Today's blog is inspired by this day of our Independence. Freedom has been on my mind for quite some time and I've been contemplating over how to write on this very subject. (It's actually now August as I sit and finish this blog) The clients I've met lately have expressed this same desire for freedom. Freedom from their possessions, freedom from their clutter and freedom from their present state of consciousness which is a general feeling of a lack of inspiration.
Some people "just aren't good at organizing". I've been an organizer for over ten years and most of the clients I've encountered have said these very words. These are people that have gone through physical or emotional trauma, people who weren't raised in an organized environment and people that just seem to be too busy.
The answer to their dilemma is that they just have too much stuff!
It isn't rocket science. We all learned in kindergarten how to put together a puzzle and how to color inside the lines. So when they say they can't put things back where they found them it's because there are too many items in their home to manage and none of their items have the proper home to begin with. I hate to say it, but it doesn't have to be material items that make you feel cluttered.
It can also be emotional clutter as well.
When you walk into your home your mind should feel at peace and you should be able to face your closet or garage without wanting to close your eyes wishing you were somewhere else. I've observed my clients over the years and people can hoard their past along with present material items. They may even go hand in hand.
Did you ever think you could be a hoarder without looking like one?
Mental clutter is real and if we aren't able to face it, we typically buy more stuff to keep the mental stuff stuffed away deep in our minds where we think it will never rise to the surface. But it eventually returns in some way or another and then you find yourself hiring someone like me to help you purge all of the items you no longer want or need.
I know. Madness.
It's so important to be mindful of your habits and tendencies. My tendencies are to ignore issues until they turn into huge problems. When they become huge problems, I look back and realize had I just addressed the issue from the beginning then I probably wouldn't be paying double for that stinkin' parking ticket.
Some people do this with their job, money and relationships. Then we think if we fill our homes up with stuff we will be happy and feel confident. Nope. The problems you aren't addressing are still there and now they are buried under credit card debt and a closet full of clothes that you couldn't care less to wear.
Yep. You guessed it. We have to deal with ourselves.
Why do we run? Why do we ignore it? Why do we procrastinate? When did we learn these habits? And most importantly how do we change?
Well I can't speak for you and the only reason I can write about these issues is because I've been there myself and have witnessed it with my clients. I was an un-tidy teen and young adult. I was an emotional wreck in college not knowing who I wanted to be or what inspired me the most. I tried fitting into the world and the more I tried the more I failed. All the while accumulating possessions, hoping it would fill the empty spot inside of me. My issues festered and grew until I couldn't stand the sight of myself any longer. Maybe my story is a little more dramatic than yours but I'm sure you can relate on some level.
Then one day, I looked around my apartment and realized I wasn't free to live my life. I was a slave to my possessions and my outer life was a direct reflection of my inner unhappiness. So I decided to get rid of everything I didn't love... oh and I found a new apartment 1/4 the size of what I was used to so I made it a point to keep only the things that would fit into my new space. It was a basement apartment in Cheeseman Park and back then in 2003 my rent was $350/month for a 400 sq. ft. studio. Today it would probably cost $900/month. Then I moved again and purged again. And Moved again and purged again. It seemed so necessary to "move" through this mental and physical clutter and where I ended up was with a dream to start my own business and in the cutest apartment ever where I was free to be spontaneous and live my inspired life. I sold my car and I sold my paintings to pay the rent. To make a long story short, I had to deal with me and my clutter before I could become who I had always wanted to be. And to get there I literally had to get rid of almost everything. No, I'm not perfect and thank god for that. Yes, I still go back to the drawing board to re-create certain areas of my life. But had I stayed the old me with all my clutter not addressing my mental obstacles, living in a space that didn't inspire me I'd never be where I am today.
So are your personal belongings and living space a direct reflection of your dreams and desires and most importantly your ability to live a freedom-filled life saturated with spontaneity?
Yes, and I urge your to try it.
Happy Tidying, Everyone!