What’s In Your Spare Bedroom: Clearing Mind Clutter to Make Room to Thrive

August 22, 2018

Knowing When to Hold Em…And When to Throw the Whole Thing in the Trash!

Do you have one those rooms or spaces in your house?  You know, that extra room or nook that you haven’t really turned into anything, yet it’s full of clutter. You buy a new appliance, but you’re not sure if you might have to return it, so you put the box in there. Or you have some papers that you need to sort through, and you just haven’t had the time to figure out what you need to keep or get rid of, so it goes in that room. Then there’s that old ottoman that you just know you will use in another room at some point, so in it goes. And what about those size 10 jeans that you used to wear all the time?  Now that you’re down to a size 6, you keep hearing that little voice in your head whispering that you’re going to put the weight back on, so you should just save the jeans, right? Oh, and those old worn out boots you still have a soft spot for…

Cluttered room

You get the idea. Little by little, the room fills up and instead of potentially becoming your next #girlboss space, your next art studio, your next meditation space, or your next in-home gym, it becomes a storage space cluttered with all the things that you don’t want to deal with or haven’t made time to address.

Let’s Keep It 100!

Truth be told, we do this with the tough and taxing things in our lives, too, don’t we?  We all have that friend who seems to always talk about herself, never initiates the text conversation, never asks how you’re doing, and tends to cancel last minute on plans that were established weeks in advance. You know you’re not getting anything out of this friendship, but you don’t want to confront her about it, so you store it away in your “spare room,” hoping maybe the friendship will fizzle out and you won’t have to deal with it.

Or your ex… Yes, I’m going to take it there! Your ex. The person whose shoes or underwear, or toothbrush, or makeup bag, or intimate letters are still creating clutter in your life.  And even if their physical things are not in your spare room, you still see their posts on Facebook, their tweets are still coming down your timeline, their texts are still on your phone, but you tell yourself you’ve actually let go of your relationship baggage. But it’s really in that spare room ready to trigger you the moment you see them on Instagram with a new person, or when they text you to see how you’re doing, and now the moving on process has started all over again.

Perhaps what’s  creating clutter in that room is the exhaustion and resentment you feel towards your job or your co-workers, but the process of finding a new job or creating distance with your co-workers feels so daunting that you just put it away, smile and keep it moving.

What Happens When Your Storage is Full?

Let’s face it, “storage” means that we don’t have to deal with hard emotions and feelings at this very moment, especially when it seems overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start.  It makes total sense given that the day to day may feel like a lot in it of itself. So why in the world would you deal with what’s in the spare bedroom?!?

The hard truth is, even though we’ve tucked it away and we may not have to spend active brain energy on it, everything stored in that spare bedroom is taking up valuable physical and emotional space. Because that’s what clutter does.  As soon as you enter that space and see the things you’ve pushed to the side, the reality of it is going to trigger the same difficult emotions that you tried to avoid by hiding them away.

The hardest part:  The space being taken up is blocking the space you need to GROW. Imagine what you could do with that spare bedroom if it wasn’t piled up with all the things you want to hide. If you had a clear canvas, what would you do?  Create a reading room?  Design a killer guest bedroom?  A playroom for your kids?  An office where you can finally start that business you’ve been dreaming about?  It might even mean the space to think about new relationships, new jobs and new co-workers.

You need brain space to thrive!

Let me say that again:


We need to have the mental energy to think about our growth, because otherwise there is just no room!  Cleaning out the chaos in your spare bedroom, while potentially emotionally exhausting and taxing, frees up the space you need to THRIVE!

Clearing Mind Clutter

Let’s Do Some Cleaning

Wondering how to clear out the clutter?  Well here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Schedule it!This may not be something that you can do on a whim.  You might need to put it in your calendar so you can emotionally prepare to let go of what’s in the room. Make it a day of empowerment, focused on you taking care of you. Identify what you need to get rid of and set a deadline for when those things will be gone.
  1. Know that this will be challenging! It’s in your “spare room” for a reason.  If you already knew what to do with it, you’d have made that decision and moved on. The things in this room are the things that have made you anxious, indecisive, hurt, angry and downright confused. So, in entering the room, it means you’ll have to confront those feelings and process them. That’s not an easy thing to do.
  1. Grab some friends! Look, we all know that facing past demons and past hurts can be tough as hell. So grab a close friend to help you do the work!  Support is sometimes what we need to remind us that it’s ok to let go and allow us to cry when that letting go feels SO hard!
  1. Be gentle with yourself. This is not an easy task, and the reality is that it might take you days or even weeks to get rid of it all. And look, if the first go around has you getting rid of 30, 40, 70, 90%, but not all of it, then give yourself props!  You’ve taken a huge first step!  So now schedule the next day and keep it moving.
  1. Sort through EVERYTHING!  Don’t leave things behind.  If you think you can hang on to that one thing and tuck it away in a closet, you’re going to forget about it and repeat the same cycle, so days, weeks, years later, you’ll uncover it again and it will likely trigger something.  If you are taking on this challenge, go all in.
  1. Keep a journal of your progress. Write about the potential growth you’ll have once you’ve let go of what’s in that room. Design your new space in your head.  Think about what you will have time to do now that you are not bogged down with the things in your spare room.  Dream big!!! The potential is endless!
  1. Don’t be afraid to seek additional help. If cleaning out your spare room seems impossible, you might need help working through the process.  Consider working with a therapist.  Find someone with whom you connect and feel comfortable and take those concerns to them.

Ultimately, I’m going to guess that many of you haven’t even thought about what you have stored away in that spare room.  It’s so easy to accumulate things along the way in our lives and not think about how tucking them away is still impacting us in the present day.  Just remember that with more brain space, you will THRIVE!

So, what’s in your spare bedroom and how are you going to clear out the clutter?