Change comes, one page at a time...
Have you ever read a book that changed your life? Let me tell you about the book that changed mine.
I was working at Wonderworks (a sweet bookstore I used to manage) when a book caught my eye. The title was "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston, and I brought it along to lunch one day, and the next day, and the next. I had always been curious about Feng Shui, but this was the first book I read that made any sense to me.
I was relieved to find the book an easy read and enjoyed imagining my space being clutter-free. I had a feeling that this book would become like all the other half-read self help books on my shelf, never leaving the realm of my imagination to take root in my life. Needless to say, I was wrong.
A few weeks after reading "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" something changed inside of me. For the first time in my life, I felt motivated to look at my clutter. I faced my closet with hope and an empty garbage bag and pulled a t-shirt off the shelf and put it in the bag. I waited 5 minutes... took the t-shirt out and put it back on the shelf. I obviously was not ready to clear clutter that day, but it was an important first step.
A few days after my first attempt I braved my closet again and this time I must have been ready because I filled four garbage bags full of clothes. There were some things in those bags I never thought I could get rid of, but I felt strangely at peace with my decisions. It was time for something new in my life, I wasn't sure what, but I was ready for change.
Despite my feeling of peace, those garbage bags sat in the middle of my bedroom floor for three weeks. I guess I needed to take my time in letting go and when I was ready I made a trip to the Goodwill.
Those four garbage bags were the first of many to leave my home as I spent the next year going through layer after layer of clutter and asking myself more and more difficult questions.
The most difficult layer for me was when I asked myself the question "Does this represent who I am now, or who I used to be?". Boy, was that a toughie, because as I looked around my room, I found I didn't really connect with most of the things I saw.
I honestly believe that letting go of that last layer and all those that have come before and after have helped me to become who I am today. Was it scary? YES! Was it easy? NO! Am I grateful I stepped into my fear? YOU BETCHA!
If you are new to clutter clearing I invite you to start with one small step. You don't need to do it all at once perfectly. You just need to take one step at a time. Standing in front of my closet with an empty garbage bag was mine.
I would love to hear other people's stories about their first attempt at clearing clutter. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are willing, let me know if I can share them on my website. I would also love to hear about a book that changed your life.
Happy Clutter Clearing!
Friday, September 12, 2008 at 01:41PM