House Clearing with Purpose 

Energetic Responsibility at Home – Spaciousness & Simplicity or Clutter & Complication?

Imagine you feel you know all there is to know about yourself, then something happens to remove the blinkers from your eyes and totally exposes how you’re truly living. This is my story.

I’ve known for a few years that I’ve wanted to do something to my flat, but I didn’t know where or how to start. I had lived in the same place for over 25 years: a lovely one bed in London in a neighbourhood I’ve come to love. On the surface there appeared to be order, but was there?

With most of my stuff hidden from view in cupboards and storage boxes, I convinced myself there was, as I wasn’t forced to look at or deal with it every day. I was not a hoarder. I did not have a problem. And yet the flat felt stagnant and full… something was not right. I believed all that was needed was a face-lift, re-decorating and additional cupboard space.

It is often said that when the pupil is ready, the master appears, and so it was for me. Guided to seek help, I sensed the person best suited to support me, but didn’t contact her for two years. When I did, it took another six months before we finally met.

In the meantime I started the process of clearing one cupboard in my bedroom containing photographs, letters, cards and mementoes spanning 60 years. It was an emotional journey as I re-visited different stages of my life and the various guises adopted along the way: girlfriend, partner, radical black activist, feminist, silk screen printer, carnival mass parade dancer, devoted martial arts student, yoga student, Hindu guru devotee, management consultant and tutor of many subjects. I went through everything and set aside items still relevant or loved for myself and family. Three black bin bags of discarded waste or re-cycling sat before me. Feeling virtuous, I emailed my teacher to be and confidently proclaimed the clearing almost complete and that I was ready to meet her.

When we met I found out how deluded I was!

My original call was for support with home design and re-configuration. My practitioner very gently and honestly shared her way of working, what felt true for her and would best support me. I felt intuitively to go with what was offered. Her approach took me back to the fundamentals: it was clear, unequivocal, direct and loving. Above all, she had the sensitivity to feel where I was stuck, a warmth and a way of phrasing questions that compelled me to feel more deeply. She steadily took me a through a process which supported me to feel the true impact of how I had been living. At this point I still had no idea what was coming, and how deep we would dive. At the end of the first session, the blinkers were off. I felt raw, exposed. My life had been changed forever.

The simple yet profound method was designed to bring awareness to the degree in which I lacked self love and because of this was not truly living my fullness, but had accumulated a mass of possessions as a substitute. I discovered the scale of the task, and the process became symbolic of my life and choices.

Did I choose truth, beauty and love, or neediness, recognition and disregard? I was presented with energetic responsibility in a very practical and real sense. As I felt the neediness behind many of my purchases, it became much easier to discard them. It was a revelation to feel how much of what I had accumulated was superfluous to need, not true and not serving. At the end of the very first session I felt drained, raw and vulnerable, yet inspired. For example, I discovered I only needed 10 of my 30 plus jumpers. And the ten I chose were those l loved. The rest were re-cycled. Once the clearing was complete, clothes and other items were placed in my wardrobe. It felt spacious, everything visible, loved, beautiful and ready for use. My heart expanded and felt light.

I learned that everything has its place and to return it to that place after use. This meant no longer spending time fishing for things but to know exactly what I had and where it was kept. Nothing remained under the bed, on the floor, above cupboards or behind doors.

This was the first of eight sessions: bathroom, hallway, living room, office, kitchen. One face to face meeting, seven via Skype. The process remained the same – to work in a way that allowed me to see the ‘big picture’ and feel the particular cycle and pattern I was in that had inhibited me from connecting more deeply with how I was living and feeling. The process was exposing, at times brutal, as I struggled to let go of things, resisted and clung to beliefs held for decades. All these items – clothing, bags, shoes, bedding, linen, fabric, jewellery, cosmetics, folders, files, laptops, computers, phones, crockery and more, most superfluous – had become a form of protection. Protection from how I truly felt about my life, regrets, disappointments and sadness. On the surface all was well and resolved, but I needed to physically discard the past and its related emotions before I could move on.

In the final stage I re-placed items after feeling the true value of each. This was very powerful. I got to feel the loveliness of items I chose to keep. This process, that seemed to be about my home, revealed to me the many times in my life I’d settled for less. I was inspired to break this pattern and begin to bring love into my home and life.

