Spring Cleaning Challenge: Clean to Make Space for Your Dream

Clutter is anything you don’t need, use on regular basis, or actually want in your living space. Clutter can be duplicates of things you already own, gifts from people you love but never use, or a sweater you haven’t worn in two years.

Physical clutter creates mental clutter – and both hold us back and distract us from pursuing our dreams. After all, it’s hard to move forward or concentrate on new goals when our environment is out of control, disordered or filled with the past.

  • Some clutter has negative energy to it. This kind of clutter includes stuff you have held on to that reminds you of an unhappy time – a box full of photos of friends you no longer speak to, the old textbook from a class you failed on your bookshelf, or the pair of khakis from the waitressing job you hated that hang out in your bottom dresser drawer.
  • Other clutter holds us hostage to the past. What reminders of the old you are you holding onto for nostalgic reasons? Old trinkets, stuffed animals, or the drying flowers from your prom corsage?
  • All clutter is discouraging and overwhelming. We cannot make progress when our lives feel swamped with stuff.

This week, take our spring-cleaning challenge: get rid of 25 items from your living space. Why? By getting rid of some stuff you will make mental, emotional and physical space for a new you.

What can you get rid of?

Donate, sell online (depending on the condition) or gift to a willing recipient:

  • Clothes, shoes, or accessories you haven’t worn in a year
  • Luggage, backpacks, or purses that haven’t seen the light of day in months
  • Books you won’t re-read or movies you don’t love
  • Kitchen clutter – glasses you don’t use, extraneous pots or pans, random silverware that wound up in your drawer
  • Old supplies from a long-gone hobby -that ice cream maker you used once, your old field hockey stick, a manual on animation
  • Extra storage bins, shoe racks, hangers, etc.
  • Furniture you don’t like or don’t really need
  • Linens, kitchen towels, oven mitts, potholders, bathroom towels, beach towels or washcloths.
  • Duplicates of anything – do you really three muffin tins, twenty bath towels, or seven black t-shirts?
  • Old eyeglasses. The Lion’s Club has drop boxes for old glasses, or you can mail them off to a Club. Learn more here: http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/our-work/sight-programs/eyeglass-recycling/how-you-can-help.php
  • Old cell phones and chargers. Donate your old cell phone to Operation Gratitude, which sends cell phones to the troops. Learn more here: http://www.grcrecycling.com/recycle-cell-phones-to-benefit-our-military?gclid=CKb3j_yRzbYCFTSVMgodTQIArw

Toss or recycle:

  • Tech gear that doesn’t work or is incompatible with your current equipment (broken ear buds, anyone?)
  • Documents. What receipts, papers, memos, old schoolwork, programs, newsletters, newspapers or magazines are you holding onto that you don’t really need any more? (Be sure to shred anything sensitive).
  • Anything that is ripped, stained, broken, or can’t be re-used.
  • Old batteries. Find a place to recycle here: http://www.makethedrop.ca/?gclid=CLKn6MCRzbYCFc5cMgodbxcAOg

If you’re feeling bold, try getting rid of some nostalgic clutter:

  • Gifts you hate from people you love – ugly trinkets, clothing, artwork, books, movies, gadgets, or shoes that are not your style.
  • Old photos, cards, posters, ticket stubs, programs, or mementos. Pick a set amount to save, like a shoebox or three photo albums, and consider recycling the less meaningful stuff.
  • Stuffed animals
  • Old uniforms
  • Old awards, trophies or medals
  • Guilt-ridden, “aspirational” items – The copy of War and Peace you tried to read four times, the padded bike shorts you only wore once, a calligraphy set to make hand-made thank you cards…if anything makes you feel bad, or reminds you of an long-gone goal, say goodbye!
  • Items that represent the old you

Enjoy your cleaned-up physical and mental space for the upcoming summer, and if you feel motivated keep going after 25 items!

(photo credit)

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