Clearing the Clutter – Home as Sanctuary

Clearing the Clutter

Lately, I’ve been on a mission to clear clutter. I don’t consider myself to be a packrat. I don’t think of myself as keeping things out of some sentimental value. Nor do I keep many things just in case I will need them some day.

What I found were 3 types of items that need to be cleared away.

  1. Paperwork, books & resources;
  2. remnants from household projects; and
  3. toiletries, hair products and makeup.

Two weekends ago I cleared clutter in my garage. I found paint and stencils from an art project that I worked on about 18 years ago.

This past weekend, I looked under my bathroom cabinets and found all kinds of beauty products that I tried and then placed out of site.

This upcoming weekend, I will tackle the paperwork, books and resources in my home office.

Clearing this clutter has made me feel lighter psychologically and emotionally.

Clearing the clutter is forcing me to focus on what matters and what doesn’t.

I have revisited what I already know: Your external environment is a reflection of your internal climate.

Home as Sanctuary

When I bought my house in my mid-20’s, I paid a lot of attention to setting up my home as a sanctuary from the world. I haven’t moved a lot. I meet people who move from houses and apartments 2 to 3 times or more in the span of 5 years.

Sometimes people are moving because of the end of a relationship. Other times they are moving because of a job. Still others are moving because their housing expenses outpace their ability to pay.

There are many practical and necessary reasons to move. I count myself fortunate that I have been able to live in my home for nearly 20 years. I don’t feel a pull to move and live in other places. I’ve truly lived by the mantra “home sweet home.”

When people lead meditation and say “Think of your happy place”, others may be at the beach but I’ll be visualizing my living room with the high ceilings, great sunlight and spaciousness.

Time for Change

When I moved into my house I painted vibrant colors in every room. The art and decor included Aztec, Indian (as in South Asia) and modern influences. (Remember…this was almost twenty years ago.)

At Halloween, kids would look inside from the front door and say “oooh,” at the avocado green hallway and vibrant great room. Back then, I felt the same way they did. The colors and space were a reflection of me and my creativity and youth.

For the past 5 years or so I have been keenly aware that I am ready for a change. When I walk into my house I still experience gratitude, but I also feel very burdened by all of the needs of an aging house.

Beyond repairs and upgrades, the decor no longer speaks to me. Instead of “home sweet home,” I began to feel “boy-oh-boy home.”

Home as a Frame for Your Life

I tend to think of home as a canvas or frame for one’s life. Home is the place that we launch from every day and our place to return at night.

Home is the foundation of one’s basic survival needs. In it’s most elevated state, home is a reflection of one’s energy, self valuation, and relationships.

When everything is okay or better than okay at home, it frees you to build, create and be.

Clearing the clutter in our home, car, office and other spaces reveals our preparedness to receive more experiences just as much or more so than our ability to receive or obtain more things.

After all, sanctuary is a place of physical and emotional safety. Sanctuary can also be a place for spiritual edification and enlightenment.

  • If you are looking for a new job;
  • if you are approaching a big change or push in your business or career;
  • if you are ending or transitioning from a relationship;
  • if you have experienced loss;
  • if you feel overwhelmed by the uncompleted projects in your home;
  • if you feel stressed by the clutter you see in and around your home…it is time to get back to basics.

Create the Space

You may not feel like you have time to clear the clutter at home or work. Maybe your “excess” makes you feel full or brings you comfort. Whatever the case, as the leaves start to turn and fall away, we are also being called to this change of season.

Let go of the things you aren’t using. Let go of the things that you have outgrown, the things that no longer reflect your life or identity.

More than letting go…to clear clutter you have to commit to being ruthless in your assessment of what stays and goes. If you can’t do that, get someone to help you and then get out of the way. Learn why you are holding on and when and how to let go.

Copyright © 2017 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.

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