The Urge to Purge

Darla Arni Promo copyBy Darla Arni

It began when I started packing for vacation and realized that a good percentage of the clothes in my daughter’s closet no longer fit her body.  I really didn’t want to get into the whole closet thing; I just wanted to help her pick out vacation outfits and leave the rest up to her.

But there it was in front of me and it needed to be done, which led to my closet, which led to clothes stored in the attic. Whew!  The result was several piles to donate and more piles to send to the consignment store.  It felt good, really good.  This was clean your glasses, come out of the fog, “I can see clearly now”, good!  I was on a roll and I wanted to clear things out; I had the Urge to Purge!

Why not tackle bigger things?  Why not clear out the clutter in our homes AND our minds?  According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, “The amount of information available to people continues to grow at a rapid pace, as do the number of demands on our time.”

The result is we have overloaded our brain to the point of confusion while simultaneously feeling guilty that we can’t keep track of it all.  Guess what? You shouldn’t even try!  Most of what we hold onto is covered with a heavy blanket of ‘shoulds’ left over from childhood, former bosses or past relationships.  You’re a big kid now so take responsibility and clear out all the cluttered thoughts, goals, and priorities that no longer represent who you are today and/or who you want to become.  (This, of course, requires knowing who you are and how you want your life to be, so if you are fuzzy on that, stop reading and give it some thought.)

Just remember letting go or throwing out the old stuff is the first step towards who you want to become.  Give up the unrealistic list of what you’re going to do when you are older, richer, prettier, thinner, better, or who knows what and start doing something in the right direction now!  I have seen more people mess up their life and the lives of others by staying in a job or direction or relationship they knew in their gut wasn’t right.  There will never be a better time and we can only live in the Now.

Start by becoming aware of what you have stored in the catacombs of your mind. Make a habit of setting aside time to empty your mind.  I always recommend the beginning or end of the day but truthfully, for me, I often end up doing this at 2 a.m. because my brain is so full of thoughts, worries, to do lists and random ideas that I can’t sleep.  Pick a time that works for you and let thoughts flow out onto paper or into your computer until the junk is out and you are free.  Take note of what you write and you will notice recurring themes or concerns that you need to deal with so you can be free of them and move on.  This simple process can result in life changing decisions, facing fears you didn’t realize you had and the most creative solutions and innovative breakthroughs.

While you’re working on your mind why not:

-clean out that overflowing junk drawer in the kitchen

-empty the messy garage so you can actually put a car in it

-go through the house and throw out all the pens that don’t work

-take half of the plastic sacks you’ve saved to recycling

-attack the attic, basement or storage unit full of all the extra ‘stuff’

-feeling really brave? Try organizing your plastic kitchen containers.

It all works together: clutter without causes clutter within. Now get to work!

Darla Arni is a professional speaker, author, and life strategist who inspires a call to action for self-improvement, life balance, improved health, better attitudes and positive choices. Her work and experiences have been featured on, MSNBC,,, VoiceAmerica and BlogTalk radio and numerous blogs and newsletters. For more information visit: or

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