Clear Clutter & Drop Extra Pounds!

We are so lucky to have such a fabulous human being guest-blogging for us today :). Meet Dana Claudat, and soak up her wise words on clutter…and how it actually affects your weight loss!

Dana is a Pyramid School Feng Shui consultant, writer, and founder of the feng shui lifestyle blog The Tao Of Dana. Dana’s mission is to help everyone in the world become more positively engaged in their environment and, thus, in their lives.

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When people think of physical fitness, the first and most obvious thing to think of is your body and perhaps food. However, in the grand scheme of fitness, weight loss and wellness, there are so many other factors that influence your success in gaining and maintaining balance. Your mental state, the way you can organize and carve out time, the supportive people in your life and, yes, your environment all have a hand in striking and maintaining those awesome fitness goals. Even if you know what your plan is to get in shape, even if you have the best information and even love the physical activities, if you are weighed down with the burden of clutter in your life you may find that you are struggling to make it through your awesomely planned weeks!

Clutter is an extra burden that makes everything far more of a challenge. Clutter is excess weight, negative emotion, confusion, defeat and obstacles. Clutter is the feeling of being stuck. Clutter is frustration. Clutter is also easy to eliminate.

In my world of modern feng shui, working to create environments that support healthy lives, clutter stands out as a huge obstacle in nearly every space I encounter. There are four main kinds of clutter: actual junk piled up, lots of bad memory stuff, mental clutter and what I call “the clutter of obligations.”

Let’s look at a few ways to clear some of this clutter to lighten the load and set you free to accomplish your goals:

1. Actual junk. This is an easy clutter fix, although a daunting one. If you have some serious dumping to do, there are two great ways to tackle it. First, you can set aside 10-15 minutes every day to actually round up and haul out a bag of stuff from your home. Do this for a week or two and you will gain momentum as the space clears. Alternately, if you have a friend that is up for the task, put on some music, invite them over and tackle a big mess. You can also hire someone to do this with you- the motivated company makes a big difference.

Keep in mind that junky food is also actual junk. Doing a good de-cluttering in the kitchen and washing out your refrigerator will set you up for a fresh start with a healthy diet.

2. Bad memory stuff. The gifts from former lovers that didn’t end on a high note, the pictures that remind you of bad times, the ephemera of less-than-great seasons in your life: there’s no reason to hold on to that stuff. I once had a client tell me that she had cleared out every last vestige of her cheating husband from her house, but she was still miserable. I asked her what she kept in a box in her bedroom corner and she answered, “ My divorce proceedings.” Those papers left the house and her life started to flourish. The bad memory stuff can go. You don’t need to hold on to anything that does not make you feel good.

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3. Mental clutter. In this category I lump both the clutter of self-defeating thoughts as well as the clutter of turmoil words and actions of vampire people. I’ll explain! First, self-defeating thoughts. That’s fairly self-explanatory. I have had a lot of personal success dumping the thoughts that clutter my mind by keeping a journal and writing them out on a page so I can purge them objectively. If you want to go deeper, I always recommend The Artist’s Way book by Julia Cameron. The exercises in this book over the course of twelve weeks help you get out of your own way and start creating freely. Living a balanced life is a huge act of creativity, and it is something worth the investment.

Now, I mentioned vampires. Vampires: You know, the people who leave you feeling like you are about to fall asleep or jump out of your skin after a conversation, the people who spin your head, make your life all about their crisis and take you along for a thankless ride on the rollercoaster of their lives? Those people are clutter a lot of the time. While I don’t suggest ever cutting people out of your life, if you recognize that these types of relationships are adding lots of weight and effort to your day you can mindfully keep these relationships lighter and stay focused on the positive.

4. “The clutter of obligations.” Busy-clutter. Saying yes to everything except yourself creates a clutter of obligations that will litter your life with lots of stuff to do and nothing accomplished in your own world! If I find myself looking at the week ahead and sighing with dread, I know I have started to create a cluttered mess of my schedule. Saying NO more often and starting to excuse yourself from everything non-essential is so key to having a lighter life, especially when you are focused on making changes in your habits and routines. Taking more time for you is a key way to get grounded. When you are grounded, it is much easier to make life-affirming decisions and it is much more intuitive to exercise, to eat well, to sleep soundly and to enjoy it all!

In my way of feng shui, your space should help you feel invigorated every day. Basics go much farther than complex rules and absolutes. If you can de-clutter just a bit every day for the next month in all four ways, I guarantee you will feel lighter and likely more energized as well. Motivation won’t be something that comes from someone else, it will be intrinsic to your life and reinforced by all the clear, dynamic space you have created. Many clients have lost significant physical weight in the process as well! One parting note on this: clutter clearing can be emotional, so don’t be surprised if you actually do something like cry out of the blue (it has happened to me) after eliminating lots of junk. That junk has emotions attached to it and you are letting it go.

