Sandra Tonn, RHN
Welcome to March. The cold of the ski and shovelling season have past and the longer, busier days and spring-cleaning have yet to begin. It seems there is nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the hint of warm air while watching for signs of new life to poke through the softening ground.
Welcome to March. The cold of the ski and shovelling season have past and the longer, busier days and spring-cleaning have yet to begin. It seems there is nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the hint of warm air while watching for signs of new life to poke through the softening ground. But while we may seem to be in a seasonal lull, the fact is there is much to do during this “in-between” time. This short, three-week-or-so pre-spring season is undoubtedly the best time to clear out your clutter.
Yes, I know garage sales don’t get into full swing until June, and although anytime is a good time to unload unneeded stuff, there is something that just feels right about letting go of clutter this time of year. Spring is a natural time of new growth and life. And right now there is a wonderful feeling of anticipation in the air - an energy that encourages newness. It’s easier to imagine a new, fresh, simpler life.
The average household accumulates 300 pieces of paper a day and contains 25 percent more furniture and 75 per cent more toys than it needs, according to Don Aslett, author of Clutter’s Last Stand (Writer’s Digest Books, 1982). A recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health (U.S. Department of Health) showed that multiple representations of objects in our visual field are constantly competing with each other for our brain’s limited visual processing capacity. In other words, visual clutter actually suppresses the brain’s responsiveness.
Other studies show that clutter causes stress. It’s difficult to get out of the door on time in the morning if it takes five minutes, instead of five seconds, to find the right pair of socks in a messy dresser drawer. To make matters worse, the state of your sock drawer is impacting more than your morning routine. Karen Kingston, author of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui (Broadway Books, 1999), says clutter has far-reaching effects. Stagnant energy stacks up with it and we end up feeling weighted down&physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
It’s no coincidence that by clearing clutter out of a room, for example, you feel lighter, happier, and healthier. A clutter-free environment is simple, organized, clear, and feels good to live in. The positive and simplifying effects can be felt immediately.
Physical clutter can be symbolic of emotional clutter. Letting go of our “stuff” can be a powerful step to clearing emotional clutter. When we let go - of old ways, stuck emotions, unhealthy habits, excuses, relationships, or fears&there is room for new growth in our life and our self.
Enjoy the hint of warm air that March brings and let it remind you that it’s a special time of year. If you can clear out that clutter now, you will have room for new growth and new life when spring arrives.