Friday, September 7, 2012

The Clutter Effect

Quote: Clutter is a physical manifestation of fear that cripples our ability to grow.  H. G. Chissell

Clutter is a confusing, disorganized state or collection. 

Starting your day in a state of confusion and disorganization causes stress, anxiety and the feeling of being out of control. Many of us start our day in exactly this way without realizing it.

We get out of bed and immediately begin searching for something: our glasses, the box of cereal, cream for the coffee, our car keys, something we are supposed to remember to schedule, to unschedule or maybe somewhere to go. Our first experience of the new day is one of distraction.

Clutter can be physical items, behaviors and emotions or feelings.

If we manage to get up, dressed and out the door with relative ease, we can encounter overwhelm on the road as traffic begins to increase. Some days we can arrive at the office well rested and unaffected by our commute only to be faced with an overflowing inbox of email, accumulated messages on voicemail or a packed schedule for the day.

This is what I call The Clutter Effect…

The Clutter Effect takes root subtly. Left unchecked, it causes a loss of inner peace, a depletion of energy and leaves you with a distorted sense of reality.

If you are feeling smothered by belongings, drained from commitments and unmanageable schedules or operating under stress and experiencing anxiety, you are suffering from The
Clutter Effect!

Taming the Clutter Effect

After a soothing shower and nutritional breakfast, Mary Jo leaves home after checking that she has her cell phone, keys for both car and office, her laptop and her purse. She drives 15 minutes to her office against traffic and arrives early enough to park where she chooses. She climbs the stairs instead of taking the elevator. She puts her belongings down, hangs up her jacket and starts the coffee pot.

Before she can get back to the coffee pot for a cup of coffee, her cell phone rings and the email alert begins its routine beeping. Grabbing her cell phone, she sits at the desk and starts her computer. She pulls up her calendar to schedule an appointment and finds herself overloaded with meetings and appointments. For most of the day she is expected to be on three calls at the same time!

Mary Jo is suffering from the effects of over commitment. She prides herself on keeping a tidy home and being very organized and timely. She doesn’t realize that she hasn’t carried these values/traits/habits over to her calendar. Mary Jo has behavioral clutter she can’t yet see.

“Whether you realize it or not,” says Pam Holland of Mindful Decluttering & Organizing, “all of the activities and objects in your life profoundly affect your happiness, health and productivity. All three forms of clutter weigh you down and hold you back”.

Clutter appears in three forms:

Physical- Objects, belongings, papers, mementos
Emotional- Thoughts, habits, feelings
Behavioral- Schedules, obligations, activities, commitments

Defining your boundaries around time is as important as defining a space, such as your bedroom or office. Equally important is defining rules for dealing with emotional clutter such as the feelings of guilt, regret, avoidance, and over sympathizing. All clutter is a drain on our energy.

What reason do you give for not yet reaching your dreams or accomplishing your goals? Do you willingly accept that things just are as they are, reasoning that this is how life works?

Pam and I know this familiar mantra and have experienced for ourselves how clinging to it prevents joy, depletes energy and stifles personal growth. We see how blocked energy causes our clients to become stuck and then convince themselves that being stuck is at least a familiar place to remain. Yet, our combined 15 years of experience tells us that as clutter accumulates in some form, energy stagnates. And when energy stagnates, more clutter accumulates.

Stagnant energy prevents personal growth. Personal growth is necessary for creating joy, prosperity and abundance for ourselves as well as to be able to share them with others through our interactions with them. For things to be different, we have to approach them from a different perspective.

Facing your clutter means reclaiming your power! Discovering what is cluttering your life and draining your energy gives you more control, increases your energy, and creates more freedom.  Clutter represents what we are most afraid of: our true power to create, influence and make a big impact on our world.

Check out the Clutter Free Lifestyle Preview Event: