Clear the Clutter – Clear Your Mind. Free Yourself From Negative Vibes.!

Updated: December 8, 2019


Do you know that you’re surrounded by stuff that talks to you all the time? If you have some difficulty during the holidays, (and a lot of people do) it’s an ideal time to clean up your environment before you start to decorate on top of the stuff that’s telling you stories that keep you off balance. Why could that be so? Because objects have meaning. How we get them, why we do, what they mean to us always accompanies their presence even if we’re not conscious of their constant communication. 

I remember when I was a kid, my mom would move things around while getting ready to get out the holiday decorations and would off-handedly talk to the air when she was doing it. I’m sure she didn’t realize what she was teaching me but I never forgot her reactions to certain objects. I know she loved this beautiful statue of the goddess Lakshmi that my parents’ friends, the Sharmas, had gifted her with because she would dust it and lovingly place it on a shelf above her favorite chair. I know she loved it because she literally would sigh and say, “I love this—I must call her this week!” I learned the object represented friendship and desire for meaningful connection. We weren’t ever mad at that piece of art. As I inherited it, it also is prominent in my office to remind me of their beautiful friendship. I feel wistful for connection and loving when I look at it. This statue always reminds me of the abundance of friendship. 

My dad had gotten a gift from the president of one of the companies he worked with. The man and his wife had been to our home many times. It was a beautiful crystal vase brimming with chocolates wrapped in metallic papers. My mom opened the card and saw it was signed by this man’s wife. She immediately announced, “I can’t stand that woman!” My dad walked in from his study as he saw my mom removing the beautiful vase still filled with chocolates and putting in a box to go to the basement while she muttered about things I didn’t yet understand. He wasn’t happy. (neither was I because I was hoping she’d hand over all the chocolates to me and my sister) “ Why are you doing that?” “ Because I can’t stand that woman that’s why!” Glaring at my dad, out went the innocent vase, and the haunting chocolates. My Dad decided it wasn’t worth fighting for and my mom pitched the offending items in the trash. 

Note to young self .. some objects come with big stories that can be upsetting although I really didn’t get the part of throwing out chocolates too. I mean how could chocolate ever cause offense?? 

Later on in life when our family became destitute, the antique heirlooms they collected became something else altogether. Their meaning shifted and the stories they told were one of fear and anxious uncertainty. The antique carpets, furniture, and paintings took on a new story as my parents literally survived on selling all their precious objects for considerably less than they were worth until there were none left. I had never seen my mother cry until then. 

When my dad died we had his ashes put into one of the beautiful ornate vases my parents hung on to. After my mom died the next year and we put her ashes in the last big vase we had, we realized the one my dad was in was a Satsuma vase, worth over 30 thousand bucks at auction but rendered worthless with my dad inside. 

Talk about surrendering a story of “what things mean”. 

So here’s an experiment I’d love you to try and then come back and share your experience in the comments. 

First, have a look around and just notice in general what objects do you see and what stories do they whisper to you when you tune into your relationship to them? 

Does anything stand out? 

We are going to look for two objects specifically one that makes you feel crappy and one that makes you happy. 

  1. Check for feelings of avoidance, resistance, tightness in your body, challenging thoughts, uncomfortable internal dialog, and obligation. 
  2. Check for feelings of joy, pride, connection, loving thoughts, accomplishment, happiness, and connection. 

Don’t avoid sadness. For example, if you have your pet’s ashes and it brings up a sense of loss, this is not to be avoided. It’s these moments where the poignancy of loss is accompanied by an open heart. The story of you and your pet is steeped in love. Let them stay. If you’ve lost a loved one and you miss them, that’s ok too. Leave those be. 

Example of #1: I had a vase (guess I have a thing with vases) gifted to me by a wealthy client. It was a beautiful fine porcelain. The problem was that every time I looked at it I was reminded how condescending and critical she was, nothing was ever good enough, and she was one of those clients who actively looked down on others. I had cut myself off some years before but there was my reminder. Why did I keep it? It was expensive and I felt obligated. Once I became aware of that sticky fact, I gave it to a friend who had always admired it. She sees it in a different way. Now when I see it at her house I feel good! 

