Thursday, November 06, 2008


"A home that matches the contours of your soul subconsciously affirms that you are completely all right exactly the way you are. It is a place where you explore who you are and what you might become." - Denise Linn

Gadzooks, she did it again! As I read through Denise Linn's book this morning, I wasn't sure that I would have anything I needed to learn. It's another day about clutter, and I thought I had learned a lot about myself as I cleaned our bedroom last night.

I have always been a girl with a lot of clutter - always. That's me in the picture, happily surrounded by books and things, sitting on the one uncluttered surface in my bedroom. I think I must have been about 3.

So if I have always been a clutter girl, then two questions come up. 1. Is it just a part of who I am and I need to realize that I am allowed to feel good about myself surrounded by things? And 2. How can I change the pattern of a lifetime and stop feeling bad that I can't seem to keep things tidy and clutter free?

But then Denise said this: "A home that matches the contours of your soul subconsciously affirms that you are completely all right exactly the way you are." And I do not feel all right exactly as I am, surrounded am I am by clutter. I love things. I love creativity and beauty and sparkle and magic. I also currently live in a land that for some reason did not used to believe in building homes with closets. So I am surrounded by things. They are everywhere. And it drains me when I walk in the door.

So why? What's with the things? How can I be myself and feel mirrored by that self in my surroundings without all of the clutter? How can I create a home that supports who I am and what I might become while clearing the things that make me happy and drain me at the same time? And most importantly, how can this little magpie get rid of things that connect her to herself and her dreams and her two-continent life, when she feels so disconnected?

I think I need to take Denise's suggestion and change the lens. Tonight when I come home from work, I will try to see my home through different eyes before I tackle another room. Maybe I should invite someone gentle over to help - giggle - anyone fancy a de-clutter?

"I am clearing away blockages, and abundance in flowing into me."


chest of drawers said...

I´d love to come over and help! I can relate to all you write and I used to have the same issues...but I want to spend my time living and not moving things around from one place to the next because there´s no room for them it´s either find a place for everything or get a bigger place!

Serena said...

it drains me when i walk in the door

I can so identify....I need to make sure the living areas are tidy every morning before I go out because it makes me feel good to come through the door to a tidy space. If it's untidy, I immediately feel drained and down.

You have some tough decisions to make. Remember, baby steps... It's okay to have the things you love around you too. Why not try decluttering just a couple of items one week and see how it makes you feel. If it makes you feel better, try a few more a week later and so on. Or maybe rearrange and organise things differently to make you feel refreshed?

Love, light and peace ~

Genie Sea said...

I am so there with you!

I have experienced the feeling of walking in the door, and feeling dread. Looking around at piles of things and feeling the list grow in my head.

I have also felt exhilaration when I walk in my door after I have reorganized, The wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

It's a delicate balancing act of keeping the precious while giving ourselves space to breathe.

If I were near, I would definitely volunteer to be your fresh eyes! :)

Kel said...

I'm in a similar situation. I have so many types of clutter for a variety of reasons. I've been slowly decluttering over the past couple of years, with occasional decluttering frenzies. What I've discovered is that while I do like a fairly cluttered room, it makes a difference what the clutter is: shelves full of books and collected treasures comfort me and fill my soul, even if it is more cluttered than some people would like; stacks of paper that need dealing with, bags that need action, messes that need tidying up, all these things that represent action drain and discourage me. Good luck with yours, clear the decks and make space for all the happiness of your new marriage.

chocolate covered musings said...

i'll help you if you can help me also!

i am often torn between having a zen-like home and filling it with pretty things i really don't need!

someone once said to me "have only those things in your home that are beautiful or functional". somehow i often forget this advice. :)

for me, i think some of it comes from feeling like something is lacking. like there is some part of me that needs all of these things in order to feel successful, or validated in some way. which is weird, and requires further investigation

good luck to ya

Gemma said...

I'll help you if you'll come over and help me!!!
I'm still working in my bedroom.
Have a good day!

Deirdre said...

I have a small confession - I looove to de-clutter. If my house is cluttery I get antsy and can't focus on anything. So, I've learned a few tricks and shortcuts to make it easier. I'd be happy to help, even if I can't come over to play. I also believe a small amount of clutter makes a home look and feel cozy; it's just a matter of deciding how much clutter is just right.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

You reminded me of my daughter. :D She loves her things and there I go, doing the balancing act: keeping her room clean / functional but letting her have her clutter, lol! As long as she remembers where she put her stuff is ok by me. When she can´t find things then we do a round of "put it with same kind" :)

daisies said...

this sounds oh so familiar to me!! and my 60+ year little bungalow is also fairly closet challenged which is a challenge for my magpie ways :)

i would love to pop over and help if you could do the same ;-) tee hee

hmmmm ~ i think i need to pick up this book!!


