Week 4: Let's tackle those energy drainers!

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How do I talk about this subject without mentioning Marie Kondo? I actually never read her book and didn’t see any of her TV shows but you have to live under a rock to not be aware of the ‘lifechanging magic of tidying up!’

She has a point of course. And it’s not a new concept, either. In the 90s we talked about ‘energy drainers’: all those drawers filled with stuff, small broken things not being fixed, laundry piling up, clothes that no longer fit pushed to the back of the wardrobe, documents not filed, and so on. All these undone and ignored things can suck our energy big time.

So what does any of this have to do with weight loss and intuitive eating?

A lot. Because clutter is just another way of numbing ourselves and not paying attention, tuning out the present moment and whatever pain it may (or may not) hold. Emotional eating is just one of the symptoms on the spectrum of strategies we use to remain in our safety bubble. Clutter is another. It may not make us feel comfortable or good but it’s often reflective of our inner state and also a way of avoiding the ‘bigger issues’ because, well, the house is a mess and that needs to be dealt with first. Plus, we may be afraid of what we might be ‘called to’ if we tidy up and create space.

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Taking the first step

On the surface I am pretty tidy and organized, but there is a lot of STUFF lurking in closets, drawers and corners that I’ve been ignoring for a long time. Partly because we’ve moved so much and I never quite fully unpacked but also because there are a couple of areas that I just don’t like dealing with and they have become major energy drainers for me:

  1. My paperwork and office paraphernalia. I am well organized in my business which, to be honest, doesn’t accrue that much physical paperwork. But all my personal documents, files and office things - that’s another story altogether. I’ve been putting this off for years and always used the moves as an excuse to “do it in the new place.” Only I never do.

  2. My clothes & toiletries. When we moved to this house I still had bags that I meant to sort out from our last move and because I now have a lovely walk-in closet and big bathroom cabinet I literally stuffed everything in there.

So yesterday I decided to tackle #2! Oh my. It took me all afternoon and three big Goodwill bags and two full trash bags later I have a clear floor in my closet! And organized toiletries and shoes! Seriously, this didn’t even take so long in the end, why did I have to wait all this time to do this??

I did keep one box with ‘thinner’ clothes, all items I know I would love to wear once I lose the weight. I made a pact with myself: if I haven’t lost enough in a year’s time I will give these items away. Otherwise I only have items in my closet that fit and that I like. This feels so good and liberating! Next up: paperwork. That will take longer but now I feel motivated to tackle this as well, very soon!

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Week 4 Prompt: Pick one of your energy drainers and tackle it this week.

This could be just ‘that’ drawer or your pantry or maybe your closet as well. I definitely recommend to start with something that you can do in a day or a half-day, otherwise it will feel too overwhelming.