Clear the (mental) clutter

Posted on June 22, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

By Kari Wishingrad / The Clean Sweep

Previously, I’ve focused on clearing the physical clutter from your home and personal space. Now it’s time to take a closer look at emotional clutter. The biggest thing many of us need to de-clutter is mind negativity.

You know, the busy and internal chatter. That may look like self-judgment and judgment of others, replaying old hurtful or regretful scenarios or worrying about fearful circumstances projected into the future.

I’ve been a mediator since my late teens. I have come to understand how important it is to work on cultivating a quiet mind to produce a positive mindset. While that may be challenging during different times throughout life, it is imperative for achieving balance and happiness.


Much like becoming disciplined to put away our clothes at the end of the day or tidying up an area when we are done working, we must learn to build a new muscle to still and discipline the mind. No one can do this for us.

We truly do have the power to choose our life’s path, and while we can’t always control what happens to us, we can be more conscious about how we respond.

Our surrounding physical clutter is usually pretty easy to identify. However, catching oneself playing old tapes that are negative are more difficult to define, since they are so ingrained, and may even feel “safe” and familiar. This can take a toll on our health and relationships and contribute to neglecting our environment.

That said, we can change if we choose to. We can make intentions about how we wish to be when the going gets tough. We can become more mindful of how we are responding to our feelings moment to moment rather than reacting.

Gently check within and pay more attention to your thoughts. Ask, “Does this feel good?”

I keep a list of nurturing and fulfilling ‘distractions’ to shift my awareness or focus thereby supporting myself when I am feeling less than good: Spend time around animals, take a bath, eat healthy nourishing food, watch a comedy film or TV show, exercise, get to the beach or nature… and my list goes on.

Consider creating a list for yourself. What floats your boat?

Imagine how different our lives would be to release this tension. Just like an old piece of clothing or stacks of out dated papers, once your inner clutter is cleansed, you will feel better and more at ease.

And this may just translate into getting more organized in the home and life in general.

Now go and have a wonderful summer!

Kari Wishingrad has lived in Sonoma Valley for 22 years and has been a Professional Organizer since 1995. She has coached, supported and assisted dozens of people to downsize, clear their clutter and become more organized.



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