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January Detox? Or should that be 'Declutter'? - 15th January 2016
It's that time of year, isn't it? Everywhere you turn, articles and TV programmes urging us to detox and get healthy for 2016.
Many people turn to a detox in order to counteract the excesses of the festive period. Their aim is to lose a few pounds and to gain in energy and vitality.
Detox and Declutter - similarities you might not expect . . . .
The word 'detox' is a reminder of the fact that this regime is all about eliminating toxins from the body. I've never undertaken a detox myself, but gather from friends that it's a few days of discomfort and deprivation in reward for feeling much better at the end.
Which brings me neatly onto decluttering!
It's my belief that when you declutter you are in fact eliminating toxins from your environment. That's not to say that your home is full of dangerous chemicals and poisons, this is not a literal definition. However, my experience with clients has proved to me that clutter has its own specific toxic properties.
Toxic Clutter 1 - things that make you feel bad
You're probably wondering what kind of idiot keeps stuff that makes them feel bad! Well I can assure you that plenty of people do, and I've seen it first hand with my clients over the years.
This is a case of the subconscious mind and the conscious mind having different viewpoints on our possessions, I guess. The conscious mind might be saying "that's useful", but the subconscious mind might be saying, "my ex-boyfriend bought me that". So far not so bad. But connected to that might be your subconscious remembering "he left me for my best friend."
The difficulty is that most of us are driven by our conscious minds and we rarely pay heed to those 'gut' feelings that are the subconscious making its voice heard.
So we override the urge to declutter whatever it is - because it's useful or attractive to look at. I always urge my clients to go deeper, especially if they're experiencing some hesitation over whether to keep or declutter a specific thing. Asking yourself if you 'love' something enough to keep it can open up that inernal dialogue. Note that it's possible to be in this situation without having 'too much stuff' or a pressing need to reduce physical content.
Toxic Clutter 2 - so much stuff you can't move
The obvious problems are physical - not so much toxic as downright dangerous. Trip hazards abound. Towering piles of 'things' threaten to topple and cause injury and damage.
But it's more insidious than that. Someone in this situation is likely to feel bad about themselves in so many ways. Feelings of hopelessness and despair are not uncommon. They are also likely to have huge self-judgement about why or how they got into this situation. All these feelings will have a negative impact on that person's health and wellbeing, not to mention their relationships.
If living space is shared then there's defintely scope for family tension as a result of a cluttered environment.
Everyone gets sucked in - if that's not toxic, then I don't know what is.
If you want to be healthy - then maybe you need to include some decluttering in your detox?
At the beginning of this blog post I stated that a detox requires a few days of deprivation and discomfort in order to gain a sense of increased wellbeing.
Undertaking a declutter is just the same. Not exactly a pleasant prospect for most people but definitely worth it in the end. Someone who has engaged in some enthusiastic decluttering will feel energised and more positive about life. Many clients describe the process as cathartic which makes perfect sense when you consider all those toxins they've shed.
Keywords: detox, toxic clutter