Below is an updated version of an article I had posted back in January 2007 about de-cluttering your life.
I’ve been involved in a rather massive cleaning and de-cluttering project in my apartment for the past few weeks. It’s amazing how much stuff I’ve accumulated over the past few years here. Even more amazing is how much of it is just plain clutter that is taking up space in my home and my life! Letting it go and getting rid of it has been extremely satisfying. It has also made room for things of beauty which bring me joy.
So, too, it is with our lives. We hold onto people, relationships, jobs, and habits which take up space in our souls and drain them of energy. We avoid clearing them out and getting rid of them either because they’re familiar and safe, or because we “might need them someday”. “Someday” never comes, or by the time it does, you can go out and get a new one.
Now that a new year is upon us, it’s a great time to clear out the old so that we can bring in the new.
People and relationships
Clear out the energy vampires in your life who drain and/or exhaust you. Spend more time with the people in your life who support and energize you. Cut back on the amount of time you spend with drama queens, constant complainers, whiners, “meanies”, and “gimmes”. Start saying “no” to people and commitments that no longer fuel you. It’ll feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but it will make room in your life for more fulfilling relationships.
If you’re stuck in a dead-end job that stresses you out, doesn’t challenge you, or leaves you feeling like a zombie at the end of the day, the New Year is a good time to hunt for a new one. Update your resumè, cruise the want ads, and see what else is out there! Staying at a job just because it’s safe and secure (if there really is such a thing these days) will eventually suck the life out of you!
Pay attention to the amount of time you spend on habits and pursuits which add nothing to your life. Many of us know the lure of “Candy Crush”, and how one game turns into “just one more game”. Before we know it, we’ve been sucked into hours of trying to get to the next level. Same with “junk TV”. I know from my own very personal experience just how addicting “The People’s Court”, “Maury”, and “Judge Judy” can be! I’m not suggesting that you quit computer games and “junk TV” altogether (especially since I know I could never do it myself), just to spend more time doing things that bring you joy.
By de-cluttering your life, you’ll have more time and energy for activities which enhance your life and feed your soul in the year ahead.