Clearing the Clutter, Freeing the Mind

I’ve been walking past this mess of a home office for months now. It might even be a year. Piles and stacks of papers. Cabinets of files which need going through, sorted, recycled, thrown away. I don’t want to do it. It will take so much time. And I don’t want to spend my weekend doing my very least favorite chore. I’ve scrubbed toilets before I’ve gotten to the office.

But today it’s raining. I have the house to myself. I have no plans. There is no reason not to do this.

So here I am sorting through months and years worth of bills, statements, photos, my son’s old report cards, instructional manuals for items I don’t even own anymore.

There are things which make me wince and feel that pang in my gut:

Old writings I never finished.

A song list for my all-girl’s 80’s cover band that disbanded after the second rehearsal.

Photos of me and my son when he was a baby. He’ll never be that cooing cherub ever again.

Pay stubs from various jobs.

Files from all my freelance attempts.

Scribbled notes to my husband at the beginning of our separation nightmare.

How had I let all these things pile up, disrupting my home’s feng shui? Well I hadn’t carved the time to tackle this mess. I had ignored it. Until it started causing me disturbance and keeping me from getting to my creative work and even my work work.

With every sheet of paper I let go (I’m sorry son I cannot keep every school work or drawing you ever did) and those that I angrily threw into the trash (Eff you, IRS!) as well as those I tossed into the recycling bag with relief (Those words I wrote to myself in that dark time that has thankfully passed) I became lighter and lighter.

And I came across things which made me smile:

Writings I did finish.

A photo of me in the community paper when I self published my children’s book.

Birthday cards and kind notes from various friends and family.

Sweet sayings and drawings my son created for me.

Those pay stubs from various jobs. Hey, I’ve done a variety of things in my life.

Even the loving notes and cards from my husband when we were together brought me a smile through the sadness of it all. Because we did have those good times and now we are back to being friends.

The clutter was a reminder of what I have gone through this past year or so. And how sometimes you have to go through the pits of hell to finally figure out who you are and be OK with it.

The past makes us part of who we are. But if we become confined to its clutter there is no space to move forward.

Now the clutter is cleared. My mind is free. And my office a blank canvas ready for the vibrant colors to come.



Filed under Observations

12 responses to “Clearing the Clutter, Freeing the Mind

  1. Debra Marrs

    Wow-o-wow! So impressive! Feels good, doen’t it? That office looks like it’s your ultra creative zone now, Jenifer. This blog post is the genesis of much more writing to come. So proud of you for clearing the clutter and opening your space to what the Universe is beckoning you to do next. Everything counts. Congrats!

  2. Everyone can relate to this post, Jenifer. It’s exactly what we all go through and you’ve categorized all the universal steps and details so well. You think it’ll just be physical cleaning until you find what lies deep in those piles and suddenly the real work begins – decision making! Save it / toss it – then where to put if if you keep it. Your desk area looks so beautiful now. It’s hard to believe it was ever a mess ( – not; been there, too).

  3. ron

    hi my other sweetie
    ever stop to think about this
    if a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind
    what is an empty desk a sign of lol
    love ya either way

  4. beth

    What a great piece, Jenifer! I too am in the midst of a life changing time and am about to engage in clutter cleaning. I really needed this to get my behind in gear. I am looking forward to the bright days ahead but I have to go through the clutter before I can see it! 🙂

    • Thank you Beth! Yes I highly recommend de-cluttering. It clears space both physically and mentally for the creative ideas to flow through. Plus when things aren’t a grand mess you actually want to spend time in the space. Thank you for reading : )

  5. No, YOU Go Outside.

    I love seeing where people work. I don’t know why, but being able to picture where things are written is cool to me. I can immerse myself in the writing, but also imagine the writer creating it.

    • No, YOU Go Outside.

      And really happy for you that you’ve decluttered. Sounds like you cleared more than just the room. Throwing things away can be really cathartic, like a physical process of letting things go thats you don’t need.

      • It was very cathartic. And every time I walk past my office I feel peace instead of anxiety. It’s still uncluttered and I intend on keeping it that way. Less stuff = more happy

    • I feel the same way! Glad I could share my writing space with you. And sometimes outside my window there are blue jays fluttering by. OK as soon as I typed that one just landed on the fence outside. Nice!

      • No, YOU Go Outside.

        How Weird. I have a tattoo of a bluejay that is a reminder of one of my most peaceful memories.

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