Lately I have been making mistakes.

I eagerly arrived at school for a meeting only to see everyone leaving having written the time down wrong on my calendar. I use a calendar on my computer upstairs and then we have the family calendar downstairs. It gets confusing!!

After getting the reminder call, I showed up at 8:45am for my eye appointment… a day early.

Grabbing the first appointment available after waiting for almost a month to see my son’s allergist, I remember the evening before that the appointment was scheduled smack in the middle of when I teach a class.

Do I need a Smart phone? (Well that might help… hint, hint, honey…Mother’s Day is coming up soon!)  Maybe a personal assistant would do the trick. (I would love for someone to bring me a cup of coffee once in a while… hint, hint, anyone…).

The solution might be simpler (though not nearly as fun). Maybe it is all about cutting out the clutter. It is spring. It is time for some cleaning—inside and out.

It happens so quietly. One call and you commit to coming into school to help with one thing. A flier arrives and you sign your child up for an activity. An afternoon looks free so you allow a play date after school. You squeeze in the grocery shopping (but, of course, forget the list at home and the recyclable bags in the car). This is your first clue, but you forge on.

Little things get added until one day you realize that you are going from swim, to dance with dinner rushed in the middle that looks more like one of those crazy food eating contests because you have no time to chew before running back out for drum lessons and then back home to homework and bedtime and then some quality time with your husband where you sit comatose on the couch because your brain has been fried from the heat of the rocket paced day. Huh!

How does one de-clutter from the inside out?

First, find the time (and it may be early in the morning before everyone wakes up) to settle your mind. Don’t start the day jumping out of bed into the fray. Sit and meditate. It’s easier than you think. Yoga Journal has great meditation articles. Here is a simple one.

Or, as Julia Cameron recommends in her book the Artist’s Way, wake up and empty your head by writing three pages of stream of consciousness (that means don’t think about what you are writing, don’t evaluate its content, grammar or spelling but write freely without judgment). This gets the garbage out and helps air your mind of those random thoughts that clog the brain (of appointment times and other more valuable information).

Next, clean that junk drawer or the envelope in which you store coupons (that you inevitably forget to bring with you) or that closet… you know the one. Get rid of one area of physical clutter that you ignore… you know it’s there and that knowledge just takes up space.

Now the hardest part is to start saying no. Lighten the load a little. Allow yourself and your kids some free time. That means time with no agenda or purpose. It is time to get curious. It is time to be self-directed. It is time in which you have control. Everyone needs these moments. Without them, anxiety develops and a feeling of being lost and without focus occurs. Without moments of calm, time to recharge and a break from schedules, life leads you down its own path instead of you choosing the way and creating the life you really desire.

So open some windows, breath in the fresh spring air and commit to removing the clutter that has built up during the winter. Rewind. Renew. Recharge… and remember what is truly important.

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