Clear Clutter & Change Your Life.

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bare bed

Look at your life: your car, your garage, your office, desk, closets and home. Like what you see? Great, then you’re probably making a ton of money and sitting on a beach somewhere.

No? Well ,consider taking a peek into your personal life. Are you a clean person and not a clutterholic? (I’m still betting that you’ve got your share of excess so stay with me here…)

Clutter is not only bad for our health, it blocks our prosperity. There’s literally no room for new energy. I can almost guarantee that if my client is overweight or having money troubles, there is a source of clutter or excess in their life.

My first suggestion for feng shui clients is to go through every room and fill a bag. Yes—a whole bag—and give, sell or recycle the contents. Clutter and holding on to things is a big fat sign to the universe that you don’t believe you’ll have the resources to replace or buy it if you need it again.


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Holding on “just in case” sends a strong signal of poverty consciousness. Someone out there can use what you’re not using and might really need it. Trusting that when you realize you must have widget A to use with widget B; you’ll be able to buy it sends a signal of trust. Holding on to your “just in case” items that you haven’t used in years sends a signal of fear. Excess items block the energy from flowing in your home. Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed on vacation or at a spa? The rooms are sparse and functional.

Let’s start with the bedroom: Go through all of the drawers and closets. If you haven’t worn something in two years, you’re never going to wear it. I promise. If you haven’t loved it enough to find a match or accessory to make it work, you don’t love it enough to keep it. Studies have shown that we all wear the same 11 outfits week after week anyways. Less is truly, the new more. When we have less, we tend to mix and match and get creative.

If you stand in your closet not sure what to wear in the morning, it’s a sign that you have too much. Keeping old clothes that used to fit? They are either a constant reminder of what you perceive as current failure, or a guarantee that you will indeed gain that weight back and need to wear them. Think about the symbolism here. Let them go. If you lose the weight you’ll want new clothes anyways and if you do gain the weight back, you deserve something that makes you feel fabulous, not your old fat jeans.

Sheets and Bed: If you’re like most people, you’ve replaced sheets but not thrown the old ones away. Having trouble letting go? Think of homeless people who don’t have any and then drop them off at a local donation site. Blankets? Same thought process. I recently noticed I had three down comforters and I’m not a pack rat. One of those is being donated this week. Sure it was expensive, but I’m not using it and the idea of someone out there being cold at night gives me the strength to say goodbye.


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Feeling really brave? Replace your bed. There is nothing more powerful for your relationship than to do a complete mattress do over with fresh energy that hasn’t been cried on, argued on or sex’d on by another person.

There should be nothing under your bed, period. Shoes stored under there? Get a behind the door rack. The energy needs to flow so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Now the bath: How many half used jars and bottles do you have under that sink and in your closets? I get a cheap thrill out of using the last of something before allowing myself to buy another. Make up? Do we really need all of it? Same rule as your clothing. If you haven’t used it, lose it. Towels have the same rule as sheets. Get rid of the old ones when you buy the new ones. Go through your medicine cabinet and throw out expired products as well as your “just in case” items. Remember to trust that if you need some medicine, you’re going to be able to afford it rather than keep expired products that could be dangerous. Scrap the scraps of soap in your shower too. Feel how abundant you feel with one big bar of fresh soap.

The office: Consider having six pens and no more. Buying pens and paper can be a habit like any other. Go through your piles of paper and either file them, transfer the data somewhere else or recycle them. Business cards accumulating? Spend a rainy sunday afternoon transferring the data and then throw them away! Go through your books and donate the ones you’ll never read again. Some reference books and books that you love to read over and over should be kept, but let’s face it; you don’t need to keep your Office 04 for Dummies when it’s 2013. I actually found a farmer’s almanac from 1994 the other day while helping a client fish through their shelves.

The kitchen: Like the bath, the kitchen can be a place where half empty bottles collect as we buy new items. Go through the refrigerator and get rid of the duplicate bottles of condiments. (I’m notorious for letting herbal remedy bottles collect.) Old dishes that aren’t sentimental but are beat up and chipped? Donate them. You’ll be surprise by how good you feel when you toss all of those plastic cups and mismatched coffee cups. Tupperware cabinet? You know what to do…

Now my thoughts on gifts and sentimental items: If someone gives you a gift, it is yours to do what you want with it. If you don’t love it, keep the memory of the person and donate the gift to someone who might love it. Feel overwhelmed with guilt? Take a photo of the item and then donate it. Things you don’t love in your home and your closet wear down your energy.

Keeping your children’s toys well past the time they’re grown doesn’t make you closer to them. Much better to give those toys and clothes away to families in need and enjoy the time you’d spend walking around those boxes and creating room in your garage or basement playing with your kiddos instead.

Trust me. Clutter weighs us down whether we realize it or not. Grab a friend or a coach to give you courage and go for it. Once you start, you’ll be hooked on the feelings of freedom that come—and I promise, those feelings are worth it.

My favorite tip?

Start by putting 12 things per room in that bag. Soon, you’ll get into the flow of letting go and you’ll be surprised by how quickly you start de-cluttering your life. Ask yourself these three questions: Do I love it? Do I use it? Does it work?

Clear it out. Give it away. And trust that if you need it again you’ll have the resources to replace it.

