Clearing Your Clutter Might Be the Change You Need

 Photo by  Scott Webb  on  Unsplash

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decision fueled by procrastination.
— Christina Scalise

Over the years I've noticed that the condition of my room accurately represents how I feel. When I'm distracted and unfocused, my room is cluttered and messy. When I'm clearheaded and centered, my room is often (key word: OFTEN lol) clean and everything is in place. Often times your mess is what's causing your stress! If you're feeling worn out or tired, take an inventory of the clutter in your life. You might just have some surprising results.

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What Do I Mean by Clutter?

Clutter is defined as a collection of things lying about in an untidy mess. In the book The Worn Out Woman, the authors Dr. Steve Stephens & Alice Gray talk about simplifying and decluttering your life in order to live a more positive and purposeful life. In this book they define three types of clutter - mental clutter, emotional clutter, and spiritual clutter. We will be discussing physical clutter as well.

Physical Clutter

Physical clutter is any item or thing that no longer serves a purpose but is still taking up space. Honestly, this could even be a person but we're going to save that post for another day!

Ways to Get Rid of Physical Clutter

  • Start with a plan - You need to start with a plan if you are going to declutter your home. Often times if it builds up, you might find yourself tossing any and everything which is not always a good thing. Plan where you will start, what you do and don't need, and what you will do with the things that no longer serve a purpose. This is also a good time to actually COMMIT to throwing the things away that you don't need.
  • Map out sections of your room/house - Next, you'll want to map out sections of your space. I'm sure none of you are going to be on the next episode of Hoarders, but decluttering your home can be overwhelming if you try to tackle large areas at once. Take it step by step, space by space.
  • Create a sorting system - How will you sort what you do or don't need? I think one of the easiest ways to do so is to use the three bin system - keep, throw away, and donate.
  • Commit to only bringing in what you NEED - This is one of the hardest parts for me, but I've been slowly but surely making a habit of only bringing things into my room after I've taken things that I don't need out.

Mental Clutter

"Mental clutter involves an overload of ideas and images, issues to consider, quandaries to puzzle over, threats to worry about. You literally have "too much on your mind," and this mental clutter can lead to distractions, obsessions, or impure thoughts."

Ways to Get Rid of Mental Clutter

 Photo courtesy of CreateHerStock.com

Photo courtesy of CreateHerStock.com

  • Keep a journal by your bed - Journaling, especially at night, allows you to release all of your thoughts and organize them. This way your mind is clear and you are able to focus much better. I've created a journal that I use everyday and I love it! It will be available for purchase here on the site soon! 
  • Create to do lists - Often times thinking about everything that we need to do stresses us out to the point that it never gets done. Create to do lists so that you can clearly and easily see what you need to do. This also allows you to determine importance and see which things you should really be focused on.
  • Change your thinking habits - In this post I talk about how simply changing your perspective can totally change your life. Thinking positive increases the likelihood of positive things happening to you. (HINT: positive things are always happening. It's just up to you to see them!)
  • Take a break from social media/media in general - Social media can be extremely draining and it might just be time for you to do a detox. A social media detox allows you to refocus on what's actually important in your life.

Emotional Clutter

"Emotional clutter mostly consists of unprocessed, unresolved, and sometimes unrecognized feelings - fears, insecurities, anger, anxiety. When your life is full of emotional clutter, you probably feel confused and anxious much of the time. Anger may flare unexpectedly. You have a sense of being on the edge or out of control."

Ways to Get Rid of Emotional Clutter

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  • Talk to someone you trust or go to therapy - Simply talking to someone who will not judge you, but just listen intently can be a great way to get rid of emotional clutter. Just make sure that you are not holding everything in for long periods of time and then dumping it all on someone else. That's not fair to them or YOU!
  • Get rid of drama - Sometimes emotional clutter is brought to you by the people who you are close with. Evaluate what your friends are bringing into your life.

 

  • Tackle things head on - Avoidance is a coping mechanism for a lot of people (INCLUDING ME). However, this can almost always create a lot of emotional clutter because you never get to release your emotions by avoiding your problems. For one week, try to actively recognize how every situation - big or small - makes you feel, and then voice those feelings if necessary.
  • Let go of your need of approval - This is kind of connected to taking a break from social media. We live in a world of comparison and not only is it draining, but it also adds to your emotional clutter. You don't even realize that you are judging yourself or feeling unworthy as you scroll down your Instagram feed and see pretty girls with nice things. You do not need society to approve of who you are! 

 

Spiritual Clutter

"Spiritual clutter has mostly to do with unrecognized and unconfessed sin in your life. Attitudes of defiance, greed, dishonesty, anger, jealousy, bitterness, lack of love, pride, lust, or selfish ambition may crowd your heart - especially if you haven't kept current with God."

Ways to Get Rid of Spiritual Clutter

  • Stop running from God - I learned this the hard way. There are times when we sin and know that we are wrong, and because we know we're wrong, we are afraid to take it to God. Holding on to sin became unnecessary once Jesus Christ died on the cross and became the propitiation for our sins. Clearing your spiritual clutter could be as simple as confessing, repenting, and turning away from your sin.
  • Forgive YOURSELF & Others - Sometimes the biggest thing holding us back in life is our inability to forgive ourselves for the decisions that we've made. One of the devotionals in my journal (coming soon!) talks about God knowing everything that we've done. You do not have to crucify yourself over and over for a mistake that God has already forgiven you for. Forgive yourself and receive peace.
  • Reach out to those you have unresolved conflict with - Having unresolved conflict, especially with people who you love, can be extremely draining. Send that text message, make the phone call, write the letter. Even if you don't get the response you're looking for, you can be at peace because you know that you did all you could do to rectify the situation.
  • Affirm yourself - As women, a lot of our spiritual clutter comes from fears, insecurities, and self-doubt. One way to combat that is to constantly affirm who you are. On my bible study blog I have a post with 10 Statements that Affirm Who You Are & Whose You Are. You could also complete the 14 Day Self Love Challenge.

Your clutter might be the only thing that's keeping your from living the positive, purpose filled life that God has called for you. In the words of Elsa, LET IT GO!

 

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Ashtyn WashingtonComment