Example of #2: my mom had an old Singer sewing machine. I kept it for the longest time. It was one object that somehow reminded me of the best of her. I loved looking at it. It made me feel good. Same with an old wooden spoon she gave me. I still have it. It’s pretty much all I have left of her and that spoon oozes with love and good memories.

So, the experiment here is about the meaning of the things in your environment. Much like professional tidier Marie Kondo’s question, “does it spark joy?” The idea is that if it doesn’t, then remove it. 

First, get the stories. Compare the two objects. Which one hurts, bugs you, shames you (like those jeans that don’t even go up past your knees that you keep for when you’re slimmer) or reminds you of experiences you’ve outgrown, etc. Which one makes you feel good?

Believe me now? Before you decorate on top of these things, maybe, just maybe you might consider cleaning up first. 

Love to hear your stories!!! 

Showing 41 comments
  • Jeanne

    I was visiting Amazon last night and was looking to buy the last deck from Colette that I do not have. I was so excited to see that a new deck is going to be released 4 Aug 2020. Any extra tidbits you can share Colette? : )

    • Kathleen

      Funny I JUST did this this morning. I’ve had my wedding bouquet in a vase (I have a thing for vases, too) for 24 years. It’s a heavy crystal, beautiful vase. A wedding gift, no less. I love my husband, but I’m tired of looking at those flowers. I threw them away. It opened up a space and suddenly I was shifting things all over the living and dining areas. What fun. What freshness it brought to my home. New energy just like that! Lovely advice, Colette. Good luck everyone 💙

    • Jane

      Wow, this is very timely for me, for the last 10 months I have been attempting to manage 2 homes full of things that are blocking myself and my parents from participating fully in life. I was just at the point of of applying these ideas to my belongings when my dad’s health suddenly declined. Now I find myself gearing up to help my parents with the process. We are fortunate that a crisis has been averted, but we have to use this opportunity to plan next steps. It’s a daunting task, but I feel confident that once we start to shift the items with negative associations out,we will have more good energy to keep us going and I am looking forward to being in an environment that I enjoy and feel good about! I have already noticed the creative juices building, so excited!!
      Thank you for the reminder and the opportunity to reflect on the process 🙏💖

    • Dana

      I love this article and the timeliness of it. I have been getting “The Frog” from your Avalon deck almost daily for weeks now. Your loving and gentle approach helps immensely because it is the memory attached that needs to be addressed. Thank you. Happy clutter-free holidays.

  • Michelle Mccartney

    So, so good.

    • Karen

      So serendipitous… recently I was strongly moved to walk around my home and give away all things that caused me feel anything other than positive emotions. It was very cleansing. My home is my sanctuary, it’s important to me to keep it as healing and nuturing as I can. Thank you Collette for sharing your wisdom and love in all the ways you do. It blesses my heart and I’m sure many others as well.

    • Paula

      We had friends over to our house for wine and cheese in our newly redecorated living room. Her comment was hurtful. “OMG this looks like a museum.” You see we have art both wall art and art glass that we have collected on our travels. Each piece tells a story or remembrance that is near and dear to our hearts. Moral of this post is that we need to take care commenting on other’s stuff because we don’t hear what it’s saying to them. Neutral observer stance is called for.

  • Elizabeth Brooks

    I love this. Thank you!

  • Joyce Amonette

    Do you only sell your cards on Amazon? As I don’t utilize Amazon for personal reasons.

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      Hi Joyce, you can purchase my decks on and other online retailers, linked here: Also, if you have local crystal or metaphysical shops, many of them carry my decks too!

      • Anonymous

        My story is Colette that I’ve been using Feng Shui in my homes since 1996, I’ve learned about putting pictures & things of loved ones away. When I moved from California to Wyoming 12/12/2018. My son helped me get rid of alot of stuff that was taking up space in my garage in boxes. I also threw away alot of crystal items my xbf gifted me the 11yrs together. This Christmas 2wk Winter break I plan on going thru the stuff I brought with me & cluterclear more! It always makes me feel Light & as tho a breath of fresh air hits me. Btw luv your weekly oracle card readings & your lovely self 😘❤🐻🇺🇸✈USAF

  • Anonymous

    I loved your stories Colette! The very first sweet gift my husband gave me when we met was a rose crystal wand. I have had it 31 years, and always keep it on the side of my bathtub. It reminds me of the first blush of interest in true love.

