Saturday, November 22, 2008

Focus Challenge - Month 9

While reading The psychology of clutter by Heather Grimshaw in the Denver Post, the picture really stood out to me. I feel like this, because I can't get on to the next thing. I have looked at some items, knowing they are clutter by definition, but have not been able to drop the ax on them. Why? It's that mental clutter.

(Maureen Scance, The Denver Post)

I firmly believe that mental clutter, in all its forms, can hinder our lives just like physical clutter, and even body clutter. If you haven’t read the blog tagline in awhile, I'll put it right here so you can.

Clutter comes in many forms--sometimes obvious and sometimes not. Physical clutter is obvious, although defining it is a personal opinion. Mental clutter manifests itself into visual clutter. When you purge the physical clutter, the mental clutter will follow it out the door!

You’ve done fantastic dealing with the physical clutter in your life. Do you want to work on some of the mental clutter too? If so, I’m going to lay out my Focus Challenge…I’ll also add a simpler, "basic physical clutter" one for those who don’t want to join in.

Our Focus Challenge

Examine physical items of clutter that have been able to stay around because of a mental clutter hold, whether it was because of sentimentality (i.e., missing someone), practicality (I can't get another like this if I want it again later), etc.

Is there a way to retain it but in an uncluttered way? For example, if it's a fabric item, do you really need to keep the item in its entirety or could you keep a swatch of it?

If it's not the item itself that you cherish, but the memory that it invokes, can you keep a picture of the item?

What about the mental "have to, should do, etc." that has been placed on the item, whether by others or ourselves? Do you "have to" keep this dish from Aunt Sally? If you feel it is a yes, do what you can to make it a cherished keepsake. Treat it with respect by displaying it yourself, or loaning it to a family member who will, instead of being destined to live its life buried in a box in the attic or closet.

Our Focus Challenge Lite

Examine these 7 areas of your home for clutter. Hopefully, you find an item that needs to go and you say "goodbye". Then celebrate another day of staying true to your challenge!

* Any flat surface in your home (i.e. tops of tables)
* Non-refrigerated food storage (Got canned food to donate to a food bank?)
* Any area hidden by a door that is not a room (i.e. cabinets, desk, etc.)
* Your room (This is our private sanctuary...what's in there that shouldn't be?)
* Your vehicle (Taking along extra stuff in the car reduces fuel mileage!)
* On you (anything that would go on you, i.e. skin care, makeup, accessories, clothing...)
* Seasonal (more holiday item decluttering...or even just decluttering a holiday obligation!)

I would really appreciate reading feedback on your thoughts about us working on purging mental clutter from our life.

Regardless of which Focus Challenge you accept, you can do this! Let's stay focused on our challenge!

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