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General Articles

Clear Out the Clutter and Refresh Your Life!

By Alex Sutcliffe

There's been a lot of press recently about the Japanese queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo, who expounds the theory that unless an item in your home is useful or sparks joy, you should throw it out.

As it's almost spring, this is as good a time as any to get decluttering, and throwing out the things that no longer serve their purpose. But decluttering is about more than just getting rid of stuff, it's about the movement of energy, our sense of identity, and abut being in control of the choices we make.

Feng Shui and Energy

The basis of Feng Shui is that we should allow energy, or chi, to flow freely through our homes and therefore our lives. If chi is stuck anywhere – largely due to clutter – it will have a detrimental effect on the corresponding area of our lives – be it relationships, money or career, for example.

We can't all hire Feng Shui masters to examine our homes or offices, but we can clear out unwanted belongings, and lighten the load in our lives.

The Reasons We Hang On To Clutter

  • Our sense of identity: we all own objects that relate to other people and family, such as old photos or inherited items. They represent who we are, and our past, but if keeping them feels more like a duty than a pleasure, let them go. Hanging on to the energy of the past prevents us from making room for the future, and new experiences or people to come in.
  • A rainy day: by hanging on to something 'just in case', we are telling ourselves that we fear hard times ahead. That kind of lack mentality risks becoming self-fulfilling. It's better to trust in your ability to create an abundant future, and keep all the positive energy moving.
  • A sense of security, control and inner strength: in reality, these feelings come from within, not our possessions.
  • Special memories: we hang onto a special occasion dress that no longer fits, but we're not going to forget the memories just because we no longer own the dress, so why not pass it on and let someone else benefit.
  • An admission of poor judgement: particularly with clothes, we don't like to admit we bought something mistakenly, so we hang on to it to try to validate it. The truth is, every time we see it in our wardrobe it'll only remind us of our mistake – so get rid.

How to Go About Decluttering

Get organised with a rubbish bag, a charity shop bag, a gift bag for others and a six months bag. This one you can fill with the 'not sures' you then hide away – if you don't miss them after six months – get rid.

As you go through each item, ask yourself: Do I like it? Is it useful? Does it make me feel good? If the answer's no – get rid.

Thank each item as they leave your life, knowing that, particularly if they're heading for the charity shop, they will bring someone else joy. You are shifting energy!

Invariably the decision-making bit is the hardest – once you can no longer see an item, it'll be forgotten – literally, out of sight, out of mind.

Curating Your Life

Think of decluttering as curating your life – our possessions should define who we are today as opposed to who we used to be. They should also represent the life we lead now and the choices we make – we mustn't let ourselves be governed by the past, or by others.

Here's a final suggestion. For everything that comes in, something must be released. So for every new piece of clothing you buy, throw something else out. At the very least, it'll focus your mind on whether that exciting new purchase really is worth it after all!

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Alexandra Sutcliffe...


a life coach
and hypnotherapist and
keen declutterer based on
The French Riviera.


Visit her website:


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Wednesday, 27 February 2019    Section: General Articles
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