    A second gift, to myself is the Royal Doulton ‘Christmas Angel’, I searched for and found online. I have since searched and never could find another. Pure white, with dark hair, completely classic in the Royal Doulton style, no other adornment, Christmas or otherwise, on it. . Gorgeous. She represents my own search and continual longing for spiritual growth. I love her.

    Merry Christmas! My birthday is on Winter Solstice the 21st (have always loved it). December is my very favourite month.

    Love, Lisbeth

  • Collette

    Such an insightful reading Colette . reread it twice to let it sink in.. it had special meaning for me because I am in the exact same place with some gifts, mementos etc. It will give me the courage to decide what to toss and what is meaningful enough to keep and treasure

  • Pauline Chappell

    My stories about decluttering and letting go?

    I have always been a declutterer. There is always a sack in the doorway through to the garage and when it’s almost too heavy for me to lift, I take it to the charity shop. Books, clothing, household items, knick-knacks, unused kitchen equipment, CDs, DVDs . . .

    My beloved husband died just three years and a few days ago. I find it difficult to decorate for the season, without him, but I’ve made an attempt.

    Over the past three years, I’ve donated his sporting equipment, his workshop equipment and his tools; his clothing (to a charity that runs shelters for the homeless) BUT I still have his “best bike”, two completely pointless, expensive, Harris tweed sports-jackets and ALL his specialist-subject books – a whole wall of them, floor to ceiling.

    I’m glad to have his bike, even if it’s not my size, not my geometry; I’m not so sure how I feel about the sports-jackets!

    And the books – how do they make me feel? Overwhelmed, by both quantity and quality. They represent a lifetime’s commitment to his passions. I’m also scared by the emptiness that would exist if, somehow, I disposed of them appropriately. Yes, that’s it – I’m scared of the emptiness.

    So I will go on putting “stuff” into my donations sack and at least admit to myself, acknowledge, that I’m scared to let go of his books.

  • Lyn

    What is the new deck that is to be released Aug 4 2020? I need to know as this date has a significant meaning for me! Thank you, Colette.

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      the new deck released then is called The Oracle of the 7 Energies 😉 based on the esoteric power of the number 7

      • Lillian

        That’s Amazing 😍🎆

  • maryann

    Good Morning Colette,
    As I was sitting this morning on my morning chair and zipping
    on a cup of coffee, I started looking around my living room
    space. i said to myself, if I want to decorate a bit I need to
    put things away.
    I got up and and I looked on a cabinet that had
    a set of salt lamps, a lotus candle holder, a big stone in
    shape of a heart which came to me on a moonlit night and
    another heart that flowed to my feet from the ocean.

    I decided to change their location rather than hide them away.
    which felt good and I still can resonate deeply with them.
    For these items have a deep spiritual meaning to me.

    Well after I did that I sat down still looking around to
    see what else I needed to clear. I then decided to go
    to read my email (short attention span) and there is
    your wonderful article about things and stories and
    clearing space.

    my I said, Oh, goodness timing is unbelievable
    and awesome! Really enjoyed your experience of clearing
    space. Of the connection to things we have. Really moved
    me deeply. The Universe sure works in marvelous ways,
    Appreciate your insights and sense of humor.

    Much joy, blessings, love and a wonderful holiday to you
    and loved ones.

  • Becky

    I’ve been doing this with my Christmas decorations, Colette, for years! Every year when we bring the decorations down from the attic, I evaluate everything. As I take each object out of the box, if I don’t absolutely love it, it goes directly to a resale shop, where it might bring joy to someone else. Thank you for the reminder that I need to now start doing that with other things in my house!

