I have recently been in the process of de-cluttering my flat, and as it turns out, my life. Historically, de-cluttering has been very difficult for me, so this time I chose to ask for support. At the moment a beautiful friend has been coming over every week specifically for this.
We have been tackling one area at a time – whatever area I have been ready to look at.
Now that we have almost gone around de-cluttering every bit of my flat, I am aware most areas have just had the first go. I could in fact re-visit each area and go deeper.
What a beautiful metaphor de-cluttering is for all the issues and patterns I have been getting frustrated with in my life in general. I realised:
- I could look at my life as a big project like my flat, and see each issue as an area requiring a de-clutter.
- I can enlist help to stop me from getting overwhelmed when I have resistance.
- I can look at one area at a time, doing whatever area I am ready to tackle, to the level I am ready to and then later on I will quite likely see I could go back and do even more.
The fact that I was not ready to de-clutter some areas did not mean I was not committed to clearing my flat. In fact, my choice to focus on one area at a time and avoid overwhelming myself was very productive as well as deeply self-loving.
Also the fact that I could see the possibility to do more in many areas by no means reduced the fact that amazing, celebration-worthy changes had already been made.
In fact, my ability to know I could go deeper was testament to how far I had come.
Seeing this as a parallel in my life, I now have a different way of considering my life: that my ability to acknowledge there are issues to be worked on, and my choice to engage with the process in itself, shows how amazing I am. It is fine, and in fact useful, to tackle one thing at a time and at a pace I am ready for.
Enlisting support and inspiration when I feel I need it is being self-loving and responsible.
When I spot that more work is required in an area it is worth celebrating my readiness to go deeper. De-cluttering is an on-going, forever deepening project that will never end, because there is always a deeper level of amazingness I can develop – in my flat and myself.
This way of looking at life and appreciating its reflections has been inspired by the presentations and example provided by Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon.
By Golnaz Shariatadeh, BSc, London, UK
I have recently been de-cluttering Golnaz and your blog was a lovely reminder to take it one bit at a time and not rush to try and do it all at once. I like the way you see how de-cluttering can relate to other areas in your life. “It is fine, and in fact useful, to tackle one thing at a time and at a pace I am ready for.” Thanks for sharing.
I can relate to what you have said Debra and it is a reminder to me to tackle one thing at a time and at a pace I am ready for as I find I can easily go into overwhelm. When I do get to what I have been avoiding, the feeling is great and I wonder why I didn’t do it before! Loved your article Golnaz, it feels timely and supportive.
Beautiful Golnaz, your process, asking for support, taking one aspect at a time is truly awesome. I love the way you could then relate clearing your clutter in your living space equal to clearing habits and patterns in how you live. What a joyous experience and thank you for sharing your journey. And I can attest to the fact that your de-cluttering is bringing powerful results, as one of your friends I can truly say that its becoming easier and easier and a real joy, to see your amazing love and light shining out of your eyes every time we meet. A deep heartfelt Thank You for the Love you are and express in the world. Keep chucking out the junk!!
Golnaz this is just the most amazing blog – I love it! It’s so true we accumulate so much stuff we don’t need, in our houses, in our bodies, in our heads, and de-cluttering (for me anyway) is an essential part of life – and I love doing it. I love how you are including so much more of your flat in this process, and understanding your flat as a reflection of something much bigger, I can really feel your stead-fast-ness and strength and it is very inspiring.
What I love and appreciate is not only the content of this but that this article itself is not cluttered…everything you say here is relevant , simply yet eloquently put. Beautifully written. Your comment that in de-cluttering you can sense “what ‘no longer fits within my expression of life’ “and how you are in fact renouncing “that energetic outplay” in your life. Very powerful indeed.
Golnaz, I felt to come back to this article and read it again. It’s very timely for me and what touches me deeply is your celebration and appreciation of each area you’ve de-cluttered and even appreciation that you can see there is more to do. I’ve struggled with wanting to have everything fixed and have nothing that needs looking at – what an illusion – slowly that is changing as I become more at ease with me – however this takes things to a deeper level of enjoying and celebrating the deepening process along with all that it brings – as well as the knowing that addressing one area at the time is a loving and supportive way. Thank you.
