Has Clutter Got You Feeling Stuck?
Rev. Dr. Kitty J. Boitnott, NBCT
Certified Life Strategies, Holistic Wellness, and Stress Management Coach
Career Coach to Teachers Experiencing Job Burnout and Mid-Career Professionals in Career Transition
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I am writing to you today from a desk (and a desktop) cleared of "stuff" for the first time in weeks, and it feels awesome!
The clutter to which I am referring was a stack of miscellaneous papers, reports, and notebooks that I have been working on--and around--intermittently for the past month or so. Recently, it dawned on me that the clutter was actually blocking my natural high energy, and as a result, I seemed to be procrastinating more than usual. I was feeling "stuck." Sound familiar?
The fact is that I was trying to work around piles of paper that had been accumulating over the course of the last few weeks. Every new report, every new ebook that might be relevant to my business--EVERYTHING--was piling up to both the right and left of my computer keyboard. I hated it, but I didn't feel I had the time to straighten things out. I had stuff to do! There were articles waiting to be written. There are newsletters waiting to be constructed. There are (thankfully) new clients to reach out to and present clients to be supported. Who had time to clear the clutter? Not me!
Finally, one day last week it dawned on me that I might feel a little less overwhelmed with all of my work if I took some time to clear some of the clutter away from my work space. I knew that some of the "reports" I downloaded months ago (and hadn't ever gotten around to reading yet) were just taking up space, and ultimately, blocking my energy and drive. So, I committed to doing nothing new until I had cleared out the old, organized what needed to be kept, and discarded the stuff that was just taking up space.
Today I am writing from a desk--and a desktop--that is cleared of all clutter, and it feels wonderful. It also calls to my mind, however, how easily it will get cluttered again if I don't develop a system for keeping it clear.
And while I am thinking about physical clutter, it occurs to me to consider other types of clutter we all allow ourselves to accumulate on occasion. What does your car look like, for example? Do you drive around with the floorboard of the car carrying remnants of snacks eaten or mail never read? Do you make a concerted effort to keep your car uncluttered?
And then there are relationships. Some of us tend to hold on to relationships that no longer serve us even as we neglect the relationships that need to be nurtured and cared for in our lives. I don't know if you will agree with this or not, but I think that occasionally we need to cut certain people loose. They are a drain on us, our sense of serenity and calm and ultimately on the quality of our lives.
Years ago, I experienced the pain of needing to cut loose a friendship that was not only not serving me, but was causing me actual discomfort. The person causing me the distress was a big person and had a big personality. She was a colleague that I had started out admiring and looking up to. Over time, however, either she changed or I did (or both) because I began to experience her as someone who could suck the energy out of the room as soon as she walked into it.
She was a chronic complainer. She was totally addicted to her story of how the world (God, the Universe, her ex-husband, her ex-mother-in-law, etc.) had mistreated her. Daily I heard recaps of all the ways that she had been mistreated, and it began to wear me down.
I got to the point where I would time my time around her as much as I could. We worked in the same building, and it finally got so bad, I asked for a transfer. I decided that her behavior was such a detriment to my enjoyment of the building that I needed to completely cut myself off. And I did.
Do you have someone in your life like that? Is it time to cut them loose? Is it time to spend MORE time with friends who will lift you up instead of bore you to tears--or drag you down with them--with their tales of woe?
And here is a thought...are YOU the person that is constantly whining and complaining about how you aren't getting what you deserve? If so, it may be time to take a look at that.
All of us occasionally get down and need someone with whom to vent and complain. A good friend will be there for you on those occasions.
If you or someone in your inner circle can only talk about what is wrong, however, without ever being thankful for the multitude of blessings in their lives, it may be time to take stock.
Where is the clutter in your life? Is it your home and its physical appearance? Is it your office? Do you need to take some time to clear out old papers, mail, magazines, etc. that you aren't ever going to read but can't bear to throw out? Then give it to someone else, but get rid of it or organize it. You will feel much better. I know I do.
If you need help, let me know. I am not a specialist in organizing, but I know people who are and I can connect you.
If you need help de-cluttering in other ways, I might be able to help, so let me know.
Clearing the clutter whether it is in your closet, on your desk or in your life can make a difference in how you experience your life, so I invite you to consider...where do you need to de-clutter so that you can live your life fully and enjoy it the way it was meant to be enjoyed?
Until next time.
Photo by Shutterstock
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