  • Anonymous

    Dear Colette i love to read all of your story’s and watching Tour video’s to . Me i had cleaning up a while ago. And iT leeft me with much joy in my heart benauwd i give iT away to a familie who neder iT more then i did . Also i myself don’t need much and the precious things in my home i let them stay because of the meaning and beautiful memory’s i have with them my dad past away 2 years ago now my mom is also in hospitaliteit iTS a hard time for me but i handle everything well. I wanted to let you know i have both your decks the Goddes power Oracle & the crystal spirits Oracle i m so proud to have them they leasing me every day in my hard life . Why i tell you this because i from Belgium and i bye your decks at . I am so blessed and gratefull to know you ..sending love place to yours many many thanks for all you do and sharings with us with love Caroline a mom alone . Ps: sorry for my englisch writting if i m not always do iT right ..God bless tou and your family Merry Christmas 💕🙏💕

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      thank you so much for writing !! Love Belgium!

      • Caroline

        I love Your smile , just watching your weekly Reading you make me smile to 😇 Thank you i love america en Canada i have many family UPp there ..Tc sweet lady enjoy the last days of the year ciao Caro 🍀🌹💕

  • Nancy S

    I have a small sculpture that my adopted daughter made a long, long time ago. We have been estranged for many years and every time I look at it, in the drawer where it resides, I feel tense and sad and like a failure both as a parent and as a person… I know I need to remove it from my house but, somehow, keeping it makes me feel like I need to keep punishing myself. Maybe today will be the day to move that little, big thing on…

  • Anonymous

    I cleared everything out of my house when I moved four years ago, nothing in my house that does not bring me joy and peace. I want my home to always be uplifting joy. Thank You, Judi Larson

  • Veroshka

    Very insightful blog… have made the decision at the beginning of 2019 to get rid of everything that I have not used in the past year… easier said than done… all the stuff talks to me and my place just makes me feel awful… it is not what I had set out to achieve, yet it is just plain difficult to let some of the stuff go… and really, it is all just stuff… it keeps me stagnant and feeling overwhelmed… one good thing, I did manage to let go of the clothes that I have kept over the years cause one day it will fit me again… what a blatant lie to tell yourself… it is slow going, but it is going & every time I do get a spot cleaned, I feel so good… then for the rest, it is purely overwhelming…

  • Libby

    I have a beautiful print of a Renoir painting depicting a mother with her baby on her lap. I bought it years ago before I got married, and my husband and I adopted our two children. It’s always had special meaning to me as I’ve always wanted to be a mom. It was in the nursery first, then over the years ended up in our bedroom. I remember not feeling sure at the time if it really belonged in our bedroom, but it meant so much to me that I couldn’t just stick it in a storage closet to collect dust.

    The baby in the painting reminded me so much of my son when we first adopted him 16 years ago. I knew it was kismet that I should have come upon that painting all those years ago, and I was so happy to hang it in the nursery. My son and daughter are both teenagers now, and my son is struggling to find himself and has started using drugs to self medicate. He agreed to get help, and I am relying on faith to ensure his and our family’s happiness. As I looked at this painting while reading your post it hit me that it doesn’t necessarily bring me joy any more. It brings me longing for a time when my son was little, joyous, and could still run to me for a hug and a kiss to comfort him and make it all better.

    So, the old painting needs to go and be replaced with one that gives me constant hope and joy in this life.

    Many thanks to you Colette.

    • Grizi x

      I jus tread your message and got the “whisperings” that maybe Your Son needs the picture <3 to You x

  • Deanna

    I just moved my office. As I was setting up my new office, I was aware, of why things were important to me. My books which I use for research, knowledge, and enjoyment represent that I matter. My voice, my words, my stories, even my co-authored book. I also have items that bring a smile to my face, mostly for their beauty. My office reflects me, eclectic and thoughtful. I had two frames of original art. They felt like they cluttered my office. So I took them home. Today after reading your email/blog I realized it’s because they are from the event that surrounded the co-authored book, which on one hand I’m proud of, and on the other, it’s a reminder I haven’t written the next book, which has been seeking to emerge. Hmmm. I’ll have to sit with that for a bit. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

