7 Tips for Staying Clutter-Free

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More than just junk, clutter is all those things that have negative symbology and that collect stagnant energy. This latter can also apply to bodily, emotional, and spiritual clutter. In an age of accumulation, it's good to see a book that frees up life again.
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In "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui," author Karen Kingston reminds us that clutter is stuck energy that keeps you stuck in undesirable life patterns. Therefore, you can "sort out your life by sorting out your junk." She covers the reasons we keep things as well as the amazing stories of people who have cleared their clutter away.

Clutter is trapped energy that has far-reaching effects physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The simple act of clearing clutter can transform your life by releasing negative emotions, generating energy, and allowing you to create space in your life for the things you want to achieve. In this revised and updated edition of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui (Harmony Books, 2016),author Karen Kingston, pioneer of a branch of Feng Shui known as Space Clearing, expertly guides you through the liberating task of clutter clearing. You will learn why you keep clutter, how to identify and clear clutter in the home or workplace and ultimately — how to stay clutter-free.

Seven Top Clutter Clearing Tips

Here are seven tried-and-true tips for effective clutter clearing.

1. Discover Your Most Effective Clutter Clearing Time of Day

Most people find they have a best time of day for clutter clearing. Some people prefer the morning. Others find it easier at night. Discover when you are at your most decisive and do your clearing then.

2. Schedule Clutter Clearing

Decide when you will begin and schedule it on your calendar, as you would any other activity. Make a date with yourself to do it, and show up. It can be a whole day, a half day, or a series of appointments of just an hour or half an hour, depending on how fast you want to progress.

3. Timebox Each Task

It’s a well-known fact that all jobs expand to fill their allotted time limit, so if you tell yourself you will clear your stuff until it’s done, don’t be surprised if the process takes forever. Timebox each job. Break each task down into chunks, decide how long it will take you to complete each one, and then set your timer. Work against the clock to do each chunk within the timebox you have set yourself.

You can also use this technique to accomplish other types of tasks. For example, if you’re doing a job at your computer, you might use one of the great timer software programs out there. Instead of a boring alarm sound when time’s up, you can set the program to burst into life with any soundtrack you have on your computer. I revised and updated most of this book in sixty-minute timeboxes using this technique.

If you’re the kind of person who procrastinates because you love the adrenaline rush of getting something done just in time for a deadline, you’ll adore timeboxing. You won’t have to wait for a big deadline but can get your fix many times a day. However, I have to warn you that with practice, you’ll be able to timebox yourself with­ out a clock, and will routinely start completing jobs on time. So use this technique only if the rest of your life is interesting enough not to need adrenaline highs ( your kidneys will thank you for this and serve you longer because of it).

4. Play Upbeat Music

Some people prefer to clutter clear in silence, but many find they are able to keep going two to three times longer if they have the right music playing. If this works for you, be sure to use external speakers (not headphones) and set the volume loud enough to make your body feel like dancing. For best results, set your player to automatic repeat so that it just keeps going. Avoid alternating fast and slow songs — the ballads will cause you to lose momentum. If you have a lot of clutter to clear, it would be a good investment of your time to make your own music compilation especially for this purpose. But don’t let doing this be yet another delay to making a start!

5. Wear Something Red

Just as red dancing shoes make your feet feel like moving, so does wearing red clothes make you feel like taking action. If you don’t have anything red, then wear colors from the warm end of the spectrum (orange, yellow, etc.) rather than cool colors like blue. Many people keep clutter as a way of comforting themselves. Warm colors are more emotionally comforting than cool ones, so if you wear colors from the warmer end of the spectrum while sorting through your stuff, you’ll probably find it easier to let things go.

6. Don’t Wear Black or Gray

Black attracts low-level vibrations and will quickly make you feel tired when clearing clutter. Gray is also not a good color to wear because it can cause you to be indecisive about what stays and what goes.

7. Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done

It’s human nature to seek gratification, so if you reward yourself in some way after you’ve clutter cleared, part of you remembers this and is more inclined to want to do it again. Promise yourself that when the job is done, you’ll reward yourself with a massage, watch a movie, go out with a friend, or whatever kind of treat is possible, affordable, and meaningful for you.

Excerpted from Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui (revised and updated edition) Copyright © 2016 by Karen Kingston. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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