“Where are my shoes, mum?” I asked her with worried eyes, already suspecting the worst.
“I threw them away,” she declared. Just like that. “They had holes everywhere; you have been wearing these shoes for too long already.”
I was furious. How could she just throw away my beloved shoes? I had walked in them, run in them, played in them. They were part of my life, just like my mum was part of my life. I wouldn’t throw my mum into the bin when she was old and used, I thought. I had had nice memories in these shoes. I loved everything about them. There was no way I would allow her to throw them.
I went to the bin and fished them out. I put them on and left for school.
Looking back at this scene, I can see how early on I had an emotional attachment to things. Clothes, books, toys and objects were part of my life and I had a hard time letting go of anything. Including people, such as my first boyfriend. When we broke up, I couldn’t get over him for two decades (or so it felt like!)
Now, having this trait is certainly of no help when you start on a mission to declutter your life. I suddenly had the urge to declutter my entire flat and my life. The main goal was to make space for new things to come into my life: new opportunities, new projects, new people, more love etc.
In Feng Shui decluttering is very much part of that – decluttering your space or your office to invite in new opportunities. As I just finished writing the 1st draft of an e-course on how to feng shui your office to invite in more success, health, love etc I thought I would walk the talk and experiment in my own space.
I was forced to let go of the attachment to material possessions on numerous occasions in my life already.
In 2010 I thought it would be a great idea to move to Azerbaijan after a man that I had been dating for around three minutes (at least it felt like that). I obviously couldn’t take all of my clothes and possessions. I knew it would only be for a limited time – six months. I packed my suitcase and off I went.
The relationship didn’t last. I was heart-broken. I then decided it would be a cool thing to move to Thailand to take care of myself.
“Bye everyone, I’m off to Thailand to balance my chakras,” I told everyone. I didn’t know what chakras were, but thought it sounded cool!
Again, with just a suitcase I moved to Bangkok and I enjoyed it so much that I stayed for a year. I learned Reiki, I learned different Meditation techniques. I learned how to space clear negative energies out of people’s homes and offices. I started blogging and felt creative and inspired most of the time.
When I came back to Switzerland after 1 ½ years of living out of a suitcase, and I was reunited with all my clothes, books and things I was first excited. But shortly afterwards I started feeling very heavy. All these things around me no longer brought me any happiness. On the contrary, they were weighing me down. I felt less creative and inspired than in Thailand. I started to declutter a bit here and there and it already felt much better.
This summer I realised I still had far too much stuff. I came across Marie Kondo’s book: “The life-changing magic of tidying up” and got excited. If I was to declutter I would do it properly and with a structure.
She recommends starting with something easier: clothes. Usually we don’t hold emotional attachments to clothes (but I do!). It’s never just a piece of clothing. It’s the top that I was wearing when I had my first kiss with that special someone. Or that dress that I partied in so many times and always had a great time. You get the picture.
Marie explains it’s very important to lay out ALL of your clothes on the floor for you to get an accurate overview. So I went and grabbed all my clothes, including my stored away winter clothes, my jackets, shoes and handbags. Everything. My entire floor was covered in clothes. And that even though I already had decluttered a bit in the last few years. I was shocked. When we see everything lying together we realise how much stuff we have.
And so I went through my pile of clothes. I had a few suits that I kept “just in case” – since I had been wearing them when I was in the corporate world. Since I quit there was no need anymore. But I realised I was keeping many items “just in case”. They clearly didn’t bring me any joy when I was holding them in my hands. On the contrary – they were part of a past I didn’t even enjoy. I tossed them all away. I decided that should I ever need a suit again in my life, I would invest in a new one – a suit that sparks joy when I see it.
And while doing this exercise I also realised that we hold on to friendships and relationships for far too long too. Sometimes people come into our lives for a reason, for us to learn something. And then they leave or we decide to leave them. Yet, letting go is so difficult for so many people. Have a look at your life: how many people are you meeting out of obligation, just to be nice, because this is how it always was. Yet, when you leave, you feel depleted of energy or maybe even down. Ok, sometimes the people involved are our own family –our mother or dad that suck the energy out of us. But even then, we can learn how to create healthy boundaries and how not to get overwhelmed by their problems and current emotional states.
In the end, I tossed away three full 60 l garbage bags of clothes, shoes and jackets and felt high. It’s incredible what it feels like when we make space in our lives.
And that’s not the best part. The best part is that Marie has a special folding technique for clothes that allow for much more clothes to have space in a chest of drawers or wardrobe. Folding my clothes to stand vertically made a huge difference. I fitted in all of my summer clothes AND winter clothes into my wardrobe. Therefore making space in my spare room where I had stored it before.
I felt and still feel amazing. I already started on project number 2: BOOKS! I tossed away ¾ of my books. Books to me were even worse than clothes. I love books. I love reading them. But once we read a book once, what are the odds of us reading it again? Unless it’s a reference book of course. There are only a few novels I read a few times in my life and I kept those. The rest I tossed.
If you want to be the first one to hear about my upcoming Feng Shui for the office e-program you can leave your details below. I will send out more info once it’s done. It’s a weekly easy to follow step-by-step guide on how to declutter your office, how to find the “power position” for your desk and how to boost and enhance 9 different areas in your life, such as:
1) prosperity & abundance
2) Life purpose & career
3) Wisdom & self-awareness
4) Creativity & children
5) Family & community
6) Mind, body & spirit
7) Love & relationships
8) Helpful people & travel
9) Fame & reputation
We will work on setting clear goals and there will be powerful guided visualisations for you to visualise your ideal outcomes. :-)