The biggest revelation was my lack of awareness of how I had been living. Without realising it I had chosen to see what I wanted to see – not the whole, not the true big picture of my life.

What was called for was a new perspective and willingness to discard all that was superfluous and untrue. Instead of bulging kitchen cupboards, I now have spacious cupboards and two empty ones. One wardrobe is no longer needed and will be dispensed with. Sixty years of photographs, the equivalent of five bin bags, reduced and lovingly held in a single, beautiful folder.

Spaciousness allows the new to be brought in and lovingly chosen.  

 Without realising it, I had: 

  • Become a consumer addict and accumulated things I didn’t use or need (3 dinner services, 3 vegetable peelers, 2 blenders, 2 sewing machines and more).
  • Adopted a ‘just in case’ approach to life and bought extra just in case something got lost, broken, or there was a natural disaster or war!
  • No sense of what I had because I had accumulated so much and couldn’t ‘see the wood for the trees.’
  • Held on to items I didn’t like or use because someone dear to me had given it to me.

Self-expression at Home

Our home is a representation of our body. What does it say about me if I only express from the surface, not my deep true self? What does it say about me if I keep things hidden away behind closed doors? This process opened me up to a whole new way of being.

Our homes, like our bodies, are vessels of self-expression and should be regarded with utmost sacredness.

I have huge appreciation for myself for being prepared to dig deep, clear what needed to go and in doing so, expand my awareness and understanding.

Thanks and gratitude to Jenny Hayes. She guided me to clear my home with true purpose and understand that the process was for me and an expression of love. She inspired me to embody spaciousness, purpose, simplicity, order and love into my life.

This blog is inspired by and dedicated to Serge Benhayon.

By Kehinde James, London

Related Reading:
Making Space
Cleaning Up My Mess – True Self Care or Keeping Up Appearances
De-cluttering my Flat and my Life: A Forever Deepening Amazingness

687 thoughts on “House Clearing with Purpose 

  1. It makes perfect sense that our homes reflect what we live and what we do choose or have been choosing, I love your sharing Kehinde and how you’ve opened your heart, your home, your eyes and how the love could pour in whenever you choose to let go of some of the old.

  2. Great sharing Kehinde, it is easy to fall for clearing of a few items in the belief that, that is all there is to be done, yet when we start to delve deeper we realise there is a whole heap more to clear, and as we do we feel so much more space in the body.

  3. Thank you for the amazing reminder about how sacred our homes are and their relationship to our bodies, I wonder if it could be said that if we treat our bodies with the utmost respect then that respect would translate into everything we touched, including our homes.

  4. “The biggest revelation was my lack of awareness of how I had been living.” This is the thing that stops me being arrogant and thinking I know it all! I am forever finding there are fresh layers that come to my attention when I am ready to see them and address them.

  5. Order is always space and is independent of physical space. That said, it is possible to create space within a very reduced space that is created when we surrender to a space that is as vast as boundless.

  6. Thank-you Kehinde for sharing the intimate details of your healing. I just recently commented on another blog asking the question, why do we hold onto things that we no longer use or need? You offered here it is from a protection, I am holding onto things in my life to feel safe and secure. That I have some sort of life, that I have some thing to show for my life. You have taken the blinkers off for me also.

  7. Perfect timing for me to happen upon this wonderful article. I can feel another round of decluttering and refinement coming on.

  8. I have often joked that Justin Case needs to start paying rent as he lives in so many of our homes and often takes up the most space!

    1. Love it Sarah, Justin Case has been a partner of mine for a long time and the irony is that I think I am saving money by him being there!

  9. ‘Our homes, like our bodies, are vessels of self-expression and should be regarded with utmost sacredness.’ Beautifully said Kehinde, to treat our bodies and homes as both precious and sacred brings a flow and order to our life that is simply divine.

  10. I loved reading this blog and to re-read it again from time to time.

    I find decluttering is forever being refined and there’s always more to discard that no longer serve, whether clothes, shoes, gadgets etc, the list can be endless.
    I’ve found doing any clearing in a loving way leaves an imprint then doing it because the home is bursting through the seams and then it’s a chore.
    Thank you for the re-inspiration.

  11. Wow Kehinde, by letting go of the old it feels like you pretty much have a new home without moving residences.

  12. The great thing about house clearing, is how fantastic you feel afterwards inside yourself, and where your thoughts and direction are so much clearer to feel a sense of purpose – purpose is feeling what to do/what steps to take with the new found spaciousness.