Such a brilliant metaphor for what happens Ariana.
I agree, great analogy Ariana and awesome blog Golnaz, recently I have been feeling the clutter in my flat has been making friends like no tomorrow and I have been feeling overwhelmed by the party. Reading your blog Golnaz has reminded me it is OK to tackle one small area at a time and to appreciate the changes I make along the way.
Me too, I’m inspired to de-clutter and break up the party, in my car as well as my flat. Thank you everyone for your comments and playfulness on a subject I have found difficult.
So true Fiona. I recently cleaned out my computer files and put a lot in the trash. I definitely noticed that the folder space and inbox felt lighter.
What comes through so strongly for me through your blog, Golnaz, is your appreciation. Your appreciation of yourself, the fact that you can, “see the possibility to do more in many areas by no means reduced the fact that amazing, celebration-worthy changes had already been made. In fact, my ability to know I could go deeper was testament to how far I had come.”
That is so inspiring as it makes any challenge achievable.
That is inspiring Golnaz, the way you bring de-cluttering your flat and your life together. I feel they work in tandem, de-cluttering in one brings about de-cluttering in the other, both ways. I also feel it is well to keep aware of when some clutter starts to develop again in either. I find this can happen if I am not vigilant. Clutter has a way of sneaking in by the back door! But that is great what you say about it helping you to pace yourself and deal with a bit at a time. That is really helpful, thank you.
Awesome blog – what you are offering in this article is really beautiful and a very supportive and practical way of working on our issues, thank you.
Thanks Golnaz great blog, It has made me look at things in a different way. You have inspired me to do some serious de-cluttering of my own.
Dear Golnaz, I love the way you celebrate that by being open to going deeper with the de-cluttering of your home/self, you are confirming how far you have come. I find this deeply honouring and inspiring – thank you.
Hi Golnaz, what a lovely blog demonstrating how everything around you is a reflection of what’s in your heart. I have a small house and really cherish those days where I can walk around picking up all that is not me and throwing it right out. Writing this however I’m wondering if throwing things away may also represent not letting people in to my heart?
You have said exactly what I was thinking Rachael with your last point
The line, “my ability to know I could go deeper was testament to how far I had come” reminds me of the power of regularly appreciating just how far we have come as a vital part of accepting where and who we are now and not always gunning for the finishing line. Thanks, Golnaz.
Thank you for sharing this Golnaz, some very wise words. I often look at what needs to be cleared or done in life and go into overwhelm so never actually start. Or feel unless i do it all now its not enough. Lovely to read the reflection of looking at an area at a time and seeking support when needed. It’s great also to feel how you embrace and celebrate when there is more to be done rather than put yourself down because you’ve not yet done that. Very Inspiring.
I have been finding how everything in life is connected. It is as the profound saying that “nothing is nothing and everything is everything”. At times I get very stuck in de-cluttering of an area that I know needs attention: I know the time is now, but I do not want to face it and go on ignoring it for a while. In these situations I have been noticing how it is not just an item or an area that is at play. I can sense what ‘no longer fits within my expression of life’ is far more than the physical de-cluttering I am considering – the physical is just an outplay of that. I have noticed that when I finally do take act on the physical de-cluttering, it is a powerful statement that I have said no to and let go of that energetic outplay, I could say I have renunciated that energetic outplay in my life. It is very powerful and freeing.
I agree Golnaz when we do finally take the time to de-clutter it is so powerful and freeing and clears so much more than just the items. I have been putting off clearing a shed that has all the garden tools…..just in case I might need them, but they were bought long ago when I had a bigger garden and I used to renovate properties and these items really have no place in my life now. No more putting off what needs to be cleared, I can feel how it is a section of my life I have not wanted to look at or let go, I can already feel how freeing it is just sitting here writing this now, thank you Golnaz.
