Thursday, July 29, 2010

Focus Challenge - Month 7 (2010)

I've been spending so much time outside enjoying the beautifully mild summer we've been having here in Northern California that I haven't been inside enough to keep track of my calendar. I completely missed posting a Focus Challenge on our anniversary. Whoops and sorry!

This month's Focus Challenge is to 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), fear (of not having the money to replace something decluttered if you ever need to), practicality (I can't get another like this if I want it again later), etc.

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.

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?

When you realize the sway that our thoughts have, inducing us to hold on to clutter, you gain awareness. As your awareness grows you learn to see these mental clutter holds and will hopefully take action at that time to release them.

Challenge yourself to find 7 items that didn't appear to be clutter until you thought about why you have them. Let these items go. Begin to see life in a whole new way...where you own your stuff and don't allow it to own you!

Top 5 Posts:
How I Define Clutter
Decluttering: A How-To
I'd Rather Stay Home From Work and De-junk
Decluttering Made Simple (27-17-7)
Ever Felt Afraid to Declutter?


  1. I recently just walked through my house and found 10 things I could easily give away... it's amazing how this is such an iterative process.

    On the first round through my closet, I got rid of two huge garbage bags of clothes. I loved the feeling of freedom it afforded me. A few months later, I can now see at least half a bag more of things that I really don't need. And I think it's the same for all the other areas of the house -- you have to keep going through it again and again.

    As for me, I'm justuncluttering, very slowly.

  2. @Anonymous Hello!

    By a crazy and funny coincidence, I just happened to have left a comment on your "uncluttering very slowly" blog post via a link you provided on Unclutterer.

    As you mentioned, decluttering doesn't end. We keep working through the process in layer steps plus the opportunity for new clutter to enter our lives is always a possibility.

    Thanks for stopping by!


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