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Clear out - hygiene for the psyche

Clear out - hygiene for the psyche


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Mucking out - order in the soul
Tidying up, creating order, clearing out - that not only creates an overview of things, but also structure in the psyche. Our apartment reflects what we feel, what we think, what we are - our worldview and the way we move in the world. Mucking out not only clears the apartment, but also the psyche. Because it usually has psychological causes if we don't let go of things that we don't need. The late capitalist production of goods urges us to constantly buy new things. If we don't dispose of them again soon, the mountain of objects we hoard will rise continuously.

If I throw it away, I throw away a useful item. If I keep it, ballast will accumulate. This contradiction can hardly be resolved - unless I forego new electronics. Anyone who buys a new smartphone, laptop and tablet every year is automatically faced with the question: Do I keep the "old", which I no longer use, but which works?

Mucking out is individual

There is no one solution to mucking out. People are individuals, which and how many things a person gathers and feels comfortable with is very different. That is why no rigid external rules can be stipulated that offer a plan for mucking out for everyone.

Advantages of clearing out

Clear out space. It provides an overview of things and enables a structure to be created. It arranges the thoughts because our gaze does not get stuck on non-essentials. It focuses on valuable individual pieces.

Outer order creates inner order

Household and psyche interact. When you clean out your apartment, you also sort on other levels what is important to you and what is unimportant to you, what you want in your environment and what not. Removing and tidying up a closet also leads to clarifying matters in the head and in life.

Training for the big questions in life

Even if it reads strange: In the small actions we work on the same topics as in the “Game of thrones”: Mucking out a cellar means deciding, keeping and letting go, making changes consciously, setting priorities and pursuing a goal.

Dosed grief

Without any pathos, we also train to grieve when clearing out. We say goodbye to things that once had personal value for us. If we have managed to throw the tattered sweater away from our ex-girlfriend, we will familiarize ourselves with something that we will always encounter in much more serious situations: we mourn.

At the beginning there is the will

In general, the motto is to clear out the apartment (and life) to clear out the debris. Some people do not endure accumulations of superfluous things anyway, others tend to collect things. Sometimes the clutter leads to stress in everyday life, and the pressure to clear out increases. It is better if this does not even happen.

Apartments are chronicles

We don't throw away a lot of old things because we combine them with memories. These are often positive, but we also do not detach ourselves from objects whose memories weigh on us: make a list of objects that remind you of old times. Then write what you associate with them. The writing down often brings clarity to the symbolic meaning of these things. But if this is stored in the memory, many of these things lose their meaning. Are they a sensible support or a block on the leg?

If objects remember a phase of life that you want to remember, select them. Or take pictures.

Rarely used things in the basement

Not all things from past phases of life are meaningless. The basement, for example, is an excellent place for old diaries and letters, personal treasures that you shouldn't throw away, but that you don't leaf through every day. There is also space here for things you rarely use: the tent, the diving suit or the chainsaw. In the basement you hand in the items that you do not use and thus make room for what you rarely use.

Mucking out can hurt

Check why mucking out is difficult for them. What about the money you spent? Do the expensive things stand there from the start because you never use them? Then it was a bad buy and the money was thrown out anyway.

Create space for new values

Or have things lost their value? A ten-year-old PC, the keys of which respond only with massive use of your fingers, might have shown value and service ten years ago. He no longer does it today, and with that he has lost his value. On the other hand, there is the value of throwing away such things: they no longer distract, they do not block the place for other objects, they can look out the window again etc.

Swap as a rule

This exchange can even become a rule so as not to hoard too many items. With every new book, every new piece of clothing or every new DVD, think about which old counterpart you can give away. In this way, the stocks are automatically refreshed without being overloaded.

Memories

We don't throw away a lot of old things because we combine them with memories. Often these are positive, but we also do not detach ourselves from objects whose memories burden us: In the basement there is a box of the ex-girlfriend, with which it was unpleasantly divided. Or relationships remained unclear. Or we store the legacies of a friend who committed suicide. Or the son with whom we had a fight left his room without tidying up.

Nobody needs broken cables

But you can sort them out immediately in the living room, for example: broken pillows and blankets with no emotional value, old unused cables, old scratched DVDs and CDs, old uninteresting magazines, ugly table decorations that they have hidden somewhere, worn carpets.

Give away

If things are too valuable for them to throw in the garbage but have no more space with them, there is a third option: to give them away to people who can do something with them.

Submit

There are now public bookcases in many cities where you can put selected books that others enjoy. Or you can give your old books (in good condition) to a second-hand bookshop. You can hand in clothing, furniture or technical equipment to Oxfam, Fairkauf and other social department stores.

Preserve instead of hoarding

You don't have to throw everything away. When sorting out, focus on the real value that these reminder signs have for you: you can cut out the article that is at stake from old newspapers. For collections that have a symbolic value, one symbol is enough to to keep the memory alive.

What can go away immediately?

