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How Clutter Affects Your Life
Hello and welcome to the Simple Success podcast with Joanne and Serene and today we are discussing something that affects nearly all of us at some point or another, something that we may not always relate to our manifesting success and that is – physical clutter!
Yes we all have it at some point! – either that pile of stuff in the corner, the mounting papers on the kitchen table or a drawer bursting at the seams. Whatever the clutter is, it represents stuck energy and it affects us far more than we realise.
Joanne: Hello Serene! How are you?
Serene: I’m doing well thank you, and yourself?
Joanne: Really good thanks! Brilliant to be doing this podcast with you and I know it’s a subject that’s close to both of us. Me with my house renovations, we’ve been doing a lot of de-cluttering lately and I know that you’ve also done a lot with your spaces as well.
Serene: Yes for sure, it’s a habit that I have been accumulating a lot of stuff over the years and then I realised that it makes a huge difference in our lives when we learn to minimise the stuff that we have.
Joanne: and you have had the joy of moving recently so I guess you’ve been able to do quite a lot of physical de-cluttering just through that?
Serene: Yes that’s right and I guess sometimes it’s only these kind of big changes like moving house when we de-clutter but actually there’s a lot of room for improvement, even in our daily lives when you look at the amount of stuff we end up having.
Joanne: Yes absolutely and there are a lot of effects of having too much physical clutter in our lives aren’t there?
Serene: Yes definitely!
Joanne: I mean for me… I don’t know what you think about it Serene…. but physical clutter to me just feels like it’s draining, it’s totally overwhelming, I just get that feeling that I can’t get things done or I don’t know where to start – I’m sure we have all experienced that at some point.
Serene: Yes and I feel that sometimes we don’t even realise it immediately, it’s just this sense of something very heavy – a very heavy energy and it all translates to mental clutter as well in our minds because it fills our minds with more things to think about. Even just looking at stuff is very energy sapping and distracting.
Joanne: Yes that’s right because I notice that my mind just feels totally… when I know where things are and I’m more organised to when I’m frantically searching round for things and just can’t find where everything is, so yes a big big difference.
…. and you know this week I’ve just been clearing for something that we want to have done. We’ve had a lot of work done in the house and you know it’s just felt so good and it reminded me of something that I heard once from Bob Proctor ’11 Forgotten Laws’ and this is something that I read a long long time ago and it really resonated with me and stuck with me and that was ‘no two physical objects can exist in the same place at the same time’ and I just thought that this was just so true and if you want something in your life, whether it’s something in your house or something in your business, your love life whatever it is – if there is something there that is getting in the way, we just can’t attract anything new into that space. So that for me is a really big thing. Once you make way for it, it’s surprising how quickly things move forward and how quickly you manifest.
Serene: Yes I feel that the reason for that is also because holding on to physical clutter itself also creates an emotional attachment to things we hold on to in the past – and even just touching objects, the physical connection itself can be incredibly powerful in creating that emotional relationship and memories which is why some companies like Apple they build the entire retail chain around this psychology. Once they start touching the phones then they feel that ‘OK I have to have this’ and have that attachment. So we can only imagine if we have all this stuff, all these products and objects in our house, it also really takes a toll on our emotions. Both good and bad, so we are sensitive to what we want to hold on to as well.
Joanne: Yes absolutely, I totally agree, I think we have so many emotional attachments to things and if you have a pile of clutter that is just hanging around and you’re worried about getting rid of it, it’s like holding onto the past in some way and not allowing yourself to move forward. I think it’s really interesting what you said about Apple, I’m sure there are so many companies out there that tap into the psychology of it all – we’ll all have to remember that next time we go shopping for a phone – what are they doing to us! It just shows how powerful it all is really.
….I think that for everyone, that physical clutter blocks that flow of energy, you know if it’s stuff that is unwanted, stuff that you haven’t used for a long time – everything is made of energy in the universe and it’s almost having this mass of atoms and molecules just sitting in the corner and it’s stopping the good energy…. in the feng shui world, the chi from flowing and letting good stuff in. So it’s just so key to get rid of stuff that’s no longer serving you.
