Happy June 1st! There is something special about this time of year, don’t you think? I love waking up early with the warm morning light and the stillness of the day before everything gets going. I am so glad that so many of you responded to my last post about de-cluttering and how it’s affecting me. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I’ve already changed many of my habits and my general overview of how I look at my life since I read Clutter Busting merely a week ago. I had a few people ask for specific tips on how to get started, and I will include some at the end of this post. As you start to think about de-cluttering and how to view things in your life, the author includes a quote at the beginning of the book by Ramesh Balsekar that simply asks,
“With all of the things you have in your life, are you any more happy that your dog?”
Intriguing thought, eh?
First, let’s discuss food. Are you signed up for the weekly recipe e-mail from Meatout Mondays? I was inspired by the recipe that was sent this week for Sweet Potato Party Burgers. I didn’t want to fry mine though, so I baked them instead. I also substituted a few of the other ingredients, but kept the overall theme of mixing potato with beans. They were yum!
Here’s my version:
Sweet Potato Burgers – inspired by Healthy Happy Life
1 medium sweet potato, cooked
1 can or 1 1/2 cups of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 onion, chopped
1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the sweet potato from its skin and place in a medium bowl (discard the skin). Add the beans, onion, garbanzo bean flour, nutritional yeast, tomato, garlic powder and cumin to the bowl and stir to combine. Use a fork to mash the beans into the mixture. Use your hands to form four patties and place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes total, flipping once during cooking.
I served the burgers with a small salad, some baked onions and tahini sauce (tahini mixed with lemon juice):
The sweet potato gives this burger a pronounced sweetness, while the beans provide heft and the flour gives it a bit of a crunchy exterior. I will be making these again.
If you really want to get started clutter-busting your life, then I do obviously suggest you get the book by Brooks Palmer. There are two to choose from that have different focuses, the one I read is from 2009. I will be reading Clutter Busting Your Life from 2012 in a few weeks and will write about it here. If you can’t get your hands on a copy of either of these books, then you can also poke around Brooks’ website, it is here. There is also a short list of how to get started on this page.
First of all, take it one space at a time. I have found that clutter-busting is an exhausting experience, both physically and emotionally. Don’t be surprised if you are brought to tears when you realize you need to let things go. Just remember, the emptiness you may feel will be replaced with freedom and the realization that your life right now is the most important focus you can have.
One question in my mind was “how do I know what to let go?” If you wonder this, just ask yourself “Is this thing serving my life or not?” You can also ask whether or not you would purchase that thing again right now (this helps when evaluating which clothes or CDs to keep). The last way that I found helpful whether to keep something or not was to ask if it either helps create fun or makes my life easier in some way?
Here are some of the “clutter-busting principles” taken from Brooks’ book. He said it was okay if I posted them here. Again, please do read the entire book if you can, he gives a lot more guidance and examples there.
- “Remember that nothing is sacred except you.”
- “If it doesn’t fit anymore, physically or psychologically, let it go.”
- “Take the items that you are going to review out of their space and move them into another room, or outside, so you can get a fresh perspective.”
- “If you hesitate, trying to decide whether something is worthwhile, it’s clutter.”
- “If you find yourself defending the subject because of how much it cost you, it’s clutter.”
- “People can be clutter. Be honest in your relationships. If knowing someone diminishes you, she is clutter. You can speak honestly with her and see if she can change. If not, you can just let her go.”
- “Toss or give away gifts you don’t like.”
- “Most photos are clutter. You were trying to preserve a moment that felt good to you in that moment. But now it’s over. You are collecting ghosts. Ghosts are dull impressions of the original event. Do you want to live among ghosts, or do you want to live in the vibrant living world? Only keep the photos that resonate with this moment.”
- “Feel good about the process of tossing, and avoid the guilt. Advertisers taught you that things are more valuable than you. They were wrong. You are right.”
- “Put nothing in storage. Storage is clutter alimony and a waste of your money.”
- “Your activities can be clutter. I guarantee you that something that you are doing in your life now is clutter. You may be thinking that your value is determined by the activities in your life. That is untrue. You are already valuable! There is no need to prove anything. Those days are over. Ask ‘What makes me happy?’ Whatever is left over, toss.”
- “Toss anything that makes you feel that the past is more special than right now, that gives you the feeling that life will never be as good as it once was. I don’t care how old you are or what you’re doing in your life – you are sitting on a gold mine: you, and the current state of your heart and life. The past is as insignificant as old dishwater. Only keep what reflects your life as significant in this moment.
- “Either give away your clutter to charity, or post it on an online Freecycle site, or put it out on the curb for someone else to find. Having a garage sale spells procrastination for most people, and whatever doesn’t sell usually ends up back in the house. Be strong. Let it go. You are intuitive. Trust your decisions.”
- “Be patient. There is no need to push yourself or try to clutter bust your entire place in one sitting. Approach one area at a time.”
- “Have fun!”
What do you think? Are you inspired as I was? The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much crap, er, stuff I had surrounded myself with as a distraction from life. I’m here now, though, enjoying the moment. Come join me!