The Urge to Purge

Clutter 2Clutter

You have it. That “stuff”  you leave in your wake, the constant reminder there is unfinished business, loose ends, a mess, you’re not perfect.

Well, guess what? You’re not perfect. I like you that way. I like me that way, too. We are proof of the human condition (click to Tweet).

That clutter, though…it blocks the creative spirit. It clogs the flow of new ideas, prosperity, harmony. Clutter sucks. It comes in various forms. There’s the physical clutter…on your desk, your dresser, the kitchen counter. It’s unsightly and makes you feel….ick. Too much makes it hard to breathe.

Clutter also comes in the emotional form. The figurative toilet paper you drag around on your shoe. Worries you have about what you can’t control. An off handed, insensitive comment someone made. Comparison to other people, their work, their accomplishments, their opportunities, their opinions, their stuff. Their CLUTTER! Clutter envy…gawd! (Click to Tweet)

Gutter clutter. That’s right! In. Your. Gut. From the movie popcorn, late night ice cream, stress cheeseburgers. You know you do it…occasionally. You clutter your God given temple with junk…to make yourself feel better. To relieve the emotional clutter. And it stays. Fatty deposits on your thighs, hips, belly. You pollute your body the same way you do your office, your studio, your mind.

Clutter 3There are so many types of clutter. Concept clutter. Financial clutter (better known as debt). Obligatory clutter (say “no” much?). Clutter occurs when we fail to take care of OUR business as we should. We do not make it a priority to keep our lives, bodies, environment clean. Guilt is clutter…so, please, don’t feel guilty about this. You’ll just add to the clutter. And as cluttered as we are, we certainly don’t want to be, ahem, HORDERS!

The clutter is okay. We are human. We clutter, but we also organize. Ewwww, that’s a bad “O” word, isn’t it? But, for the pain organization causes, albeit temporarily, organizing also creates a freedom. A clarity. A knowing – especially a knowing of where we put stuff!

So, how to manage?

First, make sure you have the tools to do the job. It depends upon what you aim to declutter. You may need file folders. A therapist. A nutrionist. A coach (I am one). A personal trainer. A dumpster. So, decide what you’re cleaning up and get the right tools. Create a system. Identify a “Home” for your stuff, a home where you’ll be able to find it upon demand. Create a system you LIKE. This is important. If the system is too complex or laborious, you’ll avoid using it.  Got it? Good!!!

Ready to get to work? If you’re a heavy clutterer, try one step at a time. It’s kind of like a 12-Step program for clutterers. If it’s easier for you, 15 minutes a day of decluttering. Start with the most obvious clutter. Seeing progress will be encouraging and you’ll gain momentum. If you’re bringing in reinforcements, like a professional organizer, a therapist, or a nutritionist, they can help you work this through.

If you’re the warrior type, you may choose to simply plow through the clutter. I tend to execute this way. Just take your medicine. It’sOrganized 7 a bitter pill, but it CURES! (Click to Tweet). I find plowing easiest because the process is fast. I don’t linger over each “object” and its fate because I build some momentum, which drives the process. Put on some rockin’ tunes, put your head down, GO!

If you’d like a specific model for executing each piece of clutter, please click here. You’ll get a lovely, simple document that helps you keep it simple – just for joining the “Tribe.” As you touch each piece of clutter, you’ll have an automatic, pre-ordained answer.

As a general rule, if you haven’t used something for over a year, it’s junk. UNLESS IT’S TAX RELATED. Keep business documents in a banker box…you know…just in case.  Label it with the year. Also, clutter that is not emotionally charged is easier to deal with. Address that stuff first. If you’re dealing with emotionally charged or “memory” clutter, the plow method works to build some rhythm. That way you won’t agonize over each object – at least not as much as you could.Organized 4 ever

Clean house! It feels good. It creates a path for new possibilities, mental clarity, abundance. It leaves you light and free. It creates a harmonious space for your to relax, enjoy life, employ audacious creativity.

Afterwards – Now, you have a system, please use it EVERYDAY to maintain your clutter free life. You may slip from time to time, and that’s okay. You’re human. But take care of your business – you deserve this! Embrace the urge to purge!!!

Keep it Tidy!





Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who champions others to follow the path less traveled; the path that leads straight to Coaching pic  - Version 3their joyful hearts.♥

Find her on Facebook or Twitter

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14 Replies to “The Urge to Purge”

  1. Right now my newly painted bed/sittingroom is perfect…nothing in it–NOTHING–except the king-sized bed. And a little footstool with the alarm clock.

    I like it that way, I really do. Smells fresh and clean and echos with emptiness.

    Feel like a monk. One with an extra comfy bed.

    The dining room is another story. ALL the rest of the bedroom furniture is stacked and crammed in there, in addition to the diningroom stuff. Bookshelves, books, desk, nightstands. It will all move back into the bedroom in the next few days but not without being edited first.

    Such a good feeling 🙂

  2. Oooo… I feel like the red headed step child here Michelle. I have clutter, plenty of it. I’m not exactly fond of it especially when I cannot find something, but a bed in the middle of a room isn’t my idea of fun either. I’m a collector as I prefer to say, haha… or maybe a nester, I like my treasures all around me. (to my husband’s dismay!)

  3. Jaime, it’s really important you are comfortable and happy in your surroundings, especially for artists, who tend to be very sensitive to aesthetics. No one is requiring you to have a bed in the middle of the room. Live in a way that makes you happy.

    If you have “clutter” and it’s bothering you…the advice in the blog should help you take care of it! 🙂

  4. Michelle–Cleaned out my art studio last week, I now know where everything is, and wouldn’t you know what followed: three job offers for mosaic projects!
    One of my friends said that if you clear a space, it “allows other things that you’ve been wanting into your life.” I like that idea. AND your coaching above–this seemed to dovetail very nicely! Great blog, just great!!

  5. Michelle, This was so good to read and relate to. I went through a short time where I decided that I would get rid of 5 things on a weekly basis. I would do this in a short time frame on a specific day. It felt so good that I was purging because as an artist (and I think many creative types are also junk collectors) I had a fair amount of needless “shrap” (my word). Anyway in planning a move soon, I am once again really having to consider what to keep and what to purge. Thank you!

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