The Pandemic had us spending a lot of quality time at home. And all that time looking around the house no doubt provided a rude awakening regarding just how much unnecessary crap you have in your rooms, closets, and under your bed. When your home is cluttered, it’s difficult to focus. The same is true for your mind. When you shove a bunch of worthless negative beliefs into a closet, that shit oozes out at some point. If you’re ready to make changes in your life, let’s start with cleaning out your closets.
The Genius of Tidying Up
Let’s transition to Marie Condo. If you aren’t familiar with Marie Condo, check out her website after you read this article. Why? Her expertise is helping people to clean out their closets . . . literally. But metaphorically, she’s digging deep into your psyche.
Her genius is HOW she gets people to clean out their closets.
She has the customer take everything, and I mean everything, out of their closet and onto their bed and then they go through every single clothing item and ask the question “Does this bring me joy?”
Then they close their eyes as they try to conjure up the feelings the clothing item brings to them.
Laborious and time-consuming? Yes.
Well worth it? YES!
While those mom jeans you bought 10 years ago brought you joy at the time, maybe not so much now.
Or the granny panties you wore after giving birth to your last child 8 years ago? I guarantee your spouse isn’t finding much joy in those.
And how about all the items that looked really good on the rack but they didn’t ever fit quite right when you got them home? I don’t know about you but every time I look at those clothes, it just pisses me off. You keep them with thoughts of:
- If my ass was just a little smaller I could wear those.
- I know it’s too long but maybe I’ll have it tailored someday.
- Yeah, the color isn’t my best but it’s so pretty I hate to get rid of it. I want it to look good on me!
- But my waist used to be that size. WTF?
How much joy can that possibly be providing?
Getting rid of the current state is the best way to make changes in your life. You can’t hang on to the past and want a new future simultaneously.
A Labor of Love
The next step in Marie Condo’s approach is the folding of the clothing items. There is a very specific way to fold each item. It becomes a labor of love instead of a chore. In effect, it’s a head game because the process requires you to think about each item with the perspective of bringing joy to your life. I’ve never been much of a hoarder but I watched a couple of episodes a few years ago and it changed my life, or closet as it were.
If you can’t find the show anywhere, she also has a book.
But enough about Marie Condo and cleaning your closets. Let’s take that concept into some other areas of your life.
- What about the rest of your house?
- The nicknacks all around the house?
- Kids toys?
- Junk drawers
That stuff all around you, surrounding you, is just filling up space in both your physical and mental life.
With all that shit everywhere, there is no space left for the good. It’s like filling up your diet with Cheetos. If you eat Cheetos all day, there is no space for healthy food.
It’s time to tidy up!
There’s no need to get overwhelmed about it. Just tackle one room at a time. Start asking yourself the question “Does this bring me joy?” And if not, chuck it. Or at a bare minimum, put it in a box in the garage and if you don’t need it in the next 6 months, get rid of it.
Create and maintain a space that serves you instead of you serving it.
How to Make Changes in Your Life by Cleaning The Closet in Your Mind
Now for the hard stuff. Let’s talk about your thoughts, beliefs, and ideas.
As long as we’re finding out what brings you joy in your physical space, why not open up that closet in your mind and see what people, thoughts, and beliefs are taking up space but not adding joy? There are all kinds of thoughts we stuff into the crevices of our minds in hopes we never have to deal with them. Yet, if you really want to make changes in your life, it’s important to take that stuff out every now and then and at least get it organized. If you could manage to toss a few of those beliefs that aren’t serving you into the garbage bin of life, that would make it easier.
When was the last time you went through your cell phone or Facebook directory and took a hard look at your contact list? Think about this.
If you haven’t talked to someone in your phone directory for two years, are you really friends or are you more acquaintances?
Or if you’ve called someone a couple of times over the years and not heard back, is it maybe a one-sided friendship?
Do you have people in your phone directory from two jobs ago that you haven’t talked to since you left but are just hanging on to their number “in case?”
Or maybe you are single and there are a few guys’ numbers left in there because although it didn’t work out, hey, maybe someday it will.
How We Resist Change: Staying Stuck
Here’s the thing, every time you scroll through your phone directory, you are re-living or re-engaging with some narrative that has to do with each of those individuals. I’m not saying everyone in your phone book you haven’t talked to in two years should be deleted. I’m saying you should take the time and energy to think about what each person in that directory is bringing to your life and your future. If you want to make changes in your life, take actions that will enable those changes.
Marie Condo that phone listing!
Do you feel joy when you look at their name or just an obligation or a negative historical narrative?
Now let’s talk about your beliefs and thoughts.
Changing Your Life by Cleaning the Belief Closet
If a certain belief just brings fear (like, I don’t know the doom and gloom of a potential recession), maybe it’s time to get rid of those beliefs and replace them with something a little more joyful (like, I’m so glad I’m resourceful and capable to change my life at any moment). If you want to learn more about how your beliefs might be negatively impacting your life, I’ve got a couple of additional articles on this topic:
If you have a tendency to beat yourself up every time you look in the mirror, that doesn’t sound very joyful. Let’s try some positive affirmations.
The thing is, your mind is much like your physical surroundings. Garbage in = garbage on the floor or in the closet. You don’t need any more garbage in your life.
Clean it up!
If you want your life to change, you have to be willing to change your life. You truly can’t continue to do what you’ve always done and expect different results. Make room for the new you by cleaning out all that shit in your life!
And prepare to soar my friend . . . metaphorically, and maybe even literally.