Clearing Clutter: what my tomato plant showed me.
It's important to step back an analyze things (or people) in your sphere of influence who are holding you back from thriving. I call this 'clearing the clutter'; and it's not just your messy environment that need clearing - I'll explain more in this blog to help you set the stage for moving forward without all the 'extra' that's holding you back from thriving. We'll look at three crucial areas to start clearing now.
I know, my tomato plant in this picture looks like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. However, it was actually quite full and beautiful a few weeks ago, with lush green stems sprawling out of the cage. But... it wasn't really growing tomatoes. Why? TOO MUCH 'CLUTTER'.
I was so pleased with my first attempt at growing tomatoes that I failed to see that I wasn't doing things the right way to yield the results I was looking for. Sound familiar in the context of your life? My husband, who is not the gardener in the family, gently said "I think you might need to take off all the stems that don't have any flowers on them?". I proceeded to do that to all my tomato plants right away. He was right (don't tell him I said that, lol).
What happened after that was amazing! The tomatoes starting growing like crazy on all the plants and ripened even faster. Why? I cleared all the 'things' that were not allowing it to thrive. Before that, they were just 'surviving'. I saw a life-lesson in this.
Clearing the Clutter was the very first exercise I had to do in training to become a Health & Life Coach years ago. It helped pave the way for me to have a good physical space and 'head-space' to learn and do my very best.
Studies show that excess clutter, clutters the mind.
The interesting thing about clearing clutter is that we often think of clearing clutter off our desk, in our home or in our closets. yet, there may be areas I'll bet you haven't looked at lately, or thought of. Let's look at three now.
Clear the Clutter in Money
Bring all money owed to you up-to-date
Use your gift cards (some do have an expiration date)
Gather loose money around the house, car, purse, etc. (We put all our loose change in a Mason jar). Then, you can take it to the bank or credit union and be surprised how fast that has added up! (my credit union has a machine to do this for free)
What's in your wallet? Do you really need all the receipts, multiple credit cards, frequent buyer cards, etc. in there? Keep what you use frequently and put the rest somewhere else (in a specific, organized place).
Check your credit report. Clear out/cancel any credit cards you haven't used in ages or don't intend to. This may increase your credit score, but it also may help to prevent fraud if someone uses that old card you forgot about. (I've had two fraud claims on two different cards this spring. BEWARE)
Your external world is a reflection of your internal world.
Clear the Clutter in Your Workspace
Clear off your desk of paper piles, bills, receipts, and any misc. unrelated items you don't need while at your desk. (this one's a toughy for me)
Remove piles of stuff from your bookshelves, making sure your books and decorative items are neatly and attractively arranged.
Remove piles of magazines, papers, projects from your office floor (or kitchen counter)
Unsubscribe from any newsletters, notifications, shopping website emails, etc. that you never have time to read (although your initial intentions were good)
Clean out your inbox, sent folder, junk folder, empty your trash folder. Excessive email can really bog down your computer, your storage and your mind.
If it feels toxic, it probably is.
Clear the Clutter in Support
With so much negativity in the world, if people around you are not positive, don't allow them to be in your presence if at all possible, or 'unfriend' them so-to-speak. This refers to in-person or online friends.
Seek out and make new friends who are like-minded, make you want to be a better version of yourself. (It's never too late to do this.)
Spend more time with those who are doing things you would like to do, or learn, or experience. People like to share what they are passionate about with others and the positivity of that is contagious and inspiring.
Ask yourself today: Where do I need to Clear the Clutter?
Your ACTION STEP Ideas for This Week:
Take a 'baby step' and spend at least 15 minutes clearing out your email box
Take a 'baby step' and clear out just one closet in the house - have a garbage bag and empty box(es) ready for donating
Think about any toxic relationships that need to be removed
Clear out your car, glove box, trunk. (you can vacuum it later, lol)
Clean out your purse/wallet
Enlist help from a friend or family member. Put on some music, grab a glass of something and make it more enjoyable to Clear the Clutter in your world.