I’ve been in this crazy-brutal-cleaning mode for several weeks now. So many times I’ve wanted to sit down and start writing about it, but I was afraid that if I broke the momentum, I’d break the flow of energy and focus. I’ve taken lots notes and pictures, so I will go back and tell you more about what I’ve already accomplished. But for today, I simply want to tell you about…today.
I spent the morning reflecting on these past weeks, as I’ve charged through my home making both easy and painfully emotional decisions on what to keep and what to let go of. Wow. What an eye-opening realization of what’s been going on inside of my heart. Somehow, I believe the two are connected.
I’m pretty good at hiding the clutter in my home (a closet here, a drawer or two…or five, there) so everyone sees only what I want them to see. From the surface, one would think I have a place for everything and everything is in its place.
Isn’t that the way we are even in our hearts?! I only allow you to see what I want you to see. On the surface, I can look very well put together…hair done, nice outfit with all the right jewelry, cute shoes with matching purse. That’s surface stuff. What you don’t see is the turmoil inside of me…the clutter! Financial worries, children worries, grandchildren worries, stressful schedules, undone chores, and lack of balance in my life. It’s a mess and all stuffed into the closets and drawers of my heart.
My first step to an uncluttered life was to go room by room – FAST! – and get rid of anything that I didn’t love or wasn’t useful to me. This was tough, but I just began tossing. It needed to be quick and swift, so I wouldn’t take too much time to think about it. As the bags began to fill, I began to feel.
I didn’t realize this connection between the two until I began to set my mind on getting rid of a “few things.” But as I tossed stuff into bags and boxes, I began to feel something. Not only airy space around my home, but a lightness in my heart. I kept asking myself, “Is there some mental reason that I’ve acquired these things? Am I trying to fill some sort of void in my heart?”
In some weird way, as I’ve let go, I’ve become kind of high on this feeling of freedom and want it even more, so I’ve revisited the rooms of my home (and, in turn, my heart) to see what else is causing the clutter. To date, I have gotten rid of several hefty-sized bags of clothes, shoes, jewelry, makeup…I’m going to save all of those details for another day. i promise, I will tell you about it all.
But today…as I entered my study, (which is quite clean, uncluttered and almost completely organized), I opened up my various email accounts (I have three) to find THOUSANDS of emails!! My first thought was, “Ugh.” I wanted to close it and come back later. Seriously friends, this is clutter!! I receive emails from restaurants, clothing stores, furniture stores, shoe stores and grocery stores. I receive newsletters from health sites, writing sites, home and garden sites, magazines that I’ve subscribed to (yeah…that’s another area I’ll get to), not to mention all of the coupon deals I’ve signed up for.
Somewhere in the mix of ALL of this CLUTTER are my bills, notes from friends, and work-related projects. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed one of these because it’s smothered out by everything else. No lie…each day, when I log into my emails, I am inundated with hundreds of junk emails, most of what I’ve signed up for. Good grief, who do I think I am?! I mean, I love to read, but it would take me an entire day to get through it all and so they just accumulate. I never get a chance to read them all and honestly, when I log in and see the number of items in my Inbox, it stresses me out!
So this is what I uncluttered today. There’s this nice little box above all of our emails, where it will put a check mark on everything. I have found this is simpler, since most of my inbox is filled with clutter. Then, I work my way down the list and unclick what needs to be kept…resisting the urge to save any clutter that peaks my curiosity. Now, I have done this many times, where I have only deleted the junk mail. But, do you know what happens? It’s all back the following week and I get behind again. So today, I did the same routine, but kept one of each of those items. Once I did the big delete of over a thousands emails. I was left with about 60 to tackle.
I opened each one of those and worked my way through the pretty pictures, links…clutter…down to the bottom of the page to search for the teensy and faded “unsubscribe” link. The entire process took me about an hour. And wow…some of those sites make you feel really guilty about unsubscribing from them. While some will say “We’ve made a note of this and we’ll miss you.” Others make you select a box for the reason you’re leaving. Sheesh…it’s crazy how guilty that can make you feel (or maybe it’s just me). I was a little put off by one that had options of: Check here if you want to receive our newsletter once a week, Check here if you want to receive our newsletter once a month, Check here if you NEVER WANT TO RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER EVER AGAIN! Ha! That’s the truth!! My first thought was, “Wow, that’s really harsh! I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.” Fortunately, I came to my senses and told them goodbye forever!
My goal here in writing about all of this is to simply encourage you to open your eyes to all of the things that are cluttering up your life and your precious time. As I’ve worked my way through rooms, so much more is becoming clear to me. I never would have thought my emails would be something on the list. But that’s what I want to encourage you to do today. Just take a look at your email Inbox and ask yourself, “How often do I read this stuff? What can I live without? I mean, seriously…will I die if I don’t see this great deal? Does all of this make me feel stressed?” …and then start unsubscribing from it all!
Yes, I lost about an hour of my time unsubscribing today, but I think I just gained a whole bunch of freedom! Gone is the temptation to check out that great deal. Gone is the stress felt because I cannot catch up on all of the emails waiting for me. Gone is that big number next to my Inbox link. I cannot wait to log in to my mail tomorrow morning to see what’s NOT there!!
*raising my cup of coffee to you*
Friends – follow me on this journey. Let’s find some victory in “The Uncluttered Life!” I have much more to tell you. Cheers!