Trash items can go away immediately: ballpoint pens that don't write, empty lighters, burnt incense sticks, empty fountain pens, rusted potato graters, and all of this multiple times. In this way, you are already creating a lot of space.

Disappoint others

Do they have gifts that are of no value to you? Are you afraid of disappointing other people when you throw away your grandmother's sweater, never worn? Or the kitschy clown figure you got from your best friend for your birthday?

Do you just want to move these things and stack them in the basement, where you take up space again? Or will you resort to a white lie if the donor asks where the good piece has gone?
How does it feel to be truthful? "I do not want it."

Afraid of the risk?

Are you afraid to throw something away and then regret it? Where does this fear come from? Are you afraid that the item has a value that you are overlooking? Could it be useful again? Start immediately with shoes that don't fit, broken clothes, single socks, broken plastic boxes, and other things that can't be used.

Make up your mind

Are you afraid of a decision? Decisions always mean risk. Something can always turn so that things get a value again, for example when the relationship fails and you could now use your second dishwasher well.

They can shed light on this risk. Imagine the worst case scenario if you are there without these things.

Would you miss it

Ask yourself: Would I miss this item? A tip: if you haven't used something in two years, you usually don't miss it. Pay attention to the place: Stuff something in the back drawer, which you never look into, on top of the kitchen cupboard or in the bed box? It is a sign that it is not important to them.

Things no one needs

You don't need dried up houseplants, broken chairs or holey baskets. A lot of clutter accumulates in the kitchen: expired food, old kitchen rags, scratched pots, broken cups, individual plates, ugly glasses can be removed immediately; in the bedroom you don't need old, unloved bed covers or bent clothes racks.

Why are we attached to the superfluous?

If we clarify what can go away, we will also clarify internal conflicts. Do they have gifts that are of no value to you? Are you afraid of disappointing other people when you throw away your grandmother's sweater, never worn? How does it feel to be truthful? "I do not want it."

What should be in the suitcase?

Ask yourself what you need in practice and what is important to you. Imagine you are moving to the USA and can only take 20 kilos of luggage with you. What would that be? What things want, which things do you have to have around you all the time?

Elementary, very important, important

You can start from this basic list, draw it as an inner circle and therefore draw a second circle, with things that are not so important to you, but still have a value, a third with less important ones, etc. You then quickly come to the " outer areas ”with things that have no who, so they are superfluous. They can go.

Organize the clearing out

1) Don't let broken things, waste or trash disappear into dark corners. That shifts and increases the problem.

2) Don't think about any item before giving it away. Then it becomes increasingly difficult for them to separate, and a large pile of junk becomes many small ones. .

3) Eliminate nebulous things from your thoughts. Instead, follow a fixed schedule: Friday the living room, Saturday the basement. Make an appointment with the bulky waste and make an appointment with the social worker in the refugee home about her old clothes.
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Creativity is mess?

Anyone who gets inspiration from ten books is lying around more than someone who is staring at the wall at home. Anyone who sees the raw material for a sculpture in a stone, fabric for a T-shirt or three canvases with colors in work in an old cleaning rag, looks "wilder" than someone who only watches TV in his spare time.

That is why creative people are particularly well advised to keep organizing their material: Which of the ten tree roots is best suited for carving? The others can go.
When a work, painting, text, or sculpture is finished, enjoy the moment and discard any materials you no longer need.

Store the materials and tools for your creative work in a special place and bring them back there after the work.

Stay on top of things

Have you cleared out successfully? Then make sure that you keep an overview. For example, you can set up rules such as: For every book I buy new, I give away an old one. The same applies to T-shirts, CDs and generally knick-knacks.

Dispose of the clutter immediately

Discard things you don't need immediately. Put a trash can in every room and make it a habit to throw in the news from the allotment garden association, the free local newspaper, and next week's TV newspaper.

Clean up every day

Clean things from your desk every day. Take bulky waste to the recycling center before it collects. Clearly tell your friends and relatives what kind of gifts you don't need.

Think along when shopping

One art is to restrict purchasing. On vacation this means: a souvenir that means a lot to them instead of many small ones lying around. Photos are often the best cornerstones for memories - and they fit on a USB stick.

Clearing out creates a lifetime

When we have successfully cleared out, we have learned to choose. Now we are realizing what time means and we are no longer letting the weeks and months flow around to realize that we cannot make up for lost time.

Book tip: the pirate principle

“The Pirate Principle: The Secret to Success and Career” by Manfred Schmid, published in 2018 by Hanser-Verlag, calls with a wink to apply the principles of pirates to everyday life and the company: keeping an eye on fixed goals, throwing off ballast , stay agile, limit yourself to the essentials. According to this, pirates were effective because they concentrated their powers. Today that means: Do not digress, stick to the topic, and do what is important and right, not what the others do. Living pirate would have meant living a lean lifestyle, because everything had to fit on a ship. Pirates would have installed simple rules and structures, thus avoiding mistakes, and ensuring transparency and clarity. Schmid provides a wealth of examples of how you can use these principles to first clear out today and secondly to become successful. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

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