Lately I’ve been talking about decluttering, and stuff, and did you know that decluttering is a spiritual act? I lean on wisdom from organization and decluttering guru Peter Walsh from his book “It’s All Too Much.” Walsh says that clutter stops us from living in the present. We either have an emotional attachment to it because it reminds us of the past, or clutter becomes a kind of life raft to protect us in an unknown and scary future: “I’ll keep it just in case.”
My husband and I are the two sides of this situation: me, in the past with emotional attachments, and he’s with the “just in case” thrifty outlook on things. From time to time we need to do some major decluttering in our house. I think the invitation for all of us as we face the task of decluttering is to find the middle ground, to understand that life calls us to be in the present moment, because if we are too preoccupied with the past or anxious about the future, we’re really not living in what’s happening here and now. So the decluttering process becomes a spiritual quest: How is the clutter getting in the way of releasing the past or looking forward with hope and anticipation? How is the clutter keeping us from living in the present moment?
We’re making progress in our home; you can tell by the pictures on my blogcast site and website. Yesterday, I sorted some papers that were over 10 years old and documentation of a couple of painful episodes in my life. I didn’t realize I still had those files. As I skimmed the pages, key details eluded me, which tells me I’d released a lot of the drama already. I smiled as I ran those sheets through the shredder or tore them up for recycling. The physical state of holding on to these situations on paper in a dark corner of the basement has been released, my mind and heart freer yet. I’d had no idea I was still holding on to that junk. Now, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually they’re gone from my life.
The peace and space on the other side are so comforting and energizing, here and now.
So, consider whether your clutter is holding you back or weighing down the future. Take a deep breath and slip into this moment, the present, and know that what you have and who you are is enough. Now, arrange your outer world accordingly!