Have you ever heard the phrase, "the state of your bed is the state of your head?” It refers to the idea that a cluttered home could be a reflection of how we are managing our lives. When we can’t find things, or are disorganized, we tend to feel out of control, “stuck” or anxious. On the flip side, if messes create stresses, getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control.
The new lunar year begins January 22nd so it’s the perfect time for a good house clearing right before. If you don’t like cleaning, simply reframe it as a form of self care. Cleaning up our external space is a way to clean up our internal space plus it brings instant gratification as we can immediately see the results of our hard work.
Here are some simple tips to help you clear the old and make room for fresh energy before the Lunar New Year.
Write Out Your Intention.
Make an intention for your space clearing. Write one sentence that tells you your "why", such as “I am clearing out old patterns and making room for new blessings in my life.” or "I am clearing out old things to bring my family more peace.” Whatever your reason, having your "why" is an important motivator. Then write down which areas you want to clean in order of importance. Having a plan can keep you on track when you feel overwhelmed.
Easy Things Go First.
Get rid of the obvious items before you tackle things that need more thought, so get rid of any trash, recycling, or broken items as a first step.
When your whole space feels out of order, it can be tough to hone in on one spot to get started. Refer to your plan from step one and pick one drawer in the most important room and set a small amount of allotted time each day.
Make it Fun.
Open the windows. Turn on music. Listen to your favorite podcast or create a mantra for your cleaning that brings positive vibes while you work.
Only Keep Things You Love.
In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, master organizer Marie Kondo uses a method of holding an item in your hands. If it doesn’t spark joy, then you thank the item and donate it. It may bring happiness to someone else, but your time with it is done.
Donate over Sell.
Selling old items can be a huge time commitment that only delays your clearing. If you have to take photos, post online and then ship items, consider the time and cost.
Designate a “Donate” Box.
If you have a basket or box for donations, every member of the family can contribute to it when they feel done with an item. This is a great concept to teach kids about giving and letting go.
Clear The Emotional Baggage.
Tackling older more sentimental items can be emotional. But turning toward what you would rather not face, you can make a radical transformation in you life. It can help make you feel more competent, more comfortable and less blocked by old memories.
Get Energy Flowing.
After clearing out, make sure to also clean your house. Make sure to hit all the corners and unused places in your house. Shake out blankets, pillows and curtains and finish by thanking your space and burning some Palo Santo wood to clear out negative energy and spread positive intentions for your newly clean space.
“Many ancient Eastern scriptures suggest that by holding on to items from the past, we hold on to energy from the past that prevents us from living in the present and embracing the future we would like to attract.” -- Daily Om