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There are various kinds of clutter for us to deal with in our lives, and as you may have noticed by now, I’m all for minimising it, dealing with it, sorting it out, getting it under control and letting it go.

I’m talking about physical clutter, the stuff that accumulates in our home, our workplace, our car, our bag.  These days there’s also digital clutter, which for many of us is largely about emails, digital filing and backing up.  And of course there’s mental clutter – the chatter, the leftover emotional pain, anger and resentment that we really don’t need any more.

Clutter keeps us stuck.  Whatever kind of clutter it is, it’s in the way and it’s holding us back.

Physical clutter is a reflection of mental clutter, and contributes to us continuing to feel mentally and emotionally stuck.

In order to break through the stuck pattern of holding onto too much physical stuff and the reluctance to work on improving our physical environment, we need to address emotional and mental obstacles.

And the reverse is also true – taking action to let go of and tidy up stuff in our physical environment helps us to feel more mentally and emotionally freed up.

It’s like picking a bunch of knots out of some wool or string – when you make a start, it becomes easier and starts to unravel nicely.

So I encourage you to start working at letting go of things that are not serving you – whether those things are stuff you’re not going to get around to fixing, clothes that you don’t feel great in, excessive kitchen stuff, what’s in your fridge, junk which has accumulated in your handbag or car, limiting beliefs and rules you acquired along the way, old resentments, judgement, anger, pain, guilt and fear.

It’s time to accept ourselves, be kind to ourselves, and show ourselves the compassion and kindness we would wish for others, and to also show that compassion and kindness to others and let go of judgement.  When we judge others, we’re demonstrating fear.  The opposite of fear is love.

Holding onto something which is not serving us, whether its physical stuff or emotional stuff, is something we do out of fear of change.  We seek out what’s familiar.  But you know what they say – if things don’t change they’ll soon stay the same.  Ask yourself, is it more important to you to cling to an un-sustainable feeling of comfort from the familiar, or to have the ability to stretch yourself beyond what is familiar so that you can grow as a person and be happier and better able to serve others.

Often all it takes is a moment of discomfort as you take the time to ask yourself – what is the purpose of this thing – what does it give me – and make a decision about what you want to do with it – do you still need it or are you ready to let it go now.  What is likely to happen if you keep it?  What is likely to happen if you let it go?

So I have a couple of small tasks for you if you wish, and I have done these myself today.

  1. Choose a small thing that you see or use every day.  I chose my handbag. Clean it out – remove anything from it which you don’t require, add things that you do need, shake it out.  It might be your car, or your kitchen bench or bedside table.  Just choose one area to de-clutter and tidy up to make things nicer for yourself today.
  1. 2.Set aside some quiet time – 10 minutes willSit somewhere quietly.  If you are familiar with meditating you know what to do.  Relax, focus on your breathing and letting go of any mental chatter.  Set an intention for yourself of self acceptance and love.  Affirm that you are worthy and deserving of love.  This sounds simple but I know will be quite a stretch for some – you can handle it and you will not explode, I promise.  It might feel funny and you might even cry, but it’s quite safe.

Remember, the outside is a reflection of the inside.  That’s not a reason to judge yourself by the way.  Working from the inside out and the outside in can happen simultaneously, in fact it works quite well that way. 

Where you see something piling up, blocked or stuck in your physical environment, there will likely be something going on internally which needs letting go of.  


#12 Theresa Baker 2013-12-18 04:14
Yvette is life changing and affirming with her sound and common sense approach to every day problems. I was once very tidy and organised, but following the death of my mother and then my partner I have become so cluttered and untidy I can never
find anything. I am now going to start small and clear my kitchen work surfaces.
Thank you so much Yvette. You are wonderful!
#11 Glenis 2013-12-16 17:29
I agree that clutter is stifling and I am going to start clearing today, I'm actually excited about the decision to clear out the 'extra' wardrobe and allow someone else to benefit from my 'stored' clothing. Thanks Yvette and happy Christmas to you ,your family and all your followers. x
#10 pamela 2013-12-16 03:14
so very timely, yvette. my kitchen table is just exploding with stuff which i keep piling on and look at everyday but put off clearing. That's exactly where am heading off now to work on right away :-| Thank you
#9 sherry 2013-12-14 15:03
i so agree with ''lyocono'' and ''mas''. yvette and those 2 posts hit the nail on the hiding in this mess and NOT LIVING !! i beat myself up about it. not ''open'' to anyone or thing !! no wonder im so unhappy !! thank-you !
#8 sherry 2013-12-14 14:55
OMG....this is SOOO ME.....I am a complete mess, cant make a decision either. thanks for the pep talk. I will try to do one thing a day.
#7 Janet 2013-12-14 11:06
De-cluttering is so liberating. I've always felt insecure and hanging on to things has given me security through familiarity. The freedom of the space I now have is far preferable to being stifled by clutter. I now have homes for everything and instead of puttng things down I put them away - it's much easier that way. Sorting through my wardrobe and getting rid of items I find reasons not to wear means that what is there, I want to wear. I feel as though I have more clothes even though there are fewer - and I don't take as long to decide what to wear.
Your emails are like a breath of fresh air. Please keep them coming.
#6 Bernadett 2013-12-12 18:26
Dear Ivette,
you speak as if you know me... I have accumulated so much stuff, that our house is getting too small and with 5 kids in it it is really high time for me to turn the tide and cleanse our home for a fresh start... Thank you!
#5 Jenny 2013-12-11 22:51
;-) Yvette you have hit the point right on. Thank you. We are living in a muddle here since we moved and are trying to work through it. It also adds stress to every day life. It is a two edged sword-the more clutter the more stressed and anxious, the more stressed the more clutter we can't deal with right now :zzz The challenge is where to start. I like your approach, start with one thing at a time. :-)
#4 Gai 2013-12-11 10:21
Yes it's so true, so much to clear out, need a fresh start
#3 Mas 2013-12-10 23:48
I too need to add thanks for the timing of this message. I live in London, have been getting your emails for 4 years now and had a problem with Stuff. The need to have it in my life for the memories attached to them. Or the classic, you never know when it might come in handy! It's been hard. But after I lost my Mum last year I now have even more STUFF to make choices about. But as Yvette so clearly says - It gets in the way of your life. And the freedom to live without being weighed down with too many things, too many choices, is what I am working towards. It isn't easy letting go but it helps to give to others who may need these things, or charities that will gain funds from selling them. That helps to let go. But after Mum dying - really - the most important thing is life itself.
So thank you again Yvette, for all your clear, practical advice to people like myself. Now I'm off to the re-cycling dump to let go of more STUFF.
Life is short and precious, enjoy it!
#2 lyoeono 2013-12-10 06:20
Love your note, and very timely. Even in the cold, I spent the day cleaning out my garage and going through my winter clothes. I usually feel guilty about having too many clothes and hold on to things from years ago thinking I might wear it again. While having too many clothes clog up my closet and house and life. I decided to just do a major purge and get rid of most of the older things I have been hanging on to. Why not bless someone else with a winter coat this year? I love to thrift and usually buy things very inexpensively. I deiced to just accept that in myself and let go. Realizing I will have what I need when I need it and not worrying about the future by hoarding and keeping out of style and date items. I have friends who would not understand why I needed to spend the entire day clearing things out, but first things first! I have to take care of myself to take care of others also.
#1 cheryl 2013-12-10 02:16
thank you, I needed to hear that right now. im working on the physical, but now realize I have to also work on the mental.


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