I’ve found too that sometimes (often!) I will hang onto something I’ve felt no longer serves me much longer than I need to, and the firm decision to let go of these things is, I agree, very powerful.
Yes the firm decision when the time has come is very powerful – and the delay in letting go when it is so ripe and ready to fall off so to speak, just keeps us dulled to our light and in the comfort of not taking the next step forward.
Hi Golnaz, this is a really lovely blog. I love the part you wrote about how clearing the ‘first go’ can be and we can go back and revisit the area in our house to deeper with de-cluttering and it’s true this is a reflection with our bodies, our relationships, everything. I have set aside tomorrow for a de-clutter day and just seeing your blog made me smile and it felt very inspiring.
‘My ability to know I could go deeper was testament to how far I had come’… wow, Golnaz, this is so respectful, sweet and inspiring… the acceptance and appreciation of where we are at opens so many doors ahead. Thank you.
I too loved that line Matilda, very inspirational and a reminder to appreciate how far I have come does open more doors and feels so expansive.
This is beautiful. You can feel the love and appreciation for yourself there. Not the hard “look at what’s still left to do!”, but the acceptance of how far you’ve already come. It is respectful and nurturing all at once, gently encouraging yourself to continue as you are.
Yes, when we appreciate how far we’ve come its a great confirmation to keep going, if the appreciation isn’t there its too easy go into overwhelm, feeling its all too much to deal with.
I love the way you make the parallel between clutter and patterns in life, and that you appreciate how amazing you are that you are dealing with it, one corner or bit at a time. I concur that yes, you are amazing, Golnaz and what a blessing it is to know you! By reading your blog I can appreciate myself more deeply through all the choices I make that support me likewise.
I can also add, that as Gyl says moving one item can change a whole room’s space. I bought a new house two years ago and have lovingly renovated and decorated it. I have to say that it now feels fabulous. But I was getting frustrated through the process as I knew how the end result was going to be and I didn’t like the way the rooms felt incomplete and not quite right in the process. Each room has taken time to develop, buying the right furniture and arranging everything in it’s right place. The one room that kept annoying me was my living room and I didn’t like sitting in it. Then as the other rooms completed I was finally able to tackle the last bits of clutter in the living room. I took three items away and suddenly the whole room felt AMAZING! I sat on my sofa said, wow and couldn’t believe the transformation. I was planning on building shelves and changing the furniture thinking it would make it better, but it wasn’t needed. I kept saying, wow! I love being in this room now. If I further reflect on Golnaz making parallels on clutter and choices/issues I can say that working on my house has been a huge reflection of my livingness. It’s like I want to get to the end where everything is in its place without appreciating each step on the way. My house is truly beautiful, the colours, textures and light are gorgeous, and it has all come together in the end. Just like the house I will come to my full beauty and amazingness in time. Patience is needed. The more I let go of my issues and clutter the more my glory and beauty will stand out and reveal itself just like my living room!
This is awesome Golnaz, to de-clutter and make space is so freeing and as you say to have support when it feels overwhelming is very beneficial when it comes to the crunch of letting go of that ‘thing’ that you have been moving around for years. To have someone to ask you ‘why’ supports the process greatly. Thank you for sharing.
A truly amazing article Golnaz, you have really shown us how graceful you are in the way you work. An inspiration indeed.
Well said Golnaz. Over the last 10 years we have had a lot of house moves and it is only in the last 3 moves that we started to look seriously at our clutter. From a double garage full of ‘stuff’ to having no garage and now clutter free. And as you say, the process is an on-going development, forever refining and looking at what we truly do or do not need.
Totally agree Tim… its an on-going development, and I love the way that Golnaz gives herself permission to take it piece by piece as and when it feels right to do it and thereby moving at a natural rhythm that does not overwhelm. I have been decluttering for a while now, and this blog reminds me beautifully that it is an ongoing process, and that I can see and feel the areas that need work and the objects that no longer serve. Thanks Golnaz
Brilliant Blog! Thank you Golnaz, a great reminder of choices we can make to support ourselves! I love living clutter free and as you have said this can be a consistent refinement. Our attachments to objects, photos, bits of paper can really hold us back from growing. By opening clearing out and opening space up we allowing for the true new things to come to us. Out with the old to make way for the amazing new!
