Common Characteristics of a Clutter Clearer – We Focus on the Negative


If I ask you what your Clutter Free Dream Life looks like, how would you describe it?

I suspect you have a clearer idea about what you DON’T want than what you DO want, and the problem with that is that when you think about what you DON’T want, your brain processes the ‘DON’T’ after the verb, so it actually focuses on and processes what you DON’T want to do.

For example, tell a child ‘Don’t touch x,y,z’, what does that child go and do? Touches the thing you don’t want it to touch. That’s because their brain hears and processes – ‘touch x,y,z’ – before it hears and processes the ‘Don’t’.

Top Tip:

If you don’t want someone to do something, be specific about what you DO want them to do because their brain will only focus on the verb. 

We need to apply the same principle to our Clutter Clearing. We need to focus on what we DO want rather than what we DON’T want. But how do we do that if we only know what we DON’T want?

Try doing what I did when I was single and dreamt about the man I wanted to share my life with. I could list 101 faults with all the men I’d dated, I knew what I didn’t want, but I seemed to keep attracting the same type of man. If anyone asked me what qualities I wanted  in  a  man,  my  default  setting  was  to  talk about what I didn’t want rather than what I did want.

So, I switched it up to start focusing on what I DID want instead.

I drew a table with 2 columns like the one on the opposite page. In the left hand column, I listed all the faults with the men I’d dated. All the qualities that I’d either hated or grown to hate. It was shocking how easy that was to do! Then in the right-hand column I listed the exact opposite of those faults and qualities – the positive opposite.

For example, I’d been a ‘weekend widow’ several times, where their commitment to their work, watching football or playing golf was prioritised over quality time with me most weekends, so I knew I didn’t want to be with a workaholic, football or golf fanatic. 

What did I want instead? Simple. Someone who enjoyed spending time with me at weekends.

It can be surprisingly hard to think of the positive opposite of what you DON’T want, but it’s definitely an exercise worth doing to get clearer about your Clutter Free Dream. You can always go one step further and turn the positives into affirmations to say to yourself every day. That’s what I do.

When you start focusing on the specific, detailed positives of your Clutter Free Dream, you’ll start to notice the progress you make towards that dream which in turn will help motivate you to keep going.

If you’re ready to accept that it’s not just the backlog of clutter that you need to deal with to clear your clutter forever, visit our online Help Centre here now: 

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