Last fall, I completely cleaned out and reorganized our kitchen pantry, revamped several financial binders, and got rid of piles of magazines. Each project felt so satisfying upon completion. Still, for some reason I’m finding it hard to start on other areas of the house that need to be cleared out.
For any of us who want to create some space in our lives—physical and mental—it can be a challenge to get motivated to make it happen. That’s why a fresh dose of inspiration is always welcome. The rewards of decluttering our homes can be delicious: peace, clarity, comfort, and even increased creativity. We all deserve this.
Lucky for me, I received the opportunity to read Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home, by Lauren Rosenfeld and Dr. Melva Green. Dr. Green is a psychiatrist and expert on the television series Hoarders and Ms. Rosenfeld is a spiritual intuitive and professional declutterer. Together they’ve created a practical, yet fun and inspiring guide for improving our homes and our lives.
From the very beginning the book, it feels good to put yourself in the hands of team Rosenfeld and Green. The authors share their own stories and suggest that you bless your clutter. They want you to compassionately accept where you are and see decluttering as a spiritual practice. For those of us who think we need to attack the messy areas of our home, they remind us, “You are not battling clutter; you are relieving yourself of it. You are releasing it.”
The authors’ spiritual method of decluttering is called SLICE. This is an acronym for the three steps: Stop and Listen. Intend. Clear the Energy. Used effectively with many clients, they say that with these steps “the clutter practically removes itself.” Throughout the book they also include real people’s stories of transformation that are inspiring to read.
The “Stop and Listen” and “Intend” steps are explained in their own chapters, where you'll find help accepting what is and facing what needs to be done. What’s fun is that you set intentions for each room or space you’ll be working on (a whole room, a drawer, a closet, etc.). For example, How do you want to feel when you’re in this room? and What do you want this room to do for the people who are in it? For any area of your home, you decide what energy you want to create in that space. The authors include lists of possible intention words for each area, which help you imagine your home in an ideal way.
Step three (“Clear the Energy”) is explained through ten principles of spiritual decluttering. Now you’ll begin clearing away what doesn’t belong in your home and your life—your extraneous stuff as well as relationship clutter, time clutter, and heart clutter. Each of the ten principles includes several exercises, and lots of good ideas and encouragement. You can pick the principles that speak to your situation and just work on those chapters, or go through them all.
Of course, decluttering is an ongoing job, since clutter sneaks into our lives in various ways over time. One of the book’s final reminders is for us to embrace the messiness of life. There is no need to be perfect!
As you go through the processes in this book, you’ll learn how to determine what you want in your life, and you’ll more easily let go of what you don’t need. It feels good. Ahh, breathing room.
About the Authors:
LGRosenfeld.com, where she shares lessons on how our daily lives shine with spiritual lessons. She is an unapologetic hippie-peacenick-pluralist-dreamer who resides in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and four children.
***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****
Lauren Rosenfeld and Dr. Melva Green are excited to give away a free copy of Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home to one lucky winner! Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below and leave a comment for a chance to win. Open internationally. Winner is chosen randomly and announced within the widget on May 30.
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