Have a great time sweeping away the old that you no longer need and creating the radiantly new, lighter life that is waiting for you!

xoxo Dana

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20 Comments

  1. Clear Clutter - June 4, 2014

    Great post! Been reading a lot about clearing my clutter. Thanks for the info here!

  2. christina banks - August 9, 2013

    I am really bad at this and number 2 is my problem area. I was married before and we have children together so I tend to keep things. I still have tons of pictures and wedding stuff because I want my children to see we were happy. It is really hard to get rid of memories but I think it’s time to remove clutter. Maybe if I do then I will find peace. I know when you have so much around you it can cause a person to be down on themselves. I have children, work and school so life is busy and I sometimes forget about how the clutter can cause more stress. Thanks for the input!!

  3. Shannon Smith - August 9, 2013

    I am such a believer of all of these tips – it is hard to stay focused when you live in a life of clutter. A junk drawer would drive me crazy 🙂

  4. Sherrye - August 9, 2013

    This is great! Thanks for the reminder that clutter is “extra-weight” that I must drop.

  5. Marie A - August 9, 2013

    Thank you so much for this. What a great reminder if what to hang on to and to let go of. Time to clean my house and my mind. 🙂

  6. Jodi C - August 9, 2013

    I really need to de-clutter my house! I am a big “sinner” when it comes to #1 above. Sometimes I look at the piles in my closet and the ones lining the walls of my bedroom and just feel powerless to get started on the cleanup. On the rare days that I have the energy to actually tackle a pile, I do feel so much better…it’s just taking that motivation & following through with it. How do you unstick that jammed motivation button? This blog definitely is giving me the urge to purge (my house of course)…so I think I’ll try baby steps…just one goal a day. I can do this!

  7. elizabeth - August 9, 2013

    Thanks I most deffinetely need to declutter and especially mi head… I love it!

  8. Nicole Thaete - August 8, 2013

    Love this! So going to work on this!

  9. Amiee Dillworth - August 8, 2013

    This was a great post! I am very much a clutter free kind of person and when I do get a chance to clean out extra clothes or drawers etc, it truly feels great! However, it is hard to continue to feel great when my fiance and the kids are just shy of being hoarders! It’s insane! I could clean the entire house, leave for 15 minutes, come back and it will be trashed beyond recognition! Grrr

  10. Kael - August 8, 2013

    Love this! Thank you so much.

  11. Annette Pulaski - August 8, 2013

    I de-cluttered my house about a year ago because we our home had recently been flooded. I have many people wanting to buy me ‘things’. When I politely tell them no they can’t understand why I don’t what they’re offering. It is my belief that people hold onto to much clutter. When our home was flooded it was quite devastating at the time. It offered our family the opportunity to detox. Now before something comes into my home it must serve a purpose and not just take up space. Feeling quite content with less.

  12. Jessica Ratzloff - August 8, 2013

    Love this… I feel like my house is always clutter no matter how many people tell me it not. But every time I declutter a room it’s like a weight has been lifted and makes me want to change more of my life. For example read a self help book, excersice a little more or just spend time reflecting.

  13. Laurie Godshall - August 8, 2013

    I live with a hoarder. It makes it so very difficult to de-clutter anywhere. One step, one room, one counter at a time!!

  14. Ariel Hardin - August 8, 2013

    It is time to declutter my house!

  15. Taryen - August 8, 2013

    I have been putting off decluttering my home and now it’s been years just little things that have piled up right along with my weight. Looks like its time for a garbage bag 🙂

  16. Lori Lindner - August 8, 2013

    This is SO for me, if things around the house get cluttered I loose track of not only where things are but also what I need to do for myself. I absolutely love you guys and extreme makeover has been my motivation to loose weight. I have over 150 lbs to lose and am having a hard time with it but remind my self of what Chris says during the show and it helps keep my eating habits on better check.

  17. Mary Ann - August 8, 2013

    I just moved into a new home and this advice was priceless. Following what is written here will definitely help me drop the weight I need to and lose weight in a healthy manner. I am just learning to put myself first in my life and to take care of myself before anything else.

  18. Kerry K - August 8, 2013

    Great advice, thank you. We’ve just moved and so we had a chance to de-junk before we packed, it definitely feels like a weights been lifted having a more streamlined home environment.

  19. April Stumbough - August 8, 2013

    Wow, this was extremely helpful & insightful! I am printing it out and starting work with these tips this weekend! I have been saying I need to de-clutter for years, but not actually done it. I am also working on loosing weight, so I love reading about the weight loss & de-clutter connection:)

  20. Jodi Bergman - August 8, 2013

    I needed this, thank you!

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