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Clear your closets, clear your mind

Written by Easter Becker-Smith. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on February 22, 2011 with No Comments

by Easter Becker-Smith

We think of spring as the time to do that thorough spring cleaning. Summer is the time of year for cleaning out unwanted items, having garage sales and donating. I decided the other day that March is the perfect time for me to start cleaning out and sorting through things.

In January, I was putting away decorations and recovering from the holidays, and not in the mood to attack a junk drawer or an overstuffed closet. February was spent doing a lot of shoveling of snow. We may still have snow days in March, but it will not be a daily routine. I realize that I cannot do spring cleaning until I clear some things first. Therefore, March is the perfect month for me to start some clearing.

My son Jeff and I had a conversation recently and he told me that he discovered at the age of 10 that when you start cleaning out a closet or drawer, it looks a lot worse for awhile as you sort through your belongings. It is one of those processes of getting worse before it gets better.

I have decided to take some expert advice. I have read more than one article that suggests before you begin cleaning out an area, you get three bins. One is “keep”, one is “donate” and one is “decide later.” I have laundry baskets I will use for sorting; somehow it does not make sense to buy bins to figure out what I want to donate.

I realize my challenge will be keeping the donate basket more full than the keep basket. Also, my challenge will be to not let the decide later basket become piled high, but to keep it the emptiest.

A good system of sorting through your belongings is to ask yourself these questions:

• Is this item something I am currently using? If so, then keep.

• Is this item something that I have not used in over a year and am simply storing? If so then donate.

• Is this item something I never use, but have an emotional attachment to it? If so, then take a photo of it, to remember it, and donate!

• Is this item something that someone else could use much more than I ever do? (This is a clincher for me when I think of something I am really just hoarding that someone else may really need.) If so, then donate.

When you ask yourself questions such as the ones above, you will find that your decide later bin empties quickly. Your closet or drawer is suddenly organized. You can easily find what you need when you need it. You open your closet and it looks so neat and tidy. You have a sense of gratification.

Clearing out messy areas in your house really does have a positive impact on your mind. When you clean up something that has been nagging at you, you have an immediate sense of gratification. You will have a more relaxed feeling when there is a sense of order, especially when we want to find something.

It is stressful to look and search and waste time trying to find something you need. It is so easy when you can open a drawer and immediately pick up what we need. Then, there is the satisfaction of donating items someone else will use and enjoy. It simply feels good to give to others.

There is a word of caution about clearing out your spaces, and that is something inspirational author Catherine Ponder calls “the Vacuum Law of Prosperity.” The premise is that when you create an empty space, the universe fills it. Have you noticed that so often when you clear out an area of your home, like your entranceway or kitchen, it seems to get full of stuff soon, and you think to yourself “Didn’t I just clean that out?”

That is the Vacuum Law at work. The good news is if you want new things, then clean out a closet and leave space for the new to arrive. If you have an area such as a drawer where you do not want anything else appearing, then clean out the clutter, but do not leave room for more items.

It may seem like a silly idea, but how can you make room for new in your life, when it is overflowing with old? How can you gain new insights and new ideas when your mind is full of old and outmoded ways of doing and thinking?

It is such a healthy thing to do; to clear out the old, make way for the new and relax and enjoy the many benefits of a job well done. In just one afternoon, you can clear a closet, and clear your mind.

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About Easter Becker-Smith

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Easter Becker-Smith provides coaching for individuals, groups and corporate teams.  She coaches individuals to help them discover their own path to balance and fulfillment in their lives.  She brings her years of experience in business as a highly regarded leader to help companies improve their productivity and efficiency by learning how to better communicate with each other.  Visit her website at www.coacheaster.com.

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