Clearing the Clutter for the New Year!

Clearing your clutter is powerful, it’s liberating and it’s necessary!

Most of you know I’ve been living in New York primarily for the last year and a half, so I decided to clear 10 years of clutter in the upstairs Tao to Wellness loft. Although I’ll never be ‘done’ with the Bay area and will be back before you know it, it recently made more sense to rent the upstairs apartment unfurnished, the sublet situation was great for a time, but was a constant revolving door of AirBNB or Sabbatical Homes guests and it was a lot to manage. Even though I had hired a management company, I was still up to my eyeballs with stained Louis XI arm chairs, mysterious kitchen fires, guests being locked out or requests like, “Can you hire someone to get on the roof and clean the skylights so I can stargaze?” to “Do you have a paintbrush?” or “How do I turn on the washing machine?” When my last visiting professor from Germany said his goodbyes, I said my hellos and got to work.

It was tough at times and completely overwhelming to say the least—add lots of tears, but I pummeled through knowing it was necessary and it would feel great in the end. I had a moving sale—a few weeks before Christmas no less! In retrospect, having a moving sale a few weeks before a major holiday is a horrible idea, it certainly was not as busy as I expected, so I kept my pricing low, really low… there were times my heart was breaking watching some of my things walk out the door for $2, $4 or $8 dollars, but oh well I saved my sentimental items and it was time to let it all go. After the sale was over, I still had a fair bit of stuff left so I put an ad on Craigslist under Free Stuff. In 6 hours, I received almost 80 texts, emails and voicemails. It was a madhouse! It was near impossible to respond to everyone so I text back a select few and told them to come at 10am. They came, they conquered and almost everything was gone. The last stragglers of pillows, blankets, dishware and maxi pads remained and I headed to Tent City under the Gilman Street overpass to hand these items out. Maxi Pads are like gold to someone homeless, never thought about that have you? Me neither. I was glad to see some of my things go to people that were in need.

It’s about 3 weeks later and aside from the occasional– “Oh, I need some spackle” or “I wish I kept some of that silverware” or “That booklight would have come in handy right about now”. I really miss nothing. Everything that I need– and when you live in a 250 Square Foot apartment, it really is down to ‘what you NEED’ rather than as opposed to the endless items that we tend to buy and throw in a closet. In the big city, that’s not an option, I have one closet. I feel lighter, less baggage to carry. I feel mobile and have less worries. I feel stripped down and new. A huge act in letting go…

Keep in mind, it’s also the jeans you might wear when you lose 10 lbs, or that broken thingamajig that you swear you’ll fix, or those watercolor paints that will definitely use and those papers, oh those papers! My advice, don’t even look, just put them in a box and drive them to the Shredder– end of story.

So start somewhere– start with one room. The kitchen? The underwear drawer? The filing cabinet? Start somewhere and then slowly make your way through the house. Clearing the clutter not only makes you and your house lighter, but also allows FLOW into your life– new things have room to enter, maybe new opportunities, maybe an interesting new man or woman!

Have fun with it!

Christina Martin, L.Ac.

Clearing the Clutter for the New Year!  Tao to Wellness