Ha ha Sam I love this “out with the old to make way for the Amazing new!” so true. What also came up was attachments to photos, something I didn’t think I had, but there’s definitely something there, thank you.
Thank you Golnaz for the inspiration to finally get around to a very, very long over-due decluttering of my possessions and my mind!
It is so easy to let things slip and create a stuck energy in the home with our clutter, and then blame everything outside for frustrations, overwhelm and many other emotions we can go into. By then of course, it can feel too late, there’s too much to do and we are at risk of giving up. It is great to have help with a project of this nature, but when help is not available, your suggestion of clearing one tiny area at a time is a great help.
Absolutely Carmel, I have also found this to be true. Thank you for the reminder, it made me smile to acknowledge and feel this truth in my body. It is all too easy to blame everything or everyone else for our frustration and I personally feel the overwhelm… and what I am finding just now is that I can either go into drive and having to get it all done, and then give up or, as both yourself and Golnaz have so greatly and rightly expressed, – simply working on one small area at at time, is amazing, and before you know it so much has been cleared, with not an ounce of giving up and overwhelm in sight, just joy and expansion.
I also felt to share the absolute JOY to be felt in clearing and decluttering our lives, work and homes.
Very true Gyl we do feel more joyful and lighter too.
I love the imagery presented here and the true facts that can’t be denied. It does feel amazing to be clutter free or at least be aware of what needs work, it gives you the space and freedom to apply yourself whole heatedly anon.
Dear Golnaz thank you for this great blog, such simple truth and clarity. I too have been feeling to clear out, be it my rooms, my wardrobe etc and it feels amazing, as Stephen says even ‘one item can change a whole room’s space’. And I agree it does make everything feel so much clearer, lighter and energising. I remember clearing out a pile of old photos and objects that I no longer needed, and the feeling of lightness and space that filled the room and my body was amazing.
And this may not necessarily be when we are moving or clearing out, but simply in how we leave our space, be it at work, our home or our car.
I agree Gyl, it does feel much lighter, clearer and more energising as we clear out ‘stuff’ that no longer supports us. And yes, ‘the feeling of lightness and space that filled the room and my body was amazing’. I love to go back to the area or room that has been de-cluttered just to feel how lovely it now feels.
Thank you Golnaz for sharing your journey of De-cluttering. I have recently moved and downsized. Not that I had Stuff… a lot of Stuff is an understatement. I had a large two car garage that had over 368 square feet, that was racked out completely, it had aisles. The stuff that was in there, now occupies a lock-up that has 124 Square feet. At one time, not that long ago I had a DVD collection of 1000+. I keep culling the movies every so often. I now have less than 20 and can foresee in the near future that they will be gone. It has been a real large onion that I have been peeling. The discarding has carried on to the stuff I have carried with me, that people can’t outwardly see. The more you discard the easier it gets, for the stuff you stack inside and outside. As you have said the process is a work in progress.
Love the imagery of the really large onion you have been peeling while de-cluttering ! Beautiful comment Steve.
I’m also moving shortly and it has been amazing to feel the change to a room by getting rid of items that are not needed, even one item can change a whole room’s space, it makes everything feel clearer and I have found it very energising. The impact this has on our daily lives and the clutter in our minds cannot be underestimated. Thank you Golnaz for writing on this subject.
Thanks Golnaz for this lovely inspiration “De-cluttering is an on-going, forever deepening project that will never end, because there is always a deeper level of amazingness I can develop – in my flat and myself.”
Hi Ariana, I love the playful imagery!
Yes, a lovely analogy, Ariana.
