Clearing my (psychic) clutter, Day 12: Chunking change


A lot of the feedback I've been getting on my wackadoodle, up-and-down journey through divesting has centered around the overwhelm factor, which makes sense: getting rid of anything is hard for a lot of us, and a kind of paralysis can set in when you're getting rid of a TON of stuff.

I had a few marathon sessions before I hit a wall of exhaustion. You may find that you, too, go kind of crazy with the decluttering once the stopper's been pulled from the drain. But eventually, you need to rest. You do. Even given all that beautiful new energy that pours in to support you. (Maybe it's angels, giving you the high-sign from above.)

And once you've hit the wall and your sprint is over, something else may pop up to further interrupt the process. For me, it was an out-of-town trip to a conference. For three days, I did no decluttering (although I did enjoy the best-packed bag I've ever had at my destination). It was kind of like going off a diet a little, then really falling off the wagon, then deciding, "Hell. I'm'a let that wagon just roll on into the next town while I stay here and eat my way through this pile of Ho-Hos."

For you, the way back in may be whole hog. If so, that's grand! Me, I suffer from Shiny Object Syndromeâ„¢ and myriad other ailments that make me prone to wicked backsliding.

This time around, I've tried something new that seems to be helping:

When I pick something up I haven't touched in a while, I stop, weigh it in my hand and ask if I still want or need it. If I do, it stays (duh). If I don't, I put it in the Goodwill bag, which is large and opaque.

It's a small gesture, but like bringing your attention to your breathing in yoga/meditation or asking yourself the "where am I right now?" question of Method acting, it can be powerfully effective.

If you're on the decluttering train yourself, maybe give it a whirl and let me know how it goes. Or, as folks did in the posts on travel and books, leave your own excellent one-off, quickie ideas for keeping the pump primed (the paint wet? the other, better metaphor?) in between big uses.


Image by Nadyuuusha via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.