  13. Such an inspiring read, decluttering feels like a huge job and I can see from your blog how essential support was. It’s fascinating what’s actually underneath the clutter, although it may be different for each person it’s been great to read what came up for you Kehinde “I lacked self love and because of this was not truly living my fullness, but had accumulated a mass of possessions as a substitute.” I can certainly relate to this as it’s one way we fill in the space around us to not feel the emptiness we have lived.

  14. When we actually do clear a cluttered space completely, it is only then that we can see something far more clearer…. yes, I agree… the biggest revelation that it shows us is the ” lack of awareness of how I had been living”.

  15. It’s inspiring to read blogs like this because we all know the areas in our homes we have been ignoring and have conveniently been putting off for another day – even when the things that need to go are in plain sight.

    1. Yes Julie, we do in fact know, we just pretend to not know so much that we convince ourselves we don’t know. Very clever, because then we don’t actually have to do anything about it!

  16. It’s amazing how we can live with things for years and then begin to feel uncomfortable with them, knowing that they no longer support us but are keeping us attached to a past that is no longer relevant for us and is actually holding us back in an unnecessary comfort or familiarity.

  17. Our body is constantly clearing what is not needed so why not our home, if our home is an extension of our body and how we live. Today feels perfect for me to start clearing my wardrobe and starting afresh and this also coincides with where my body is and the next level it is ready to go to.

    1. That’s great Alison, and we can start with little bits at a time, a section of the wardrobe, one drawer in the kitchen, it doesn’t have to be big and overwhelming, we can bring some fun into it by doing it in smaller sized chunks.

      1. Yes and that is what I did Melinda. It felt like a big job at the beginning but in truth it wasn’t and it was a joy to do and not overwhelming at all, and offered me a moment to see what in my wardrobe was no longer supporting me. The next step is to buy some new clothes that will offer the new expansion that I feel within myself.

  18. When we clean the house we create a new flow that then supports us to be in more flow ourselves. It is a win-win situation.

  19. It can be confronting when we dig under the surface of the nest we have made for ourselves at home. I find habitual ways and compromise of our worth become almost invisible in our home. It is such amazing support to have someone who can assist us through looking very honestly at our home and what is not equal to our worth. Once cleared out, you can instantly feel the difference, the extra spaciousness and confirmation of our essence.

  20. Recognising that our house is symbolic of our body, how clear and spacious our body feels when we attend to decluttering, redecorating / upgrading, and how it is a Sacred space to come home to every day, offers great awareness that everything about the way we live is energetic and very inter related. With this insight, we also discover great purpose to keep attending to and refining the way our home environments, never wanting it to become stagnant in pockets of our home, because as we evolve, gather more awareness in life, so too do we want our home environment to reflect this.

  21. Great job! Nothing is irrelevant when it comes to energy. We are borderless and I love what you have shared here about why we buy what we buy. Has it been out of neediness, recognition or to numb and distract us? We can all learn from what you have shared here.

  22. ‘a ‘just in case’ approach to life’ is something I can very much relate to and I feel how we can get stucked when we don’t let go of ‘old things or way of being because just in case we should need it. It keeps us where we are and there is no space to appreciate what is coming next with this billboard of ‘ be carefull you’ll never know what will happen’.

    1. I get caught with this one and often wonder why it is still there, where it comes from and how I can move beyond it. I realise that this is most likely why it keeps coming back, because I want to get beyond it and am not prepared to look at the why in more detail.

  23. It is interesting to consider that in essence we all can exhibit aspects of hoarding when we don’t deal with our unresolved emotional issues.

  24. ‘I was inspired to break this pattern and begin to bring love into my home and life.’ and that is how we can be … breaking our old ways and bringing love in and you remind me of the reality of this … it may involve letting go old things and ways, for without doing so we do not have space for the new, the love.

  25. Support, we can never have enough support. Knowing we need support and then asking for support is very self-loving and can open many doors on the inside as well as on the outside…

  26. All roads lead back to the body, so whether we are decluttering or changing and refining our diets, and/or changing our movements, has it not all been impulsed from our wise bodies?

