A year ago we moved into a wonderful home after living in a tiny apartment for three and a half years. I had visions of making this place a home, but we ended up dumping boxes on the floor and leaving them there. When people came to visit, I picked up all the stuff around the common living areas, stuffed it into grocery bags, and hid the bags next to the boxes in my master bedroom making sure to keep the door closed.
It isn’t fun to sleep surrounded by chaos, but any time I would set out to clean things up, I was so overwhelmed not knowing where to start or what to do with all of the things in the piles on the floor. I’d end up literally feeling exhausted and take a nap. The chaos was like kryptonite defeating my best plans.
Reading Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free gave me the information I needed to not only deal with the physical aspect of the chaos but also understand the mental and spiritual aspects of WHY I make the choice to hold on to things or continue to believe that purchasing more stuff will make me happy. The first part of the book had such great insight that explained exactly what is flawed with my thinking about stuff.
It’s tempting to skip this information and just get to the “how to” part of the book, but understanding the WHY was the permanent change in the way I think about everything in my house that I needed. Even though I focused on decluttering my master bedroom first, I found myself questioning the value of items I came across in every room and closet throughout the house. Now, I can’t help but declutter as I go about my daily routine and come across items asking myself, “Do I currently use it? Do I really love it? Would I buy it again?” Heck, I even watched my husband throw away a piece of equipment when he finally admitted that it wasn’t worth keeping around because when he did try to use it, it only worked half of the time.
I spend my time blogging and speaking to women about identifying their priorities and arranging their lives to reflect those priorities. Whether it’s Christmas, your New Year’s goals, or how you want to raise your children, when you identify what means the most to you, you realize what DOESN’T and you can get rid of those things. Kathi hit it on the head when she wrote:
At some point, we need to end some things so we can hold on to the things that are most important to us. And when we define the things that are truly important to us, we can start recognizing the things that are not important to us and eliminate those things from our life.
Once I got that concept regarding my stuff, the chaos no longer had control over me. I had the power to look at sections of my house and attack them with the game plan Kathi explains so simply.
This book isn’t about micromanaging the possessions we have, it’s about not letting the emotional aspect of the possessions run our lives. Because of understanding the “why” and learning the “how to” that is in Clutter Free, I know what to keep and what to give away. It’s freeing and now when I go to bed, instead of being surrounded by boxes, bags, and stress, I’m surrounded by peace, comfort, and beauty.
You can find out more about Luna at her website!
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She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.