Liberate Yourself!

Every aspect of your life is energetically anchored in your living space, so clearing clutter can transform your entire existence.

—Karen Kingston

Clutter can show up in your physical space, as thorns in your heart, or activities you no longer love doing. The belongings can hold emotional stories that you struggle to resolve. You may think that you are your past and all the objects associated with your past. They may have wonderful associations or heartbreaking meanings, but these belongings are not you. They tell stories about who you were, but they aren’t you.

Sometimes it seems easier to stay connected to things than to people. Things seem to have staying power and people can, in a moment, disappear from our lives. Like a child clinging to a stuffed animal, we can make a deeper emotional investment in inanimate objects than people. These objects usually don’t talk, yell, rage, cry, bully, cruelly shame us, or walk away. Some creepy dolls might speak, but even then it’s not in all the ways a human being can.

This may be why some people cling so fiercely to books, furniture, knick-knacks, artwork, collectibles, and all those boxes. Our emotional world sometimes collapses into these inanimate belongings because creating meaningful connections with people seems too risky. It might be easier to hold a book than someone’s hand. We avert our eyes from people but look for a long time at a piece of artwork or our cell phones.

Your heart can be healed from all those thorns. Gently pull them out and feel all those difficult emotions. Emotions can show you what you actually care about. You wouldn’t have all these feelings if you weren’t committed to something or someone. The intensity of your grief, anger, or shame often points to the depth of your commitment, your love, and your desire to belong.

It’s soul-sucking and exhausting to go through the motions of an activity you no longer love doing or maybe never really enjoyed. You may have been really good at it. You do it to fit in and to not disappoint others who benefit from your talents and abilities. And those people may really care, respect, and appreciate you or not so much. Either way, you notice that your heart is not on board. Your heart stands on the beach with a towel, while your body swims fiercely in the waves longing to be on solid ground. It might be time to reunite with your heart and rest in the sand.

It takes courage to connect to people in a time of much change and uncertainty. It takes bravery to let go of belongings and activities that no longer support our lives.

We can begin to gently clear away all of this and bring discernment and new awareness to what or with whom we connect. Feng shui invites us to have empowering connections to things, thoughts, people, and experiences. It may be time to be brave and open space for fresh adventures.

Sometimes a deep desire to be unencumbered brings inspiration to fuel us. We can walk through an obstacle course to make it happen.

Powerful action requires a reframe of our past stories, clarity about what we really desire for our lives, and the commitment to make it happen no matter what. These actions also may require us to shift out of a sense of powerlessness and into one of being able to respond, to take full responsibility. Taking action requires becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable as we stretch and grow. It involves taking risks and walking with our fear and our passion. It’s uncomfortable stepping into an uncertain future without boxes and belongings and that soul-sucking relationship or job or activity. Sometimes a deep desire to be unencumbered brings inspiration to fuel us. We can walk through an obstacle course to make it happen. Clearing clutter can become a labor of love, a passionate stand for clarity, and an “Oh, what the heck nothing else has worked, I’ll go for it anyway!”

What would it be like to be as close to clutter-free as you can be? Can you begin to imagine the open space, time, freedom, less burdened heart, and a clearer mind? What would have you jump out of bed in the morning or have you so excited that you could hardly fall asleep at night? What do you love doing or creating more than anything else in the world? Your heart often holds the truth about what this purpose or project is. Listen closely to your heart. It won’t lead you astray.

When our actions are a contribution to a cause more important than our self-doubts, we swiftly act. We rise to the occasion of being generous when we know that our contributions make a positive difference for others. We will do what it takes.

Know that clearing away what no longer supports you or maybe never did can take weeks or months depending on how long and how much you’ve stashed or collected. And if you choose to donate these items know you will be gifting others a fresh start because they may have lost all their belongings because of fire, flood, mudslides, or hurricane destruction.

I wish you deep and enduring peace as you take those gentle actions to clear your life of clutter as best as you can in this moment. Liberate yourself!

Laura Staley
Laura Staley
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura helps people thrive in the physical spaces where they live and work. She educates people about the optimal arrangement of belongings for comfort, safety, and flow; de-cluttering for freedom; and planning transitions to new or updated spaces for optimal joy in life. Laura knows that the conditions of our homes and workplaces shape the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by more than a decade working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to help her clients produce remarkable results in their lives. Her own awakening to the power of feng shui came on the heels of a flood and the realization that she could live with beloved belongings rather than unloved hand-me-down stuff. Her trifecta of serving people includes public speaking, writing, and compassionate coaching. Laura is a published author of the books Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui and Cherish Your World Gift Book: 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Your Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a full-time parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include loving her dog, laughing with great friends, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. You are welcome to connect with Laura below.
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Joel Elveson

Life can be difficult. Connecting with people during times of stress or other difficulties is especially hard. Keeping emotions or feelings buried inside you will upset your whole emotional balance. Great article, Laura

Laura Mikolaitis

I love that you write about clearing away the clutter, Laura. It is liberating to let go of the things that we have collected over the years, although it isn’t easy at first. However, there is value in going through this process. And, as you’ve often talked about, decluttering our minds is a liberating act as well. One could even conclude that both go hand in hand. At least that is what I’ve found. When I clear a physical space, my mindset is better too.

I think letting go opens portals to positivity. When I started to de-clutter our space, I noticed a shift in mindset, and the dots that connected after that were quite serendipitous. It’s interesting to think about how it is all interconnected, but seeing – and feeling – the benefits of it is the greatest reward.


You know how I feel about this topic, insightful Laura! Let’s all have a liberating and adventurous 2020. Such transforming ideas and ways of working with feng shui, clutter, and ultimately clarity. A joy to read, even more interesting for me to keep moving into action with. Cheers and to continued flow to you!

Kimberly Davis

Beautiful piece, Laura! I know I feel like a completely different person when I’ve cleared the clutter. It changes everything!

Mike Pitocco

Wise words well spoken Laura. Connection to people is what we’re here for……it’s risky, worthy business. I have not been a pack rat when it comes to things, but I know I’ve been guilty of holding onto some clutter otherwise. As you say, how liberating – and transformational – to let go. Timely thoughts as we are on the threshhold of a new decade! Love your writing.

Aaron Towle

Sometimes it is healthy to keep little tokens of your past, memories and things that symbolize a special time in your life. When it becomes a burden of great depression, perhaps even to the point of hoarding, that is a whole extra level of psychological debris that must be cleared away. Like a messy room, where do you start?



Powerful voices from around the globe that speak to our shared human experience. May they inspire you and give you great hope.



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