  27. Amazing to consider that our possessions could actually be holding us back in our life. By hanging on to them we are still bound by the emotional ties that surround the events that they portray, and we keep these emotional ties going which prevent us from truly moving on.

  28. I can feel today the appreciation which has been lacking that is needed in my every step to declutter and re-imprint my home. I have come to realise that no matter where I am at in the process of bringing a greater love into the home and therefore a spaciousness within my body it is vital that I appreciate myself every step of the way.

    1. A gorgeous reminder Caroline, that wherever stage we are at with letting go of what we are not, always to remember to appreciate all the baby steps we are making which eventually leads to evolving and expanding.

  29. As I move into a new home, this has many points that support that move. Do I really need that, is that going to make it into the place I’m living, is it coming out of the box to sit deep in a cupboard or can it stay in the box and be taken down the recycling centre? I can feel the attachment to things, and then its a question of picking my way through to the truth, and a bit of support along the way is highly recommended!

  30. Yes I am in the process of clearing my home and it feels great to clear the ‘stuff’ I hold onto for those ‘just incase moments’, love how you shared about having more than one of items when we may not need them.

  31. Cleaning any part of the house when done with a purpose can leave one feeling that not only does the place physically change but a weight has been lift in how the room may have felt too.

  32. “I have huge appreciation for myself for being prepared to dig deep, clear what needed to go and in doing so, expand my awareness and understanding.” – Truly appreciating ourself is a bedrock for change that genuinely supports us unfolding more of who we truly are.

    1. Agreed and we are dealing with long held patterns in situations like this so it is so important to appreciate in order to allow the expansion the space to embed as a new normal.

  33. ‘I learned that everything has its place and to return it to that place after use. This meant no longer spending time fishing for things but to know exactly what I had and where it was kept.’ Completion and order supports simplicity in life.

  34. It’s a nice idea that the home is interlinked with the body. But it’s quite something else when you discover it’s the absolute truth. Why do we leave messes and accept dischord in our possessions? Why do we take on emotions and habits that get in our way? It seems it’s all to hide how amazing we are inside – it’s high time as you show Kehinde that we let simplicity speak.

  35. A great refresher of our home being a representation of our bodies. We actually did a clear out this weekend and found there was a lot of stuff hidden behind doors. It was a reflection of not being totally open and so it felt great to nominate that and clear it out.

    1. It is amazing how many things we can keep in drawers or behind closed doors that we forget about and leave until another day but all of that affects us. For me it feels like a dragging down knowing it needs to be done. I know for me the clearer my space is where I am living the clearer and lighter my body is. It makes such a difference, and often we only feel it once we have cleared the space as it is like we are blinkered before. And I always go – why didn’t I do that before?! Perhaps it could be that it also means I have to take this lightness out to the world and show them all the love I truly am without holding back, as there is now no excuse to be less??!!

  36. There is something very beautiful about the support we can have in clearing out our houses. Because another person can offer you a perspective that perhaps is not always so easy to see. Having another person there, while you clear and discard is very beautiful, because this offers a support to take the clearing deeper and transform it in to a truly healing experience.

  37. It is such a great thing to seek the help of others and be open to what is suggested as many of us are stuck in our ways and aren’t willing to see the necessary steps we need to clear our path.

  38. Without a doubt, every time I look at what needs to be de-cluttered, to improve the flow of my home, then I feel it in all of my life. These two components are linked, how we live at home and how we feel in life.

  39. “Above all, she had the sensitivity to feel where I was stuck, a warmth and a way of phrasing questions that compelled me to feel more deeply. She steadily took me a through a process which supported me to feel the true impact of how I had been living.” This is the power of Jenny Hayes, she is truly remarkable and I highly recommend having a session/s with her. It is not about what’s right/what’s wrong, what looks good/what does not, it is about what is true for you and that can be hard to reach on your own as you say Kehinde, we are often blind to the way we are living.

  40. “Above all, she had the sensitivity to feel where I was stuck, a warmth and a way of phrasing questions that compelled me to feel more deeply. ”
    This line really sums up my experience with most Universal Medicine long term students and Practitioners. I have always found it hard to explain because it is quite subtle to the untrained eye but the quality in which you are asked things by students of The Way, makes every question that you may have once struggled with in the past, seem simple, it is like remembering that you have all the answers you ever wanted

  41. ‘Our homes, like our bodies, are vessels of self-expression and should be regarded with utmost sacredness.’ Looking around I see that I have allowed clutter to build up again. I love order and harmony in my life but how can I have that if I don’t have it in my home…and in every part of my home? As kevmchardy said earlier this is a process and it is honouring of ourselves to do what feels true and not just go along with something because we have agreement in our heads but not the whole body saying yes and likewise it is not for us to judge how we are but observe, read and lovingly make changes from that awareness and appreciation.

