I’m not sure which word makes me squirm: clutter or declutter. Either way, both words have a direct relationship with one’s level of creativity. I love to be creative and get into a “flow-state”, but the more clutter that I have around, the harder it is to switch out of reality and hop on to that creativity wave.
I’ve also noticed that being on that creativity wave has a way of attracting things. Actually, it attracts all the abundance the universe has to offer–but with time, after you’ve been bogged down with that material “sludge” the wave sort of gets heavy. It no longer forms that gorgeous pipe that you love tunneling through. Even getting to the beach becomes a chore…
Whichever it is, I chanced upon a blog post (or an email, I can’t remember) that suggested decluttering one’s house with 27 items each day for 9 days. (I can’t find that online site, but I’ve learned on another website, that this concept belongs to Marci Shimoff, an internationally-recognized life coach, and law of attraction expert who was interviewed in the overnight sensation, “The Secret”. You can see another article about her nine-day decluttering concept here.)
New Year? Then, #Declutter2015 (and a bunch of earlier years too!)
It’s to be expected this time of year–with a new year right around the corner–that everybody is looking to create a new self. Everybody is dreaming about new and greater potential. Yours truly included!
So, because I am really looking to tap into that flow-state of creativity every single day of 2016, I knew that decluttering had to be my first Creative Hack to tackle. So, I decided to take on the nine-day challenge to remove 27 items from my house. (Plus, my husband (my own poster child for living creatively) would be so grateful for Ms. Shimoff and me for decluttering our shared home for once and for all.) !
So, I moved on with my day and met with a Virgo friend of mine who (of course!) was cheerleading me on with all sorts of other wonderful (yet extreme) ideas for triage. I think she was gently trying to tell me that 27 items a day for nine days was not enough, but I was definitely having a near panic attack at the thought of ridding myself of stuff!!
I know it sounds absurd, but there was a ton (okay, there is a ton) of resistance at the thought of letting things go.
Yeah. My situation is serious.
Which is why I had to get to decluttering.
After having a couple coffees and wonderful conversation with my girl friend, I returned to the house and began with decluttering. I documented the following items as evidence of my clutter and decluttering work. The items are (most embarrassingly) as follows:
- 3 burned down candles. On one of them the wick had no chance of reigniting. these have been collecting dust in our apartment for a long time. I have kept them, because I have fantasies of reusing the wax somehow. (Crazy, I know! It gets worse.)
- 4 Books to give away. They were easy picks. The messages/stories don’t resonate with me and my situation.
- 1 magazine. (I don’t know what kind anymore.)
- Some old informational brochures. I’m pretty sure I never really looked through these. They come in my mailbox, and I put them to the side thinking I might read them one day.
- 3 half Credit Cards. I paid off a couple credit cards last year, and a debit card expired last year. I usually I cut them up into small bits and throw the first half away on one day, and hoard the second half for some unpredictable later time. Sad, I know. I’m paranoid about identity theft or something. It’s absurd… :-/
- Old lotto tickets that didn’t win. Three. (I checked online and tossed them out.)
- Brochure of additional accessories for a really cool shopping cart, we bought earlier in the year. I never looked into that brochure after that day.
- Some random yarn. (See the burned down candles above.) 😛
- An old eraser that leaves big dark grey smudges on your paper, rather than rubbing out wrong text. Just annoying and gross. I’ve also known the inutility of this eraser for nearly 2 years. Ridiculous, I know!
- 3 wine corks. I can’t remember the occasion for keeping them in the first place. But they were supposed to commemorate a special day, or maybe a special wine. I just can’t remember.
- Random Ribbons. (See candles and random yarn above.)
- 1 old Calendar Agenda, that I used as a notebook. I kept track of all my projects in there in 2012/2013. What I did in those years doesn’t really matter to me now, but for whatever reason I had a hard time just tossing this out.
- Small stuffed tiger. I think I received this as a gift a couple years back that the gift-giver won at a carnival stand. 🙂
- Free makeup from a conference I went to in 2009. I never even broke the seal on some of them, because they aren’t really my color. Now, they are surely expired.
- More ribbon. You can tell I’m beginning to wander around the apartment now, because there’s a lot of stuff that I still don’t need (or want, or even access!) but am not sure I’m ready to part with!
- Old nail polish that’s gone bad and gooey.
- Old facial cream that hasn’t been used in months.
- And, last but not least, old perfume.
Decluttering the house, is decluttering the mind. All that baggage…
The last item was probably the most difficult in the bunch, because that perfume was a gift from my now-husband nearly 10 years ago. Everything about it, the shape of the bottle, the one-millimeter of perfume (the fragrance has turned since then, but the memory of the fragrance still lingers) that sits at the bottom of the bottle–everything about it, brings me back to the last day of my 20s, when he gave it to me on my 30th birthday.
Yes, I’m a romantic and a sentamentalist. that bottle of perfume has traveled with me for nearly 10 years and more than 15,000 miles!
And it’s completely useless.
Join the Declutter Challenge! Just use #Declutter2015 when you Tweet or Instagram proof of your 27 items.
Or go ahead and post a link to your blog (with picture) to comments below! You learn a lot about yourself when you begin to purge… And that was just Day 1 of this nine-day challenge! I’ll be back tomorrow for Day 2. (Clothes…)