If you’re like me, you get the natural urge to purge at the first spring tweet you hear. No, I’m not talking about Twitter tweets. I’m talking about the birds that signal it’s time to sift, cull and throw out all that junk you’ve been harboring all winter.

The Chotchky Challenge author Barry Dennis offered up this guest blog post on decluttering that I just couldn’t resist publishing here. Having just undergone ‘the hurl and toss’ of old stuff myself, I invite you to declutter so you’re heart can be a’flutter with the newness of the season instead of caught up in the soul-sucking drain of a home filled with useless junk.

7 Decluttering Tips to Feed Your Soul

by Barry A. Dennis

Adapted from his new book, “The Chotchky Challenge”


The more junk you continue to tolerate in your life, the more stressed out, irritable, and burdened you will feel. I call this junk we accumulate “Chotchky.” Chotchky is anything that crowds, intrudes, clutters, or in any way distracts from our soul’s highest purpose.

Be aware, Chotchky is a shape shifter. It can be anything. There is a fuzzy line and as soon as something crosses it, it has become Chotchky. I call it the “line of excess.” Anything in excess is a hindrance to our life. Like wearing a lead coat all day and wondering why were so tired. In this way, were all wearing lead-lined coats and don’t even know it.

Take the Chotchky Challenge. Start to become aware of everything in your life that has crossed the line, release it, and feel just how light and free it’s possible to be.

Here are some of the easiest places to start decluttering and clearing away Chotchky:

Your bathroom. What percentage of your hair spray, hair gel, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair colors, soap, makeup, lotions, shampoos, over-the-counter medicines, prescriptions, and vitamins have crossed the line? It’s bathroomotchky! Go through your drawers and cabinets and get rid of everything that’s collected dust. Empty and recycle the glass and plastic containers.

Your closet. It is not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed by their bulging closet and actually say, “I have nothing to wear.” Crazy, huh? That’s how confused we have become. I call it “apparelyzation.” Use this rule of thumb: your closet should never be filled to more than 80% capacity. Put all those clothes, shoes, socks, and accessories you haven’t worn in the past year in a bag and deposit them into the nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army bin.

Your cupboards. How much food do you feel is truly empowering you, and what percentage is “foodotchky?” Get a big “glad bag” and throw away everything that doesn’t contribute to making you feel happy, healthy, and energized. If the junk isn’t there, you soon won’t miss it.

Your storage spaces. Do you have corners of your garage or basement that are filled with things you haven’t used for years? Drawers that overflow?  Or worse, do you have a storage unit somewhere else that you actually pay for each month? It’s time for a sale. Sell it all, and if there’s anything unsold you can put on it your curb with a sign that reads “FREE.”

Your media. Be careful what you allow onto your Internet menu. Every website is an affirmation, every search is a meditation, every chat a prayer. All of the information you feed to your brain through TV, movies, YouTube, and such seems normal. But is it soulful? We are bombarded by excess information. If Mozart, Da Vinci, and Thomas Edison had been distracted by Facebook 5 hours a day, would they have found time to express their genius? Informotchky is insidious and clutters the most precious storage space we have, our mind!

Your calendar or ecalendar. Are you wasting your time with peopleotchky–humans who don’t support you, believe in you, and may actually encourage destructive behavior? Life is short and your time is precious. Make sure you surround yourself with true “Soul-Mates,” friends who support your very soul. Anyone who doesn’t has become excess!

Your consumption. Finally, start to be more conscious about the things you acquire. When you are at a store and you want something, or you’re offered a piece of cake after a large meal, ask yourself, “Do I really need this? How will this feed my soul?” The more conscious you are about what you purchase and consume, the happier and less encumbered you will feel.

As you begin to get rid of the Chotchky surrounding you, you will start to notice that your heart feels lighter, and your mood is brighter. You will find you have become more focused and clear. Your priorities rise to the surface and you suddenly have the time and energy that was always missing to channel into your heart’s true desires. It is truly liberating.

Besides, at this stage in the game, the less we consume the healthier we become in body, mind, spirit, and earth. As we take this challenge we reach what may be the highest state of consciousness possible, that of “liberotchky,” the complete and total freedom from all things Chotchky! (Any similarity with the former flamboyant pianist is unintended. Although he did wear a lot of blingotchky. Coincidence? I think not!)

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Barry Dennis is an internationally known inspirational speaker and spiritual teacher. His new book is The Chotchky Challenge: Clear the Clutter from Your Home, Heart, and Mind…and Discover the True Treasure of Your Soul (Hay House, April 2012). Learn more at www.BarryADennis.com.


Space Awakening

September 8, 2009

You may have ignored its calling, but its crisp edges slice your skin as you enter it. The cool of fall may have only peeked once or twice through the late-summer haze. But its undertones can be heard, if ever vaguely, beneath the sound of the cicadas.

Oddly, I have welcomed its siren-like beckoning this year. Perhaps it has to do with the heat wave that swaddled us interminably during our vacation in Virginia. I am ready to release the heat to far-away plains that have waited patiently for its return in the Southern Hemisphere.069_69

Just as the seasons teach us the ebb and flow of life, so does the space awakening process I developed while living in impossibly small places during my entire married life. We enter; we depart. We carry in; we carry out. While I never reach the perfect balance, I have learned how much negative energy clutter holds for me. As a result, the space awakening process liberates the energy tangible items hold.

If you feel ready to engage in this de-cluttering process, here are a few guidelines to help you on your way.

Three-step Space Awakening Process:

For Beginners: Toss out three things you no longer need. They can be as simple as three old pens that no longer work or three items of clothing that no longer fit. Silently thank the pens for their service, then say good-bye.

For the Intermediate: Go to one drawer and empty it. Evaluate what you’ve been keeping and why. Then, if you really don’t need it, give it away or a give it a toss.

For Advanced Declutterers: Identify every item in a room you no longer need. Hold a yard sale, sell it on eBay or give it to your local charity.

Liberate your space from the things that do not serve you. Help other family members to do the same. As you consciously lighten your load, you will invite new things to enter your life. Just as surely winter follows fall, your life’s rhythm will be in more harmony with your surroundings than ever before.