  42. Dear Kehinde,

    Gorgeous to read your blog today as I am in the midst of sessions with Jenny Hayes. I have had 2 out of 3 sessions going through my wardrobe and it has also been an incredible process. I too had ‘prepped’ my wardrobe and discarded what I thought was the bulk of it, and was ready for the session.

    Wow, I had no idea how much ‘stuff” I still had in my wardrobe that was not true. It was a raw process as well for me as I stripped back the stories about why I had bought something and saw so clearly (well not always!) the patterns I have about buying clothes, how I wanted to be seen, recoginised, and thought of.

    I re-cycled over 170 items of clothing and now my wardrobe feels the most amazing I have ever felt it….beyond what I could have even imagined. Highly recommend these sessions if/when you are ready.

    Love, Sarah

  43. I’ve moved several times in the last few years and each time it’s been an opportunity to reevaluate my possessions and what truly serves me, and what I’m just holding onto. Each time it feels like a shedding of accumulated layers and there’s a lightness and actually a joy at letting go of stuff, and allowing more space.

    1. I have found the same Bryony, it is amazing quite how much stuff we accumulate which we do not actually need. Having recently downsized a few times it has been great to let stuff go that I have not needed rather than hanging onto things as a just in case. Things change and we change, the question is do we and are we willing to reconfigure our lives as a result and so embrace all that is on offer or do we want to keep the old with us?

    2. Thats a great point Bryony, moving has a natural way of discarding what we no longer need, but if we don’t move for 25 years there is not that same opportunity to clear the emotional ties of what certain objects represent that keep us held in the past and stop us from moving on.

  44. Amazing to read how objects can become substitutes for self-love, because this shows how, to choose an object to replace self-love, there would need to be an awareness of self-love in the first place.

  45. Such a great reminder that the imprint of energy we buy stuff in remains, with every item of my clothing I can feel my intention when I brought it and whether it was to advance me or to distract myself or indulge myself – and it matters it really matters and effects how I feel when I wear it.

  46. What do I allow in that gets in the way of me expanding? Catching those moments when I feel myself contract and resist from seeing the bigger picture feels very supportive. What if I were to see and feel the bigger picture in my every movement? Oh my… this feels good and very expansive in my body taking me deeper into the knowing of what is possible.

  47. Thank you Kehinde for sharing. I too have been and still am clearing out that which no longer supports my family and I. It seems to be a gradual process of letting go saying yes to what comes up in the moment and not have an expectation of what I should or should not clear out.

  48. When the time is right we will all shed the unnecessary baggage we carry with us. I find it interesting that you put off calling Jenny for two years. Had you got in contact sooner the time may not have been right and some of the things you got rid of may not have been ready to go. I got rid of all my cds before I was ready and if I’m honest I was gutted for a long time.

  49. Wow Kehinde, such a beautiful journey of self discovery, I’m so glad you shared this with us all as it brings an opportunity for us all to look more closely into our own homes and what we are holding there.

  50. It is so true that many of our purchases are motivated by the need or desire to look like the pictures we are fed by society, rather than feeling into things which are supportive or bring out our inner beauty.

  51. “…Our homes, like our bodies, are vessels of self-expression and should be regarded with utmost sacredness….” Yes, coming home at the end of each day after being at work, has more meaning and purpose to it when you recognise the sacredness of the space we call home.

  52. It can be so very revealing if not somewhat uncomfortable to have someone take a close look at how we have been living especially if we have been choosing to live with our ‘rose coloured’ glasses on so we can’t see the full and honest picture. But if this observer comes with nothing but love and no judgment then it becomes easy to take those view altering glasses off allowing a true and transparent observation of our life and the way we are living; and with honesty comes change.

    1. How very true Ingrid. But having the support of someone who comes with no judgement whatsoever it becomes possible to see things that have been around us for years, in a very different way and then suddenly it becomes simple to let go of any attachment we may have had.

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