Vicki McLeod and                                 Conny                                 Graf.                                 (Contributed)

Vicki McLeod and Conny Graf. (Contributed)

#Untrending: Decluttering gives the future self elbow room

Life is simpler when we can find what we are looking for.

Ease and flow are the hallmarks of a peaceful life. Along with a sense of time abundance, these are vital components of true in-the-bones contentment, or what I call ‘everyday happiness.’

Too much stuff cramps your style. Fussing and fumbling to find things, encountering daily disorganization and clutter creates chaos. This is the antithesis of peace.

My intention is to enter 2018 in a state of grace and openness. I’m starting with my home, so I contacted Conny Graf, Maple Ridge decluttering expert and financial specialist. In our first session, she said something that transformed the way I am tackling the goal.

She quoted my book to me, saying: “In your book, #Untrending, quoting Goethe, you wrote that ‘we are fashioned and shaped by what we love’.”

Graf went on: “I would say we are fashioned and shaped by what we surround ourselves with. The question is, how do you want to be shaped?”

Boom.

We should, she said, be surrounding ourselves with what tells the story of who we are now, not who we used to be. Graf proposes that much of what we hang on to has to do with a fear of the future, holding onto what has gone before. Clearing out the old is the way we create space for the new.

This is a thoughtful and powerful approach.

A colleague I deeply admire, Shelley Sims, wrote a moving post on Facebook about her own process of letting go.

She said: “In a way the making room in my house, or sorting through papers, pictures, and ideas, is the releasing of the no longer useful. And it is also making way for new things, new ideas, new opportunities, new ways of seeing things, new connections, new understandings, new stages …”

I love this notion of making way for the new, releasing the ‘no longer useful,’ creating openness, honouring who have become, and finally, putting to rest who we once were.

Graf recommended I start small and keep the momentum going. We tackled the laundry room, and in the days afterward I pared down clothes closets, drawers and dressers, bathroom cupboards, and got a start on vintage dishes.

Last week, I went after my digital clutter, editing bookmarks, deleting downloads, and clearing document files.

Now, as I am deciding what to keep and what to let go of, I ask: does this speak to who I am now? Does it reflect who I am becoming?

Decluttering gives the future self elbow room. It is an act of self-love. Life is simpler when we can find what we are looking for. Less is more – more space, more freedom, and more possibility.

Graf and I want to share the love, so we’re launching a local online challenge. Called ‘From Chaos to Peace,’ it will take place over four weeks in the new year.

You can sign up in advance at vickimcleod.com.

To quote myself: “All of life is simply learning to let go.”

Let’s do this.

Vicki McLeod is an author, TEDx speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur. She is a business and personal coach and consultant. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or find her @ vickimcleod.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Email your cooking questions to Chef Dez at dez@chefdez.com.
ON COOKING: Chef Dez does parsley pesto

Pesto traditionally has fresh basil but parsley is a tasty alternative

A cyclist was struck on Lougheed Highway at 209 Street on Monday afternoon. (Neil Corbett - The News)
Cyclist injured after collision with car on Lougheed Highway

Police, fire and ambulance respond to call in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Community Services’ Better at Home Program is now offering a grocery delivery program for seniors. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows organization now delivering groceries for seniors

Community Services’ Better at Home Program filling in the gaps of Thrifty Foods Sendial program

An acro performance as part of the Greg Moore Youth Centre’s talent show video. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge’s talented youth featured in Youth Week video

BC Youth Week marked by Greg Moore Youth Centre

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

Elias Pettersson and the Vancouver Canucks drew a large crowd to the Abbotsford Centre in 2019. Canucks management hopes the crowds return for the planned AHL team this fall, and early returns are positive. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Canucks: ‘Incredible’ early interest for Abbotsford AHL tickets

Team has had a strong response to both e-mail information and priority ticket lists

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Most Read