?
*I had a client that kept a lot of clutter in her dinning room – when we went through all this stuff, she realized she was holding onto to things from her previous life when she was married. That was almost five years ago. This made her realize the things she was holding onto were no longer serving her new phase/identity in life and it was time to redecorate.
 
3. We don’t throw things away to due to the memories/feelings attached to the objects. If you decide you want to purge an object you can do two things to make the purge easier and smoother.
A. Pay it forward – when we give away our stuff to people who will use it or need it, it gives us a sense of peace and happiness. Every time we pay it forward we get a boost of happiness that lasts 24-72 hours. This will make the purge a pleasant experience. We can do this with our kids too. Every time my daughter goes through a phase of wanting new toys or things, we take all her old stuff and donate it to a local church or thrift shop.
* For example: My daughter just went through a phase of purging her stuffed animals for American girl dolls. Before we would buy her a doll, she needed to remove her old stuffed animals and give them away to a place of her own choosing. Some of the stuffed animals went to a friend who had 2 young children who were so excited to receive the stuffed animals and the rest went to a donation bin.
 
B. Hold on to the memories but remove the “stuff” – when my client had to move her mom from a 5 bedroom house to a senior living apartment there wasn’t much room for all her stuff. We knew what her mom wanted was the memories not the stuff so we took pictures of all the things she loves and made a memory book for her. This allows the memories to stay with the person but not all the clutter.
 
4.When decluttering start small – do one thing at a time. Maybe start with the top of the table or one draw at a time. If we start off with something too big like a whole closet we will overwhelm ourselves, feel stressed out and procrastinate. Instead take baby steps. Clean one thing at a time. When we finish up the one thing we will feel a sense of accomplishment and positive reinforcement instead of frustration and stress. This will keep us motivated to move forward.
 
5. Visualize the space- we tend to procrastinate on de-cluttering if we don’t have an idea of what we want to do with the space we are cleaning up. So, if your cleaning out a room that was your kids but they moved out- ask yourself, what do I want to do with this space? Visualize it? Draw it?
When we have a clear vision of the space in its new identity, we tend to put action towards the dream.
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About Finding your happiness

Diane Lang is a Therapist, educator, author and life coach. Diane has two books: Baby steps the path from motherhood to Career and Creating balance & finding happiness. Diane works as a Therapist and also is an adjunct at Montclair State University. This blog will help educate and empower you to live your best life! For more information please visit her website: www.dlcounseling.com
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