Serene: I think at the end of the day, it’s all connected. Like you said, everything is energy so the thoughts that we hold on to, the relationships that we hold on to, the stuff that we have…. it all has an impact on our life and what we want to create – and if there is just too much going on, it blocks the clarity as well.
….I feel that in this world of over-consumption right, just having all this stuff just de-sensitises us to what we have because we just become sort of numb, we just have so much of everything and that sometimes makes us appreciate what we have less in some sense. You know for me I realise that when we have fewer things….. and this I realised when I was travelling for a year backpacking and I just brought very few things with me, I realised I was much more observant about the things that I had, I appreciated things a lot more compared to if I had this massive pile of stuff.
Joanne: You know that’s just so key because I think we have a real throw-away society now so we just order things online and you can pick stuff up for next to nothing these days, if you want a new outfit, you can just go somewhere and pick up a whole outfit for very little and it just gets chucked in the back of the wardrobe. I mean I love Amazon and I’m always ordering things off there but you know, it’s just so easy, companies make it so easy for you to collect more and more stuff. So just starting to think about, do you actually need it all or does it mean that you just have to get rid of other stuff in its place if its something you really need?- Sometimes less is more definitely when it comes to our environments. What other challenges do you think people face when they have too much physical clutter around them Serene?
Serene: For one I just feel that we become more inefficient – that’s the irony of it all because sometimes we are lead to believe, especially with marketing and stuff that if we get this stuff, this technological device, we are going to become more productive and more efficient. We get this new book or we get this new phone, it’s going to help us multi-task, but we just get 10 different things and at the end of the day it just slows us down because now we’ve got more things to deal with and that in itself just makes us inefficient so it adds to a lot of stress because we’ve got more things to deal with – not only do we have to deal with people, we also deal with the additional stuff we carry around as well.
Joanne: Yes absolutely and as a book addict, I can totally relate to that because I cleared out my book shelves a while ago and it felt good to only have a certain number of books that I can just go to and I really have to stop myself keep buying more but you’re right, it can actually make you more inefficient rather than you know – you think you’re getting more personal development but there are times when it can actually stop your personal development or you go backwards because you are overwhelmed with the amount of stuff you are trying to do – definitely, I like that.
…. I also think that people struggle with this sense that they don’t want to let things go because it’s got some sort of emotional attachment – maybe somebody bought it for them some time ago and they feel that because the person bought it for them, they don’t want to get rid of it or they think they’ll hurt the person’s feelings if they get rid of it. I think that people are very, very attached to things that are kind of connected to their past in some way which is brilliant but sometimes it’s stuff that isn’t always the key thing – the thing we should be keeping for our memories.
Serene: I can really relate to that because I am a sentimental person you know so for the longest time I just felt it was very difficult to throw stuff away and I just felt like a part of me was going to disappear and that’s the thing I really felt was holding me back from transforming and embracing where I am right now because it almost keeps us stuck in the past. I feel that it is letting go of some objects that helps us in the journey really to remind us of who we want to be and what we are aspiring towards but it can be hard and we just need to prioritise at some point.
Joanne: Yes and just be a bit more fussy about the things that we are keeping for emotional value instead of just trying to keep everything. I think another thing is – and I know this has been very true of me in the past – sometimes you don’t feel like you’ve got the energy to deal with it all. Like when we were doing the house renovations and I ended up with this really big pile of stuff in boxes – stuff I hadn’t looked at for years in some cases and I’m sure since I last moved, there were some things that were still packed up and it can feel like a big challenge to kind of just roll up your sleeves and just get it all sorted…. but when you do it all feels so good.
Serene: What’s funny – I think it’s like the chicken and the egg problem because the reason we don’t have energy to deal with it is because we have accumulated too much stuff to begin with! That awareness that ‘I really don’t need all of this’ then even the clearing up process becomes more lighter and as we fill our day, it’s just something else that we do rather than feeling like we need a whole lot of energy or a whole lot of time to do it. It’s very interesting when we look at it like this – why don’t I have the energy to do this you know, it’s because there’s just all this stuff….
