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Clutter Clearing: 4 Days And 15 Minutes

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Clutter Clearing: 4 Days And 15 Minutes

For four days, I’ve watched patiently while my children’s bedroom deteriorated into something resembling the tornado-ravaged communities you see on the news. Dishes began collecting on one table, the trash bin went from occupied to overwhelmed, and the backpacks and soccer equipment piled up in the middle of the room making it look like a whole team lives in there. And while the two laundry baskets full of wrinkled-but-at-least-clean clothes tried hard to be the new closet, their dirty clothes piles (next to the baskets) expanded with each passing day.

Mothering has always had a distinct science experiment air about it for me. Now, fourteen years into it, I regularly opt to simply observe the creatures in their natural environment, watching to see what happens when I’m not directing their every move. I may “let things go” for a bit because I want to see what they choose without my intervention. Most importantly, I value the space that this gives them to explore and learn about themselves.

My own life experience has shown me that I am far more driven to take action because it makes me feel good to do so than I am to take action because the rules declare it so. It would be absolutely fabulous (at least in the short term) if I, somehow, created two children who were passionate about doing what I tell them to do, but… well, you know me, and seriously, what are the odds of that actually happening?

If I want them to be empowered to take action, then I need to allow them to learn that if feels better to take action, than it feels to be stuck in the overwhelm. Chasing them around with a bullwhip can’t cultivate the healthy relationships they need to have with themselves in order to be functional adults.

(Yes, I just said that we can’t be functional adults if we don’t have healthy relationships with ourselves. Resist as you might, but would you ever talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself? Would you treat your partner’s body the way you treat yours? Don’t hate. You know it’s true.)

I know that I can’t force myself to act right because of some outside motivation, the desire has to come from within.

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Read more: Feng Shui & Organizing, Home, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Self-Help, , , , , , ,

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Christy Diane Farr

Christy Diane Farr is a catalyst. If that sounds like something you want more of in your life, visit 'The Greenhouse' at and join the Wildflower Evolution on Facebook.


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12:20PM PDT on May 17, 2012

I do tend to find that I feel this dread for certain tasks (not all of them, just the ones I find most onerous), but once I start doing them, they aren't so bad.

1:24PM PDT on May 15, 2012


8:05PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

This is so true! Today I was dreading working out, but I got lucky when I had the house to myself for a while. What I thought would takes forever only took about 30 minutes, plus I had fun because i turned the music up loud and danced like a dork between sets. =) i also got to walk around the room and look at stuff while i was doing the boring arms-lifting-weights(books) part, because no one was there to judge me.

1:08PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

Heidi A. ... I find it is SO liberating to give away old stuff that is just weighing me down, and I get a smile thinking about someone coming across this or that at the thrift store or Goodwill. I have even given away books and games and stuff on Craigslist and not only do people come and take away your clutter, but they are happy to do it!

12:00AM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

I have a very large and expensive collection of just about everything women consider valuable when they are young(clothes,shoes, perfume, jewelry, fashionable coats and even umbrellas). Now that I am older all of these items are in labled boxes (except for the jewelry) and I simply can't bear to part with them, even though they(mostly-I still wear jewelry when I go out-I keep my very expensive perfume in the refridgerator) are unused, and in boxes.

10:37PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

Thanks, I plan to spend 15 minutes a day on all the paper I have in folders and eliminate as much as possible. Surely I can do that!

8:59PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

I found 6 unnecessary cooking spoons, 4 unneeded spatulas, a pressure cooker I have not used in at least 12 years, a couple old pitchers, plant markers and some other crap in the kitchen.

I have a few other things that may be going to Goodwill, but I need to see what else I have on the other two counter sections first. So far 2 bags....I am happy with that progress.

8:08PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

It is great to make a start however small it is. But we need to start loving the action too! Otherwise under false reasons, we would just start giving reasons for not doing

7:09PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

Music definitely helps :)

1:23PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012


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