Suzy Greaves’ column: De-junk your life

I always know when I’m scared of taking the next step because my house, desk and diet are suddenly filled with junk. Filling your life with junk is a great way of hiding from your dreams. When you’re surrounded by clutter, it slows you down and distracts you from getting on with what’s necessary to create the life you really want. Clutter is usually a sign that you’re afraid. Unconsciously, you distract yourself with falling over the small stuff so you don’t have to face the fear of dealing with the big stuff. The more clutter and junk you have in your life and in your cupboards, the more scared you are.

Don’t estimate the power of de-cluttering and getting rid of junk in your life.

Who’s for a clean start this Autumn? Follow my three step plan:

Step one: Ask yourself a big question. If the clutter around you is a distraction – what are you scared of? It can be of the next step, of confronting your boss, of going back to work after having your kids. Stop hiding in denial, stop hiding in the clutter and get real. Get out a piece of A4 paper and complete the sentence. Right now I’m afraid of…….Write for 10 minutes without taking your pen off the paper. Now you can deal with the real issue versus the symptom. Create an action plan of how to confront your fear head on – what do you need to do? Have a conversation with your boss? Talk to a counselor? Make a scary phonecall?

Step two: What is your junk currently costing you? This can be a very motivating question. What is your junk costing you – financially, emotionally, energetically and physically? Put a figure on it. When I recently de-junked my household accounts, I discovered my house had not been insured for a whole year – that could have been a very costly mistake!

Step three: Now tackle the clutter with this three question strategy? How are you going to do it? When are you going to do it by? Why are you doing it? Our tips from decluttering expert Karen Kingston may help you with the how but when exactly are you going to clear the desks? Create a de-junking weekend and get the whole family involved or set at time and date and commit to de-junking a corner/drawer/cupboard in one hour with a friend and then report back on your progress. Friends can help you be more ruthless. Stick the answer to the ‘why’ question around your house. It is incredibly motivating to know the real reason you are de-junking is because you ‘want to make space for wonderful new opportunities to flood into your life’ or to ‘clear your house and mind so you can make the big decision’.

3 ways to dejunk your life TODAY:

“Everything in your home is a metaphor for what is going on in your life,” says Karen Kingston, author of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui (Piatkus, £7.99) “Many clients find that their health, vitality, relationships and money situations improve dramatically once they have de-cluttered.” Follow her three step plan:

De-Junk your home:  Pick up each object in your house in turn and ask, does each object pass the ‘clutter test’? Does it lift my spirits when I look at it? Do I absolutely love it? Is it genuinely useful? Use four basic boxes for getting clutter off the premises: A rubbish box – for the real junk, a repairs box for items that need repairing (but set a time limit for getting them repaired), a recycling box for things to be sold, exchanged or given to someone else and a transit box for things on their way to somewhere else.

De-Junk your wardrobe: Sort your clothes out into two piles. One pile you absolutely love and the other pile just taking up space. Try on each item in the pile that you loved and if you don’t like the shape, texture, the cut or material, be ruthless

De-junk your diet: Go through your cupboards, fridge and freezer and get rid of all junk foods. Replace with a tasty, healthy alternatives e.g. replace ice cream with frozen yoghurts; have weekly cook-in and create a freezer full of home made delicious, healthy meals to replace high-fat, high-sugar ready meals; replace crisps and biscuits with unsalted nuts or dried fruit.


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