Hello again Golnaz, I’m in the workings of packing before moving and realise how many things I still have with me in my life that I don’t really feel is part of me anymore. And also how great it feels to toss them away making room for what I feel is in line with where I’m at in my life right now, awesome!
Thanks Matts, I am not moving, but your comment made me consider what if I was moving, what if I was starting from scratch? If I take a moment to feel where I am at, what would I want to take with me to support me? Very interesting and valuable to see, as you say, how many things I still have with me in my life that I don’t really feel is part of me anymore. It will be wonderful to create room for what is the real us. Right there with you!
Great comment, Golnaz – it was brought home to me when helping to clear up personal things after the death of a family member – I don’t want anyone else to get lumbered with a whole load of stuff they don’t want when I die, and then I realised that I don’t need to be cluttered up with it now – the ‘party’ of clutter that is gathering in my house right now is just making me feel tired, rather like unresolved emotional issues – I need more space and it is my responsibility to sort it ASAP. It feels like a huge task, but clearing one small area at a time, little and often, works.
I love what you say Carmel about dealing with all the unnecessary items before you die, rather than leaving it for someone having to deal with it. It’s a great level of responsibility being shown to me here to not leave my problems for other people to deal with.
Its so true Matts and Golnaz – when it really comes down to, we don’t need half the stuff we think we do. We too are thinking of moving and the most important thing that we both feel, is to de-clutter the house before we move, so what we take with us represents where we are going, not where we have been!
Rowena I love your comment about clearing so that, ‘what we take with us represents where we are going, not where we have been’. Really helpful.
“…. so what we take with us represents where we are going, not where we have been”. This is a powerful and healing sentence for us all Rowena. It makes me realise that we still have in our house things that represents where we have been and don’t represent what we are now. Time for deeper de-cluttering !
Great points Matts and Golnaz. I have moved a few times in the last 8 years and am amazed that even though I have cleared out lots of stuff, there is yet still more, and most often, what I have clung onto and moved into my next house simply doesnt fit or feel right there. It is an ever evolving process I reckon and one I am learning to really enjoy.
I really love clearing out old stuff. For me it’s symbolic of letting go of old and creating the space for new beginnings.
Thank you Golnaz for sharing and clearly showing by being committed to a task and its simplicity, rather than the overwhelm, and tackling in our own rhythm it is possible to work through AND ends up having an amazing outcome in other areas of our lives. Beautiful!
I truly agree Julie.
Thanks Julie and Golnaz. Put like that clearing the clutter can be so simple and shows the resistance we have to letting go of ‘stuff’.
I agree Julie. All the different parts of our lives we often consider separate are all intertwined and feed each other. So it is just as you say, when we work through one task or issue and let it go it correspondingly lightens up the whole.
Dear Golnaz, what an amazing blog, I can so relate as I have no doubt many can to all that you share. I’ve got a room at the back of the house, and a few cupboards, that I’ve been putting stuff in for years, and closing the door, only recently to open it and step by step begin to clear out lots of old things that are no longer needed in my life…. and it felt and feels amazing. Though I have stopped for a little while, I have been feeling to go back and clear some more…. and as you share I know and can feel this relates to much more than just that back room, thank you for expressing.
Wonderful analogy re breaking up a party, I have found the last 2 big declutters in my life, I have actually gotten very sick straight after, it’s like my whole body gets a big cleanse from the process too.
I agree Felicity, de cluttering is like a personal healing
Yes I love the analogy of breaking up the party Ariana. When the clutter (or anything else not in harmony) is just left there, it does seem to infringe on how free and spacious we feel – and it goes on until we engage with it and let it know the party is over.
The good thing about asking a friend for help is that they will see things we are not necessarily prepared to look at. We are so used to having it one way that it looks normal to us. I am still working on de cluttering too.
Very true Alexandre. In de-cluttering as well as anything else in life, when we are stuck in an area, it is immensely helpful to have the input of one who does not have that relationship with it. They can often indeed see things we are not necessarily prepared to look at. It can help us break out of what is keeping us stuck and to look back at the situation and find a new way.
