Find Your Simple #5: How to Let Go of Physical Clutter

Does this sound familiar?

You finally carve out a weekend to get down to business on that passion project that’s been kicking around for months, or years. But when you sit down to work on it, you notice the towering piles of stuff. Books you want to read, bills you meant to file – is that a half-eaten bag of chips squirreled away back there? – and oh, there’s those ill-fitting clothes you ordered that need to be packed up and dropped at the post office.

Before you know it, you are digging into these piles, telling yourself, “If I can just clear out some of this stuff, I’ll be able to concentrate better.” Before you’ve even gotten halfway through addressing all of these piles, your passion project time is gone.

The negative power of stuff
As creatives, we collect stuff. Lots of stuff. From random notes and inspirational clippings to yearbooks and old school assignments. A creative life is, by necessity, filled with stuff.

Unfortunately, this stuff can grow into a monster that has power over you, affecting your ability to focus on your creative life. You can work hard to clean out your mental house by getting clear on what truly matters and focusing on the essentials, but if you don’t deal with the physical clutter, you may still find that it’s hard to achieve your creative goals.

Put your stuff to the test
So how do you cut through the mountain of clutter – or better yet, help it from becoming clutter in the first place? The key is to take an objective look at everything that comes into your life, and decide whether it’s important enough to keep. Ask yourself:

  • Does this bring me joy?
  • Does it still have a purpose?
  • Am I only holding onto it because I feel like I’m supposed to?
  • Is it still important, but not a priority right now?

Previous: Focus on the Essentials

Find Your Simple is a blog series about discovering what’s truly important to you, and letting go of the rest.

You might also be interested in our free Happy Muses 101 guide.