by Jacqueline Fox
The word “cleanse” is often associated with the physical body. Sometimes neglected is the value of an emotional cleanse, especially when preparing for something as emotionally taxing as clearing out items in our homes or other personal spaces. Creating a concentrated period of time—even a few days—to mentally prepare for a declutter session allows us to remain aware, alert and focused.
Here are a few tips to make your experience as productive and regenerative as it can be.
- Limit your engagement with phone calls and e-mails.
- Let others know you are going to be inaccessible. Set times that you will “check in”, but otherwise, let others know that you are on “vacation” and won’t be available for workaday activities.
- Take time to slow down. Meditate,or take a yoga or tai chi class, or a walk in the park.
- Allow yourself to imagine what it will feel like to be more light and free of clutter. Write about your imagined future in a journal or a sketchbook.
- Release all guilt and “shoulds” of having to keep furniture and other items you don’t like or want that have been passed down to you from parents who have passed away. Enlist the guidance of a therapist, if necessary.
- Gather needed materials ahead of time, such as trash bags, recycling containers and storage boxes. Remember to think about what you might need for cleaning out the car, as well.
- Decide ahead of time where you will keep items as you organize. Create a “home” for everything so you will always know where to find something.
- Think about “emotional incompletes” that are weighing you down. Make a list of phone calls, e-mails and in-person meetings you intend to schedule, so you can mentally file them away.
- If you know you might need assistance, hire a coach or professional organizer.
- Prepare a short mantra that you can repeat to yourself during your de-cluttering, reminding yourself to be present and enjoy the process of releasing what no longer serves you.
Jacqueline Fox, MEd, MS, is an office organizer and “next actions” coach for business professionals in their home or business office, serving the greater central Bucks County area. Connect at JFox@JacquelineFox.com or visit JacquelineFox.com. See listing, page 42.