At last !!  That time of year is just around the corner when you have the opportunity to use all those glasses, bowls, plates, and chairs (even the emergency chairs hidden away in the spare room or loft), the 'spare bedroom' gets used for the third time for the year, and we can justify hanging on to all that stuff we rarely use,  - the 'Just In Case' things.

A list of 101 things which can be reduced has been compiled, and without doubt, as most of us read down through it, we can identify with many, if not all of them, yet we are all as guilty as each other.  

From audio cables to glassware, candles to coats, linen sets to suitcases, yes, they may all come in handy one day (if the audio cables are not outdated, and you can find the key for the suitcase), but in the meantime they add to the clutter.  Clutter is not just a loft or cupboard rammed full with 'handy stuff'  but also constant reminders in our mind, which nag and burden us, weighing us down, and reducing our functionality.  It is just something else to think about, which in turn leads to self critique.

If you had a spare bedroom or guest room, how many times has that room actually been slept in over the past year?  Would it be better used for something else?  Maybe get rid of the bed, make it functional, then pull out a Z bed or inflatable when, on the rare occasion, people come to stay.

Similarly, work through the kitchen cupboards, and really, how many sets of glasses are actually needed? How many casserole dishes does one family need, never mind how many get used?  Add to that the 'essential kitchen gadget' which has been used once, then we discover either how it doesn't seem to work quite like the chap demonstrating it at the county show, or it is just the worlds worst thing to clean, and all of a sudden, our kitchen (and ultimately our mind) is burdened with over supply and uselessness.

'Just in case' is that fatal phrase, the last argument of hanging on to something.  Be it, "I'll save this up, just in case it might be  handy" or "i'll fill my head with this information, just in case it might be handy" - the end result is the same CLUTTER.

By treating your mind and cupboards alike, through a more minimalist approach (learning what we need to know), a reduced and simplified in-take (what really is the point of reading the news? - but that is a discussion for another day) not only do we unburden our minds, but also create much more space in our lives.

Back to the house and clutter, Joshua Becker suggests trying to look at just 10 things from the list, and working on them first.  You will be amazed at the freedom once you get in the hang of reducing the clutter in every way.

I have a client, who the first time I met her felt overwhelmed by the clutter of her house and her mind.  Looking around, I could believe that - 6 months of unread newspapers to read through - 6 MONTHS !!  This was impacting on her clarity of mind, thought, career, and relationships at work.  Three years later, her career is flourishing, (the newspapers were all recycled within a month), the family are all happier, and their financial plan is fully on track, so that they can focus on their most important feature of the year - their skiing holiday each March.  Without working through the de-cluttering, creating the freedom, and understanding what was most important, the financial plan would never have stood a chance.  That is why, at Serenity Financial Planning, all our clients benefit from Financial Life Planning and ongoing coaching, so that we not only start them along their journey of their Financial Life Plan, but keep them skiing in the right direction - free of burden and clutter.