Every person tries to clean clutter from their homes, at least twice a year. We call it spring cleaning, or fall cleaning, which is done before Christmas. Regardless of when you do it, you know how hard it is to part with sentimental “junk” that you have collected over the years. We all have some kind of memories attached to articles from the past that we keep. We hold onto these things and have a hard time getting rid of them, things like a romantic card, a child’s first drawing or project, letters from an old boyfriend, pictures without dates. I have boxes of these kinds of “memories” and want to be able to separate from them but sometimes find that I spend more time looking through them to decide what to get rid of than I actually do discarding them. When we spring clean our belongings with memories, it becomes a very big chore. It is a necessary chore that allows us to have more space, light and energy in our home and ultimately in our life. We must then approach it as a chore, or any activity that we expend energy and time and prepare ourselves for a pretty big task. We need to take a deep breath, inhaling good energy. As we exhale, we want to get rid of any old, stale energy that has us tied done. We want to inhale deeply, filling our lungs and mind with cleansing energy and oxygen, telling ourselves that this task will bring us a renewed spirit. As we exhale, we need to acknowledge the chains that bind us to all the memorabilia that we have collected over time. As we think of the job at hand, we need to inhale clarity, so we can exhale clutter. We need to breathe in calmness so we can exhale emotional disarray. While thinking of all the possibilities of more space and light and energy we will have when we are finished with cleaning the clutter of our lives, we can exhale what stands in our way. We can have order in our lives by claiming the space and the light we deserve by eliminating the emotional clutter in our homes. Once we are in state of relaxation, as we continue to breathe in fresh, new air and exhale tensions and stress, we begin to realize that our lives and homes have become less a place of relaxation than a place filled with memories, conflict and worries. We begin to sense that the memories that we have held onto have taken our freedom away by filling our spaces with clutter so we have a hard time making new memories. When we decide to clear the clutter of our lives, we are choosing to let go of the old and embrace the new. There becomes a sense of hope and joyous feeling that our spirits will be lifted and our home filled with sunshine, brightness and positive energy again. It is as if we can finally realize that all the old stuff we have been hanging onto is holding back in history. The clutter that has been taking up space in our homes and hearts has kept us from moving forward. As we finish this deep breathing exercise, we have begun the act of cleaning our closets, attics and minds of the clutter we have collected. With a renewed sense of wanting order and space in our homes, we can begin the task of getting rid of history that will not be important to anyone after we are gone from this earth. In order to clear out the excess, the clutter, the stored memorabilia, we need to ask ourselves certain questions. As we look at each item, we must limit our time to one minute to decide its value when we ask the questions. There are 3 ways to get rid of clutter: toss it, donate it or keep it. The items you keep should only be 10% of what you have to discard. As you go through everything, the questions to ask yourself should be: What does this item mean to me? How does it make me feel when I look at it? Is it holding me in the past? Is it as important to someone else as it is to me? If you determine an item too valuable to part with, then be grateful that you have it. When you determine which things won’t be important to others after you’re gone, then donate them or toss them. After you have cleared out 99% of the clutter, look around your home and acknowledge all the extra room you have and how much lighter and brighter your surroundings seem to be. Don’t you feel liberated, free and more energetic? Congratulate yourself for a job well done and then move on. You can do this every time you feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your life.