Vivienne said...

i love that picture of little meg!

i so relate to this post. big time! over the years i've been decluttering my psyche and soul and not too conciously, my home has become much less cluttered (i've always been a very messy girl). as i'm packing up my belongings for a move, i'm letting go of even more. some of my clutter i just can't let go of and other things i felt this way about years ago i can easily let go of now. sometimes its just when we are ready.

i think 'change the lens' is great advice too. i bet your possessions as well as your soul are full of much sparkly, beautiful, shiny goodness.....what items reflect that?

wish i could come help you de-clutter!

Jessie said...

I'm so glad that you're doing Soul Coaching too. It is inspiring to me. Knowing you have committed to this helps me to want to stay committed to.

And let me just say: that photo of you is the cutest ever! :)

Anonymous said...

I heart that photo! Maybe because it is a version of me I see in there. My mom HATED my cluttery room. I LOVED it. For her it was chaos, for me it was comfort.

As an adult I have learned to appreciate the clutter that makes me feel varied lap throws strewn on every seat in the house, my menagerie of photos that adorn every shelf, my books and magazines that are in piles near my bed.

I have also learned to elimnate the clutter that brings chaos....the junk mail, the pages of busywork homework from the girls, the toys, the shoes, the jackets that all get left strewn about.

Focus first on the clutter that you DON'T need then display the clutter that comforts you and I'll bet then your home will reflect your soul. Also, put things into pretty collections, then it feels more intentional :)

miss*R said...

oh! I love that photo! It is just absolutely divine - I hope it is framed sitting somewhere, where you can see it everyday!

I had the same thoughts yesterday about clutter - I have a dresser that is chock a block full of stuff that I don't use.. bits I have collected over the years.. but each one gives me joy... but I know what you mean by being overwhelmed.. with stuff. Just start simply.. like someone said, baby steps, it doesn't have to be a major chore, just get the energy moving. It has taken me years to declutter to where I am now. I woke up a few months ago knowing I had to rid myself of stuff.

with all your stuff that is around, all the stuff that you must keep, why not look into storing it in bins or gorgeous boxes stacked up?
best of luck with it - you will get there!! xo

Jamie said...

Okay, that is truly, completely the sweetest picture EVER. It looks like it should be in a fairy tale book about Magical Megg, the girl who was a magpie.

I hope the shift in lens brings clarity. You deserve a space as sparkly as you :)

Susannah said...

oh love, i wish i lived closer cos you know i'd be over in a shot! There's nothing i love more than a good clear out :-) i also love that moving has meant i have less stuff than i had in B, so that this flat is super tidy.... having said that, i also acknowledge that i am *ahem* a little obsessive when it comes to the orderliness of my home. i wish i could just let a little more clutter into my world - but there's so much chaos in my head, i need my surroundings to be calm :-)

you will get there, fozie, making your home what you want it to be... maybe a move to Bath is in order? (subtle eh?) x

pERiWinKle said...

Heehee...reading this post take me back a few years! I used to 'fear' that I will become like my mom! (who is the queen of 'deurmekaar' - which means cluttery...but not messy) day I just what if I'm like my mom, she has great attributes as well..and ever since...mmmmmm.....i love it!!!! xx (and me!) and it's not that bad being like her! teehee!!!

maddie said...

ahhhhh....strange as i wrote all
this in less eloquent words to
a friend this week:)

and i love that quote ~ i am
going to meditate on it a bit...

and ohhhhhhhhhhh!!!

i LOVE that photo of you ~ for some
reason reminds me of Edith the lonely doll books i read as a are so ....YOU!!!!
(and that is a beautiful thing)


Cafe Observer said...

That's a weakness with me.
It's a dead weight that can suck the life outta a person
I don't wanna give any more time to that word.

Liz said...

Oh I am so there with you and the need and desire to de-clutter-fy. I too have always been a clutter queen, and no, it does not serve me, at all. We do have closets, and still there are piles of stuff everywhere. My mother is the clutter emperess, and so I grew up with piles of things everywhere, but where it does not mother my mum, it does bother me, and the habit needs top be banished (along with some other ones).

Was just talking to a friend this morning about how my disorganization holds me back from doing the things I want to do, cuz it takes too long to find what I need, in order to work on something... love Denise's quote, I think I am going to print it out huge and hang it in my studio...