Decluttering for sanity, new opportunities

By Marguerite Jill Dye

I considered presenting a second Russian lesson or delving into the “109 paths from Trump to Putin,” but it would take a dissertation to investigate his Russian ties and the trail of Russian Mafia mobsters that lead to Trump Tower. Since the espionage ring and high intrigue are unraveling by the hour, I will choose instead to turn to techniques that are said to foster sanity and order.

A close friend with health issues just downsized from her home, a two bedroom apartment, to a studio with a pull down bed in a retirement community. Heart and mobility concerns prompted her family to request that she move. I tried to help sell her foreign collections from years with Care and the Peace Corps. A local non-profit packed up and will split (50/50) everything that remained. She threw away a century of family photos and papers, and I thought of the many boxes and bins of papers I’ve stashed away. She’s now settled in, unburdened and free, with space for new interests and friends.

Clearing out clutter in Feng Shui allows for new growth and opportunities. In the 3,000-year-old Chinese art of placement and science of “ch’i” energy, clutter prevents achieving goals and interferes with health and longevity. My column last week was about Sasha, a Russian shaman and Feng Shui energy healer. For many years I’ve studied Feng Shui, but there’s so much information, the more you learn, the less you know. But one thing that’s stuck out most of all is the power of intention. Once we know what we desire, our intention puts our prayer in place.

I long to feel less burdened by my own papers and clutter. They distract and weigh me down. I’ve read books on organizing and decluttering, but it remains my nemesis. I have papers by my bed, beside the couch, on my desk, and computer stand. Part of the challenge is being an artist. I’ve really let things go. My studio is a disaster, and I can’t seem to throw things away. I see possibilities where others see trash. But the clutter takes up needed space and distracts from my creative work. Paper cut pages from my children’s book need to be mounted and framed. Plein air watercolors and drawings of Spain await scanning for my Camino pilgrimage book.

Although I’m leery of privacy invasion through internet psychometrics (see column “The Key to the Kingdom: Psychometrics”), I’ve discovered helpful Facebook posts and excellent online resources. I was inspired by to reorganize my “to do” list with seven or eight projects a month using next action steps that don’t overwhelm. Another solution is to gather scattered papers in a convenient location, then use cubby holes and a work space to set up a central command station. My own disorder is so frustrating that I’m ready to launch into action! It also inspired me to begin my own journey towards decluttering. We have too many things and no elbow room: clothes, linens, and objects of art. We’re blessed with parents’ and grandparents’ gifts, but our collections are out of control. So, I set up three boxes, as they suggest: 1) to toss out, 2) to give away or sell, and 3) to keep or store. I began by giving clothes to a friend who’s delighted with her new wardrobe, then I packed useful items in a toiletry kit for our community’s homeless. Some “knick knacks” and trinkets will double as holiday decorations. To simplify, I’m storing some pieces to reassess a year from now.

The greatest resource I’ve found to date is the annual Hay House World Summit. Inspiring movies and 100 audio lessons are available for free. Experts speak about health, spirituality, prosperity, relationships, and self-empowerment. Decluttering expert Kerri Richardson discussed “what your clutter is trying to tell you.” There’s a message in each mess. Clutter takes on many forms and reveals where healing is needed: in stuff, relationships, and excess weight, in our health and blocking beliefs. Our outer world reflects our inner one. Our thoughts can get in the way. Their source is often a subconscious belief from childhood programming.

Richardson suggested we sit with our clutter and ask our inner child why it’s there. What role is it serving? What does it want me to know? Does it provide a safe buffer zone? Is the chaos from trying to do too much? Am I afraid of losing control? Am I letting clutter sabotage my success by getting in my way? Our subconscious thoughts control our behavior but if they’re no longer valid, we can replace and heal feelings of inadequacy that affect our adult behavior. The result is that we’ll no longer need to tolerate the clutter.

Our home is our refuge, cocoon, and retreat where we feel safe from the world. We want to fill it with serenity and love, and bless all who enter it. Be it a shack, bungalow, or condo, a home holds memories and warmth. It mirrors our soul and reflects our life, and holds in its walls impressions and recall. When we walk through its door we gain a sense of what has transpired there. There are feng shui cures to bless and heal wounds of its inhabitants. Proper placement allows energy to flow for health within and without. Accept your home with gratitude, for a home is a gift from heaven.

Marguerite Jill Dye is a third generation artist and writer who lives in Killington and Bradenton, Fla. She is the illustrator of a new children’s book, “Where is Sam?” 

Photo by Marguerite Jill Dye
The mythical Chi Lin dragon horse or Chinese unicorn is the most powerful feng shui cure to protect the home.

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