Declutter Your Home
The word spring conjures up a variety of emotions – feelings of excitement, lightness, new beginnings and anticipation to name a few.
Having lived in places with year-round sunshine, such as the Caribbean and Dubai, for more than 13 years, I now more than ever, experience the above feelings when spring is on our doorstep. I’d be lying if I told you I missed the seasons, because summer was and always will be my favourite season. However, there is indeed something special about spring and it is only after experiencing several months of winter that one can truly appreciate it. As for me, I not only want to head outside, but I also want to open up all the windows, let the fresh air in and let go of the winter vibes. Despite the fact that I hate tidying and cleaning (like most people), I love me some good spring cleaning or rather the feeling I get after a job well done.
It makes me feel light, like I can breathe and focus again, which is what inspired me to write this post – declutter your home, declutter your mind.
As an interior designer and in particular through my Interior Design Consultations I get to see dozens of homes and many of them have way too much clutter. In my opinion, there are two elements to clutter: lack of order and things that no longer serve a purpose occupying space in our home. As William Morris, a famous textile designer from the late 19th century so beautifully put it: «Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.» I always encourage my clients to start by decluttering their space, for it’s only when your home is in order, your furniture and decoration can truly shine and come to life.
However, for many of us (including myself) it is not always easy to let go of things, but is it really the objects we are holding on to or is it the memories, the what ifs, the guilt and so on? According to Feng Shui, objects can carry negative energy, which we then absorb subconsciously. Personally, I am quite fascinated by this subject, so I decided to get someone else’s take on it. This is why I reached out to Mahima Klinge, a meditation and personal growth expert, who has specialised in techniques that help clear and reprogram the mind or as I would say, declutter the mind.
Who is Mahima?
Mahima was born and raised in Zimbabwe and lived there until the age of 22. After her divorce she went to India, where she had a transformative experience by practicing meditation over an extended period of time. Thanks to her own awakening she quickly realised that she wanted to dedicate her life to helping others find their genius, as she calls it. During that time she was living the life of a global nomad and it wasn’t until she met Kai, her second husband, that she settled down in Switzerland. She launched her first business «Love Silence» with the intention of attracting professionals, who felt out of balance with their core self. Today, she and her husband Kai as well as one team member run her business «Mahima Mindset» offering meditation and personal growth workshops and trainings.
Declutter your home: The Interview
How important is your home to you on a scale of 1 – 10?
10! No, 12, 15 – it’s important (she laughs)
What does your home represent to you?
It’s my personal refuge on planet earth. The place I retreat to from the outside world and where I can create an atmosphere that supports my soul. Even during the time I was living a nomadic kind of lifestyle and even if it was just a room, I always put effort into all my homes. I’m an aesthetic person, I’m an artist and I need to see harmony and beauty around me. It needs to be a place I enjoy being.
Does your home reflect your personality?
Yes, absolutely. I have gone through many transformations. So just like I will change the style of my clothes, I also like to play with different styles in my home. Over time my taste changes according to how I am changing.
How does your work influence the design of your home?
For me to be productive I need my home to be very minimalistic and with very few objects. I don’t like bookcases full of books or coffee tables with lots of objects on display.
How would you define the style of your home?
Minimalistic and chic. There is a lot of white. Some people may say it’s bare or even cold. However, I add colour and motion with my paintings. I consider our home cozy and hearty, because I believe it’s important to create spaces where people can come together for magical things to happen.
What’s your favourite room in your home and why?
I’d say the bedroom and the bathroom. I love our bathroom, because when we renovated this place we created an Asian inspired ambiance, which is very warm and cozy. I love our bedroom, because this is where my husband and I get to really chill out and connect. My husband and I work together and since we work from home, we need this space for intimacy, where we can just be and be together.
Do you believe that our homes have an impact on our wellbeing and why?
Absolutely, like I said before it’s a retreat. It’s the place where you should feel not only relaxed, but also enlightened, inspired, motivated, rejuvenated. The home should be like a spa, which puts you into a certain mood. I think you really do need to take time to withdraw, because when you go out, there are lots of challenges that you have to deal with. The home should be a place where we can escape to, like a protective womb. Our home should give us energy.
Do you think there is a link between people’s homes and their success in life and business?
Yes, I do. Some people think it’s superficial to value things and possessions, but the truth is that everything affects us in one way or another, whether we like it or not. I therefore think it’s important to take care of your home and your stuff. Caring for your home also means caring for yourself. I believe that success is about focus and having your *sh… together. I therefore can’t imagine that it would be easy to be successful if you have a house full of clutter.
How would you define ‘clutter’ – physical and emotional/mental?
Physical clutter is what we can see, such as papers on your desk. When there are too many things, such as clothes and shoes pouring out of your wardrobe. When things aren’t organised, making it difficult to find stuff. Emotional clutter on the other hand is related to relationships, past experiences and constant complaining. I believe that having relationships with people who don’t fulfil you and who are not on the same wavelength hold you back and that is clutter. People don’t realise that it’s in their own hands and often feel like victims of their relationship dramas. Holding on to anger, sadness and frustration about past experiences is also very common. People often need to declutter that area of their life. They need to let go, forgive and find a way to make peace with the past. This way their past does not define their future.
Do you believe that objects hold (positive or negative) energy?
This is a very interesting question. I personally love thrift shops, because I believe in recycling things. I have heard about this theory that objects can hold energetic frequency, but I think if you have a very positive energy, you can override the negative energy that’s held within stuff. Much like a vacuum cleaner that sucks up all the dirt. If your energy is strong and you have a high frequency it will influence everything around you.
Why do you think so many people hang on to (physical/ emotional) clutter?
With regards to physical clutter, I think it is a lack of education. People are not taught how to be tidy. When it comes to emotional clutter it’s quite similar. You do what you know and if nobody really tells us that we are holding on to emotional clutter affects our life in a negative way. That’s the work of personal growth, but not everyone is working on themselves. Many people are just living and hoping for the best, which is not a judgement. Most people only start addressing emotional clutter when they are in a crisis. People often say it is hard to let go, but I think that is also a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy. I would also say it is important to get help from a mentor or guide, someone who will challenge your beliefs.
What kind of feelings would you associate with decluttering?
You feel exhilarated and mentally organised, as if there is more space in your head. It creates wellbeing. When we have clutter around it pulls us down, because it’s there at the back of your mind.
Would you say it is better to start decluttering your home or your mind first?
I think it is best to do a combination of both. It’s probably easier to start with the physical space. Working on your physical clutter is a good way to start experiencing the benefits and then combine it with some emotional decluttering. Once you get better at it, you can alternate, so maybe declutter one area of your home and then make that phone call that you have been putting off.
What areas in your home will you be tackling this spring?
This conversation has inspired me to tackle my jewellery drawer and one of our big decluttering projects this spring is our garage!
Mahima, unlike some other spiritual mentors I have come across, is direct, down to earth and full of fun. We had a great chat and it was inspiring to dig a bit deeper with regards to the subject decluttering. Much like the other 2 business owners I have interviewed so far, it is interesting to see that Mahima too, has a preference for minimalism. Could it be the secret to success?