This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Clutter — the oppressive burden all that excess stuff represents, and the some strategies for dealing with it constructively.
We talk about clutter’s underlying causes and its real-life impacts. We explore some of its deeper meanings.
And of course, we offer you some experiments to help you deal more consciously with the clutter that’s been collecting in your life.
“Clutter” Episode Highlights
- The problem of living in a culture where acquiring “stuff” is comparatively cheap, easy, and socially promoted
- The value of looking at where clutter accumulates in your home and life, and what it represents
- The subconscious effect that clutter has on our mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing — and our self-regard
- Clutter as a source of friction, anxiety, and shame
- How to reduce the clutter in your life, and the payoffs of making that a priority
- Some expert insights from Pilar’s sister Andrea (a professional de-clutterer and certified Feng Shui consultant), including the concept of creating “receptive” spaces and “defending” them with objects of beauty (see Resources, below, for more how-to advice from Andrea, and listen for a special guest episode with her, coming soon!)
- The rise of the minimalist movement (previously known as Voluntary Simplicity) and the growing appeal of owning less
Building on Pilar’s sister’s Feng Shui concept of “defending with beauty,” pick a cluttered surface or area of your home, clear it entirely, and — as a way of warding off the re-accumulation of clutter — reclaim that space with something beautiful (e.g., a vase, a candle, a wooden bowl, a sculpture, or another appealing object). Appreciate the special quality of that space, and see if it inspires you to do more.
Read one of the recommended articles in this week’s show notes (see links below) and get inspired to take on a decluttering project of your own. Consider starting with one of the small but high-impact areas described in “Three Spaces to Declutter Now” or Andrea’s award-winning “Order Out of Chaos” series. Notice the result even this small bit of decluttering has on your outlook and energy.
Healthy, Happy Goodness
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- Recommended books on decluttering: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston
- Experience Life magazine’s Decluttering Series — more than a dozen articles and multimedia resources, including:
— Andrea Gerasimo’s “Order Out of Chaos” article series, featuring practical applications of Feng Shui wisdom, plus a video makeover of a real-life laundry and mud room
— From Pilar: “Clutter’s Continuity” and “3 Spaces to Declutter Now”
— “Take Action Challenge: Declutter Some Spaces”
- Some alarming clutter statistics via BecomingMinimalist
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