Joanne: Yes the energy’s stuck and because you feel like that stuck energy, yes you are right, it’s just a vicious circle, that’s why you just need to get it done – definitely…
Serene: I also feel like a lot of times it’s also symbolic of a deeper underlying issue that we face, you know this sense of fear, a sense of insecurity, a lack of trust that there is work to be abundant, you know that our life is abundant and things are going to flow into our lives, the things that we need and we can actually let go of the physical clutter and certain stuff that we are no longer using especially, it stems from that fear you know of willing to embrace the moment and trust that you know what, it will show up even if it means letting certain things go.
Joanne: Yes absolutely and it goes back to that ‘making the space’ for new things to come in, so getting rid of the old so that the new can come in to your life and I think most people aren’t even aware of how much clutter is affecting their energy, in a totally unrelated way – because you might want something in one area of your life and you don’t realise that all the stagnant energy in your physical environment is somehow stopping things flowing. The only way to find that out is to actually tackle that physical clutter. I know sometimes it can go to the bottom of the list, we think everything else is so important, but you know just get rid of it and just see how quickly the other things then come into your life because you’ve made that space, it’s just so key really.
Serene: It’s very fascinating because now that you have said that I feel that we have glimpses of it when we go for holidays when we just step into a resort or even out in nature, we have this huge expanse of space, that’s when we realise that our bodies and our spirits actually craves that – craves for that space and gives us that sense of freedom – immediately we feel more refreshed, we feel more energised and it’s the same thing when we clear up, we are just going to feel that much better!
Joanne: Yes definitely you are right – when you walk into a hotel room or something or a holiday apartment, it just feels so nice because the only stuff you’ve got is that stuff inside your suitcase, all the things you are going to need to have a wonderful holiday and without all the other clutter getting in the way it’s lovely.
….So let’s look at some of our top tips Serene, to help the listeners get rid of some of this physical clutter that might be getting in their way.
Serene: There is this book I read ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Condo, it’s a best seller and she mentions something that really resonated about how we should begin by discarding everything that we don’t need – because that in itself is going to bring this change of scenery which is going to make it very much more impactful and bring about this whole change of heart in us that we would want to keep up with. We would notice a dramatic difference as opposed to trying to tidy up bit by bit every day and then realising that it all sort of rebounds after that.
Joanne: Yes absolutely – if you are doing it bit by bit – because I’ve tried that myself, it just doesn’t work because you just kind of move stuff from room to room or something and the clutter just starts to mount up again doesn’t it. I love that book and one of the things that I loved about that book is about ‘only keeping the stuff that brings you joy’ and that’s something I use a lot. If you hold on to an object, all objects have energy and just asking yourself if it really brings you joy or are you just holding on to it because there is nothing wrong with it?
…. Or someone gave it to you – it’s all these sorts of things – I’ve been guilty before of clearing something out and then putting half of it back into a storage box and then you think well why am I doing that – because it’s just going to go up in the loft or something! And it’s because I feel I should just keep hold of it. So that feeling good, keeping hold of things that feel good is just so important.
Serene: Yes definitely. And another thing that I feel would help is – sometimes we look at it as something that is very difficult because we feel like we need to throw it away or we either keep it or get rid of it and I guess we can be more open towards sharing this stuff as well. Giving it away and finding another use for it so that we don’t have to feel like we need to get rid of it and then it ill become easier. Whether we give it away to friends or to charity, stuff like that.
Joanne: Yes absolutely. I don’t know what things are like in Singapore Serene but here in the UK there’s so many charity shops around. They are really grateful for the stuff and something you might get rid of might be the exact thing that other people are looking for. So it just means that it’s not wasted, it’s not just put in a box or the back of a cupboard somewhere, it’s actually being used by someone and that’s great for everybody’s energy anyway.
