“Less might actually equal more.”
– Graham Hill –
I have just spent the last hour and a half tidying and cleaning our flat. My sister and her husband have just been to stay for 5 days and we have more friends coming to visit tomorrow. So, I wanted to make sure our place is spick and span.
However, I must point out that I never used to be this clean and tidy. In fact I was a pretty good hoarder. So much so that one of my ex boyfriends used to affectionately refer to me as a pack rat. At the time, I took offence to this. How could he not understand my need to keep a hold of tonnes of things that meant something to me? Now I understand the importance of not getting attached to material things, that they do not define me, and that in order to make space for new things and people in my life, I must let go of that which no longer serves me.
I’m not advocating that everyone runs home and throws out everything that they own, however, I am a massive advocate of regular spring cleaning. A clean house maximizes positive energy flow and reflects your state of mind.
I now know that my need to hold on to things, reflected the fact that I spent a lot of my 20s living in the past, trying to control events and people in my life, rather than living in the present and making space for the new, by letting go of the old. I also know that a lot of the time I wouldn’t think before I bought, and that I would also buy things to make me feel happy, rather than understanding that happiness comes from inside me, not from external things.
So, how do you spring clean? I have devised a full proof method over the last years and I actually came across the concept in a book I once read about de-cluttering your house (and in turn your mind).
Here is a 8 step process to follow for maintaining a tidy living space.
- Find three separate boxes, baskets or crates.
- Ideally every day, or every other day set aside 15 mins for a quick tidy.
- Put this in your phone as a 15 minute timer with an alarm. Stop when the alarm goes off.
- If you have a large house, just stick to tidying one room each day, if your house or flat is relatively small you can nip around it efficiently in 15 mins easily.
- Have one box for things to throw out.
- Have another box for things to keep, but tidy away into a draw, book shelf, cupboard etc.
- Have another box for things to donate to a charity shop, recycle or give away.
- At the end of the 15 mins take action and throw away, recycle, make plans to give away or donate all of the things in each of the three boxes.
And if you have a family, you can delegate a room to each family member, to speed up the process and have every help create a tidy living space. If you can’t find 15 mins a day, then try every other day or once a week. The most important thing is to start, even if it is with something small and simple like a drawer.
The Universe loves it when there is not only space for positive energy to flow, but when there is a flow of energy of things in your living space. This is why it is important not to hoard or hold on to things unnecessarily.
If you really aren’t sure about which things to hold on to or not, just ask yourself do I love this piece of clothing, pair of shoes, lamp, book, piece of furniture? If the answer is no, then you can set it free and let go of it.
Of course, it is nice to have things around you at home, but essentially, we don’t ever really need any material items to define us or our happiness. I learnt this when I was travelling in 2011. All I had was a bag, my passport, some money and the clothes on my back and I was always super happy and contented. This was because I knew that even if I lost all of my possessions, as long as I had myself and my health, I’d be able to continue on and replace them. I defined my happiness, not my stuff.
Here is also a fantastic, short, sharp and sweet TED talk called ‘Less stuff, more happiness‘ by writer, designer and founder of treehugger.com, Graham Hill. He puts forward a strong case for having less and using less space can lead to increased happiness. He also introduces his concept of life editing and gives three tips on how you can ‘live little‘.
So my question for today is, what are you holding on to unnecessarily that you can let go of, so as to create more space in your life?
“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.”
– Margaret Young –
Sending you lots of love, hugs and light,
Kat x x x
Inspiration for this post