As my family and I pack our belongings for our move, I found myself reflecting on how good it felt to get rid of the clutter. I remember what it felt like when we first move into our house: joy, security, and room to settle down. I remember making carpet angels in the middle of the living room just because I could. Seven years later, I find myself enjoying the process of shedding the material things that we kept, thinking they were precious at some point. It’s funny how the joy of having room to spread out has now changed into a joy of getting rid of a bunch of, well, junk. I think this is part of the growth process.
I remember the victory of moving to my dorm room, then to my first apartment. Each stage involved keeping only what I deemed important for the next stage of growth. For the dorm room, I kept decorations and other small items that I felt defined a part of me. For the first apartment, which involved a cross-country move, I remember taking only what I could pack into my 1984 Ford Escort and into 17 boxes that my mom and I shipped. After several other moves, my last cross-country move involved about 200 boxes. See the trend? Granted, it’s not just me anymore, so I have other people’s treasured items to consider as well as my own.
This time, we’re moving (temporarily) into a much smaller place. My spirit has already grown past my current dwelling and the upcoming temporary abode. What was once bigger and better than anywhere I had lived in my adult life is now confining. I am no longer the person I was when I first moved here– I am much more than that. As I eliminate the unnecessary, broken, or simply unwanted items, I find myself doing the same thing spiritually.
How does one spiritually de-clutter a life? It’s like cleaning out a closet:
- Get rid of old baggage: Like ugly sweaters and stained shirts, negative emotions just take up space and are not something you really want to keep.
- Know that you will have to make more of a mess before you’re done: De-cluttering involves looking at everything and deciding what is worth keeping. Don’t be afraid to experience some unexpected feelings. Face them, deal with them, and then move them along.
- Take out the garbage: Once you decide what is not worth keeping, dispose of it once and for all. Don’t just re-package it and stick it in another part of the closet.
Once you get rid of the old, dead, or worn-out things (both physically and spiritually), you allow more room for growth. In fact, this type of spiritual de-cluttering is probably one of the most important things anyone could do. Your spirit needs room to breathe and expand, room for the Universe to bring in more opportunities for life and love, room for you to fulfill more of your potential.
If you haven’t cleaned out your closet (either kind) for a long time, it may take a while to clear the mess. Be gentle, take breaks, and be brave. Who knows what new and wonderful things are waiting for you?