Yes, having friends to support is so supportive! I’m still in the process of letting go of a lot of my material possessions and being reminded by friends that I am more than the sum of my possessions is so helpful. I had been judging my success in life by how much I owned. The love and support I receive for just being me reminds me of who I truly am. This allows me to let go of any possessions that aren’t practical to keep.
I agree Alexandre. I recently de-cluttered my office space and had my family help me remove garbage bags of old resources. They definitely helped me see what I was not prepared to see.
Great point Alexandre. I cleaned the house of a friend recently for several hours as was the arrangement. While cleaning I made a few simple changes, like removing items and replacing creating a feeling of more space. Later this friend told me; ‘she enjoyed what I did in her house, like putting stuff in another way, as it looks more still and clear, I learn from this, she said, and thanked me!
I agree Alexandre, I found that by engaging a friend, decluttering was more fun, lighthearted and it allowed me to see certain patterns of behaviours which I may not have seen if I choose to do it all by myself.
Great point Alexandre. When we ask for support it opens up the opportunity for conversations with our friends and family as to whether the items are truly needed. This is very supportive in the long run and supports change old habits and behaviours around what we “think” we need to keep and throw away.
Gorgeous Golnaz, I enjoyed reading this and can very much relate to this myself, thanks!
What amazing simplicity you bring to life, Golnaz. Thank you for your very inspiring article, it feels very timely.
Yes it is very timely to read this as I am in the midst of physically moving house. I have been throwing things away for years now but there always seems to be more to clear up and throw away. It is amazing, I have to wonder where it all comes from! I have now accepted that it is a permanent part of my life to constantly review, clean up and throw out my clutter both inside and out.
Yes, Nicola, I agree wholeheartedly with what you say about clearing clutter both inside and out is under constant review. I too have been moving around the past few years and wonder where all the clutter comes from, there always seems to be more to discard. I have always considered myself rather good at minimalism, but still I ask myself “do I really need this, what am I holding on to it on for?” It then becomes a healing process and once it’s gone it’s forgotten.
Yes, it is very simple to simplify our lives, not so to constantly keep complicating them. Clearing clutter while still amassing it is, in my experience, much like shoveling snow in a snow storm – exhausting work. To avoid this we must first address the momentum we have in place to keep accumulating ‘stuff’ and then realise that the more we simplify our life, the more the marker for what clutter is keeps moving!
Yes Liane, I agree we really need to have a look at the why we accumulate unnecessary stuff. There is always a reason to why we do this. For me it was trying to fill an emptiness I felt with something or a distraction to keep me from what I was feeling.
This is a really great way of explaining how to deal with things. We often (and me included) feel we have to tackle everything at once if we want to make change and then give up if we are struggling. What you describe is a very sensible practical approach.
This is a very common pattern for me too Shevon, trying to tackle everything at once, placing myself in distress and then of course begrudging the next time I have to do it. What Golnaz is sharing is monumental and very self loving.
What a lovely story of you reclaiming and rediscovering you in the process of declutterring. I love that you had support through the process. I love how you let go of any need to self judge too – how refreshing. I know how much lighter it feels in my body when I let go of things that no longer serve, whether it’s patterns of behaviour, emotional needs or clutter – it all leaves me feeling lighter and freer.
So true Felicity. I started off feeling quite stuck in this area. Once I had chosen that I truly did want to tackle it, it became irrelevant what I had or not done in the past, it was easy to see how I could do with support and also to feel who could best provide that support. I am very pleased I acted on what I felt to do and asked for assistance.
Thanks Golnaz, that is inspiring for me and feels like a great letting people in and letting my guard down process.
I truly loved reading your blog Golnaz. Your gentleness and love for yourself shines through! I have found that once the intention is there to do something, the support is there. Someone said to me recently “you don’t have to suffer”, that’s so true. Thank-you again, Golnaz.
Thanks Sandra, I feel sometimes that I try to do everything myself then wonder why i’m feeling overwhelmed, this is a great reminder to seek help when I need it.