Why there’s very little point doing any kind of personal development work if you haven’t cleared your clutter first

Investing in your own personal development is one of the wisest uses of your time and money. But if you haven’t cleared your clutter first, you could be wasting both.

Personal development and clutter

I remember the moment it dawned on me. It was in 1990. I was in a workshop, learning lots of useful information about how to improve certain aspects of my life, and I took a minute to look around the audience.

As I moved my gaze from person to person and tuned in to their energy, I could easily see who had clutter at home and who did not. And I realized that the people who were going back to a clutter-filled home really wouldn’t get many benefits from the course at all because there was no space in their life for anything new. They had come to the workshop hoping to change, but frankly, their time would have been better spent staying at home for the weekend and sorting through their stuff.

Or rather, their time would have been better spent the previous weekend (or week/month/year) sorting through their stuff so that they could then attend the workshop and then be ready to put into action whatever they learned.

How clutter can hold you back

There are the physical items you can see, and there is also the energetic side of clutter – the stagnant energy that accumulates around it that causes a corresponding stagnation, stuckness and sleepiness in a person’s life.

Our homes are reflections of ourselves, and when the spaces we occupy are cluttered or disorganized, our lives feel like that too. In the same way that it becomes more difficult to find things when you need them, so everything in life becomes harder and just getting through the day feels like a struggle. No wonder people who have clutter say they don’t have the energy to clear it.

But here’s the thing. When you finally give clutter clearing the priority it warrants, with each area of your home you reclaim, fresh energy is released into your life. And when you work through the backlog of things you need to do and bring yourself up to date, you become genuinely ready for change.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd, 2013, updated 2022

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fourth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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3 Responses to Why there’s very little point doing any kind of personal development work if you haven’t cleared your clutter first

  1. I have noticed that I am much more sensitive to clutter when feeling ill. So then I need to start cleaning and removing stuff from the house to feel better. I can smell clutter and dirt, it makes people sick.

  2. I have noticed that the more complicated our lives get with crazy schedules the more I feel the need to clear out clutter in my nest. It’s always a work in progress.

  3. I couldn’t agree more! I’ve decided to do a “spring cleaning” on myself and my house to see what I can uncover. It really seems to be shaking things up at this point – but even a few weeks in, we’re seeing aspects of our lives where we now have space for new things to come in.

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