…. and I think what helped me a lot, although it seems like a bit of a task is to just spend that quality time with yourself and make a list of all the physical areas that you want to change and work through them. Because when I did this, there was even things like what I wanted to do on my computer – I had old files on there that were dated back years and years that were just cluttering things up and when I got a new laptop, I just transferred them instead of clearing them out. So the physical areas that you want to change, if they are all down on paper you can work through them one by one rather than just trying to do it and feeling overwhelmed so that really helps as well.
Serene: That sounds like a brilliant idea that I should try myself – even the files that I keep are getting all over the place sometimes and even that, you can feel the energy levels dipping, you have to pause then and sort it out.
…. I also feel that we can consider de-cluttering itself as meditative – like a moving meditation almost in that it’s very therapeutic and healing. it allows us to really reflect on what really matters in every sense of the word. You know how it has use to us, are we learning, are we growing from it. Like you mentioned earlier about this whole idea of sparking joy and then it is almost like we are having this relationship with the stuff that we have that is beyond it just sitting there – we are exploring it at a much deeper level and then it becomes perhaps even enjoyable. So it’s not like a waste of time where nothing is happening because we are reflecting. You know it’s almost like we are making ourselves reflect through the objects and that’s where it becomes deeply meditative as well.
Joanne: Absolutely… and this is something that I’ve gradually been doing over the past probably year or so and it really does feel good, you can enjoy – when I put aside time now to have a little bit of a de-clutter in a certain area, it just feels so good, you know the sense of satisfaction and freedom that you feel afterwards really does make it feel like a therapeutic exercise which is absolutely wonderful.
…. There are some great tips there Serene and to kind of finish that off really, if there is something that people think is slow manifesting in their lives, so if there is something that you just think you know’ it’s stuck’ and ‘I’ve been wanting this thing for ages and it’s just now appearing, not manifesting’ just ask yourself honestly – is there really space for that in my life now?
…. because often, you will find that there isn’t. You know, you’ve either got to try and make that physical space, that mental space and just asking yourself that question is just so key really.
Serene: You know the whole thing about stuff, it takes it to a much more deeper level because I feel sometimes our relationship with objects is at a very superficial level and sometimes it’s even almost you know you see something and it’s very impulsive. You know, that looks so great, I want to get it, but after that we don’t really sort of reflect beyond appearance of the stuff or beyond that initial impulse, whether we actually need it which is why I feel it really affects almost every other aspect of our lives as well, emotional, happiness, our mental clarity, our health even – if we feel very tired with all this stuff, it will affect our health as well and it’s revealing about our value system and our approach to life in general.
Joanne: Absolutely, so key! Well I think that’s plenty of tips for the readers Serene, you know and it’s been a great subject to explore and I know next time we want to talk more about the emotional clutter that’s going on for us because that’s a real biggie as well isn’t it.
Serene: Yes definitely! Some great conversation Joanne, a lot of stuff to keep applying myself in my own life. I guess it’s like a never ending journey you know, just reflecting, making the adjustments, all the smaller things that result in huge transformations in our lives I feel. Because sometimes we feel that change is going to come when something huge happens you know, like when we get married, or we get a new job – that’s what transformation is, but I think that increasingly we realise that it’s all these tiny adjustments that result in this ripple effect and it overall, it brings the shift that we want to bring into our lives.
Joanne: Yes Absolutely! Wonderful – I hope everyone enjoyed listening to that podcast and we’ll be back soon won’t we Serene with another one?
Serene: Definitely, I look forward to it
Joanne: Emotional de-cluttering next time – I think we definitely need to go into that subject because it’s a really good one!
The Simple Success Podcast was brought to you by Joanne Mayhead and Serene Martin.
Joanne Mayhead is a Law of Attraction Coach who loves to inspire women who are tired of feeling that they are not enough, want to feel good about who they are and align themselves with a life they love.
Serene Martin is a Transformational Life Coach, Speaker and Author who coaches people from all over the world desiring breakthroughs in various aspects of their lives. Through a blend of practical and metaphysical strategies, Serene helps you unlock the potential you already have and lift you towards the greatest version of yourself.