Life consists of a series of starts and finishes, why not take charge and set the ground rules for this year’s new start?

Originally posted via my 40 day personal reboot program on Daily Transformations

Relephant Reads:

Cutting a Path Through Clutter.

The Urge to Purge. Feng Shui Advice.

Clean Your House & Mind this Spring. ~ Adri Kyser

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Robert S. Donovan

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

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Tamara Star

Tamara Star believes happiness is not an end destination, but instead the ability to see the ordinary through eyes of wonder.

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She’s an international best-selling author and the creator of the original 40-day Personal reboot program for women–a 6 week virtual deep dive into clearing the slate on what’s blocking you. Registration is open NOW here.

Tamara’s global reach inspires women around the world through her programs, newsletters, and teachings.

She’s been featured on SiriusXM radio, Good Morning America, former Oprah producer LeGrande Green’s GetBOLD radio, Dr. Brenda Wade’s GoodLove Radio, Daybreak USA and News Australia.

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Tamara’s work had been translated into 6 languages and featured on The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Positively Positive, Yahoo News, The Australia, The Good Men Project, and Yoga Anonymous.

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anonymous Jan 26, 2016 1:36pm

I love, love, love this… I’m a big believer in decluttering and feel so good when clearing-out old things or donating. I’ve been living with my partner for a few months now (in a small space) and he has MANY things in addition to his beloved racks of clothes/shoes. These things sit out in our bedroom and I’ve had such terrible sleeping patterns since. He is quick to react whenever something goes wrong and holds so much tension/anxiety in; I know deeply that these things are occurring because the flow of our apartment is scewed and not everything has their own space. I’ve brought it up multiple times, calmly, even stating how it bothers me to look at it all but it’s super hard for him to even fathom… Any tips??

anonymous Feb 23, 2015 3:00pm

pamela- Merriam Webster does not agree with your opinion.

anonymous Feb 9, 2015 9:24pm

"Anyways" isn't a word.

anonymous Aug 25, 2014 7:36am

Went home to visit my family recently. My Mom wanted me to bring back her stuff she had been saving. I brought back what I could. My daughter & 2 granddaughters live with me. I cleared out the room my daughter’s room of all my clutter. Now it is in my bedroom. Started going through boxes & bins, but, got stuck on old photos, letters, business cards, contact sheets. After reading this article & comments, I am encouraged to clean out my bedroom first. Lost 60 pounds, kept cloths, gained some of weight back. Now time to clean that mess up too.

One of the most amazing times of my life was living in Iraq, running a fitness center for the troops. Now I realize some of that was due to talking only 2 suitcases of belongs over there. No phone, no car, lived in a 12ft by 30 ft hooch. Time was spent working, reading, writing letters, & best of all conversing with the people I saw every day.

anonymous Jun 10, 2014 9:47am

This is wonderful and hits home. I purchased my childhood home. I moved back in with my parents just before they both became ill. My sister moved back in to help me, my sister soon became ill. Within a few years I lost my parents and my sister and I bought the house. My parents had lived in the house for 55 years. The house is small, 850sf, at one time there were 6 people here (my parents, my 3 sisters and myself.) My mother was an expert packer and knew how to use the limited space. As I started pulling out boxes I was amazed at the amount of stuff I found. Not only I was I going through the belongings of 3 people, I was also going through my own stuff that had been put into storage. Mid way through I could not do it any longer and I stopped, for months the house was a maze of storage totes and piles of stuff. I finally got through the rest of the stuff, multiple donations to a local VA charity (I estimated about 150 large storage totes filled to the brim given away). It was a big day when I came upon the realization that getting rid of the stuff was not the equivalent of letting go of the memories of my family who I lost. I have probably one more good declutter I need to do, and I keep putting it off. I know that I am holding on to the stuff because I see it as my holding onto the life I knew before loss, the person I was then. After all the work I did in clearing out the house I did notice changes in my concentration level and how I was more open. But still I hold onto these one little bit that is left. I know I will move through this too. I am at the point that I ready to move forward and the thought is now more exciting then scary.

anonymous May 5, 2014 11:38pm

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anonymous Mar 22, 2014 2:47pm

Hello Tamara, I concur. Some days I too feel that if I don't clear the clutter I will not be able to breathe. Our environment plays an important role to our mood and life quality in the end.

anonymous Feb 13, 2014 12:31am

Ive been feeling flat for a while and your post inspired me to do a major de-clutter. 6 garbage bags to charity, 1 overflowing bin, a pile of stuff to sell and space to spare. I used to store shoes and junk under the bed, but now it’s completely clear. Here’s to a better night’s sleep. Thanks!

anonymous Feb 12, 2014 12:16pm

I don't care what you say! I am NOT getting rid of my original troll dolls. Barbies, yes, I gave them to Goodwill.

Speaking of which, be careful what you throw out. A year after donating them, I discovered one of the Barbies was worth about $500 and that was 30 years ago!

anonymous Feb 11, 2014 11:16am

Love this post! I currently dont have a place to call home since I am travelling around the world – and I have never felt more free. Being surrounder by clutter really does drain you and make you feel exhausted. You dont need to move to get rid of the thi gs that drains your energy, but this list will totally work!!