Before Picture : (

This is Part 1 in how to free your spirit by clearing physical clutter from your life. In Part 2 I’ll share with you how to clear mental clutter from your life.

When was the last time you thought about the impact clutter can have on your life? If you are feeling overwhelmed, clutter can be a culprit.

Our world is made up of energy. Clutter stops the flow of energy in its tracks. You can see the difference in these two pictures. One was taken of my basement with clutter. Really. And the other picture is taken after I cleared the clutter.

When Robert and I got married sixteen years ago, we merged two households. There wasn’t room in Robert’s cottage that I moved into to accommodate all of our stuff, so the majority of my things went into the basement.

After Picture : )

As with any move, it was a frenzy of activity with the movers constantly asking: Where does this go?

Most of the unmarked boxes went into the basement. There was hardly a place to move. But it wasn’t a problem because it was only in the basement.

The years went by and I quit my job in Corporate America to be a consultant working out of my home. All of a sudden the basement was weighing on me like a heavy weight around my neck. I was beginning to feel stuck. I knew that I couldn’t get unstuck until I cleared out the basement.

The task was so overwhelming that I hired professional help. My consultant explained that the basement was filled with all events from my past life, meaning old jobs, business ventures that failed, clothes that no longer fit me. All of this energy was weighing me down and I needed to clear it away.

Getting rid of items was extremely difficult, but I knew I had to let many things go. If you have a large amount of clutter to deal with, here’s the process I followed:

Find three boxes, then designate them as 1 – Throw Out Now, 2 Charity, and 3 – Not Sure.

Begin to place items into each box. Each week, toss out the Out Now box and take the Charity box to a designated charity. By the end of the week, decide what to do with the Not Sure box. When you look at the Not Sure item, ask yourself if it makes you feel good or bad.

For big or small clutter issues, here are eight tips or questions to help you let go and to keep the de-cluttering process going.

Question 1: Do I use it?

Question2 : Do I need it?

Question 3: Is it beautiful?

Question 4: Does it bring me joy?

Question 5: Is it broken, damaged, inoperable?

Question 6: If I lost it in a fire, would I replace it exactly as is?

Question 7: What kind of energy do I get from it – positive or negative?

Question 8: Will it be of pleasure or use to my heirs?

It took a concerted effort of about three months to clear out my basement. It is no longer a weight on my psyche.

There were many books that I got rid of because their content did not reflect who I am now. When I dropped off a box of books at the library, I told the librarian that I was clearing clutter from my life. She replied, “It’s like you are getting wings, isn’t it?”

Walking out of the library that day with my empty boxes, I thought about what she said. With a big grin on my face and my joy-filled spirit, I thought, Yes, I do feel like I have wings!

Through the process I was able to help a friend who had lost everything. I gave her a lot of furniture and household items that she needed. I was also happy to donate clothes to my church to help women who were getting out of prison to have professional clothing to wear for interviews. There were also many trips to Goodwill.

Getting rid of the clutter, especially from my past, has allowed me to receive all of the new opportunities coming my way. I am also very conscious of my spending and asking myself if I really need to purchase something.

After the basement I made it a point to go through the closets and other areas in the house to clear space. It’s amazing the difference in the feel and energy in our home.

Not only can physical clutter can make us feel overwhelmed, but mental clutter will definitely make us feel overwhelmed.

Stay tuned for Part II – How to Clear Mental Clutter from Your Mind.