  • Kathryn Keating Kay

    I can’t think of an object I don’t like in my house. After 20 plus years we remodeled the whole kitchen, dining room, living room & den this summer. Talk about decluttering! It was amazing how many things went out of this house! And when we were finished there was still more to remove. Now we have a minimal, modern expression of everything we love. It is amazing how peaceful & relaxing in here. I did keep some of my mom’s kitchen gadgets, I love using them, it makes me think of her & I have a beautiful tatted picture of her smiling looking down at a baby in her arms. Her best friend made it for her. From my dad I have the gift of nature & all there is to love about books, from feeling the cover, to the binding to the pages. I also have a small ceramic warrior he said he found in a cave in Iwo Jima. Not sure if it was a true story but I still have it even though it is cracked in half & one part of the head is missing, quite a sight! I went through Marie Kondo’s cleansing of my room & that was truly a lesson in letting go. I’m a Cancer crab & love everything so it’s hard to give up anything! Thanks you for putting me in a higher vibration!

  • Becky Boulger

    Thank you for that experiment! I realized as I get ready to decorate for Christmas that I have surrounded myself with things that bring me joy and as i decorate I am going to reflect on these memories and be present in the moment,, thank you Colette I always look forward to your blog and weekly readings!❤️

  • Vanessa

    Such a beautiful and timely message. I really appreciated the link you provided that talked about joy versus sadness and pain. It will help me move forward as I am doing a purge currently and realize that I was not dealing with the items and the surrounding emotions. Thank you

  • Diana Davis

    Good Day Colette,
    As I read your blog, it brought up many times when I had to get rid of stuff. The first thing I did was I got rid of old journals of my past. I found out as I read some of the journals they brought up a lot of anger, sorrow and depression. I tore the journals and burned them. I also got rid of cloths that gave me painful memories and feelings. I feel it is good to release the things of the past that don’t make us happy. Guilt is a taskmaster that I don’t want around me.
    Have a blessed day.

  • Laurice Engelbrecht

    Hi there Colette,
    I just wanted to say that I’m deeply grateful for the readings you do – this one has resonated quite a bit with myself…. as well as your tutorials that you send out!
    Your next deck has my attention!!! Anyway to get onto a pre-order waiting list?

  • Sandra

    Such a timely piece Colette. I have been purging my apartment. I have so much that I don’t need and it’s time to declutter! I have gone with the idea of , will this be something my children will want to inherit? Is this something I can’t live without? How does this make me feel? Will this fit in with my new life?
    I have 2 pieces of furniture that my daughter made in high school. Beautiful pieces. The teacher called the second week in and said ” is this kid for real?” I said she was and that she had 4 power tool and a large tool box. She was 15 at the time and eventually became the teachers assistant. One piece she made for me was a wash stand and after years of teak oil it has a lovely antique look to it and I love it. It stays forever! The other piece she made for my ex. After we split he kept it of course. It is a magnificent tv/ entertainment stand/center. I paid a fortune for the wood lol. But it was His. He moved across country and decided not to take it so offered it back to me. I took it. Now I feel his presence all over it and …it must go. I came up with an idea that I thought might be acceptable to all parties my ex included. In the town where we all had lived there is a recovery home for men with addiction issues. Myself and my ex are AA members, when my daughter built the piece she was in alateen. The recovery home helps men and women to set up apartments and will take donations to make that happen. My daughter was overjoyed with the idea that the piece would come full circle as it were. Haven’t told my ex but I am sure he would approve. It feels so good now to know that it feels like Karma or Fate. I am filled with joy now. It’s amazing how something that turned my stomach to look at can now fill me with hope.

  • Vera

    Hi Colette, I really like this “experiment”…. I have been holding on to a simply Happy Birthday Card with Sunflowers on it from my grandma who after moving from Indonesia to the Netherlands then to Los Angeles. I hardly saw her as I was born and growing up in The Netherlands, but we both had this “inner knowing” of a strong bond and connection between us. She sent this card to me for my birthday in the early 80s, I must have been 20 years or so. And so now and then I read her words and see her handwriting and life pauses for a few beautiful minutes.
    There is that Marcasite pendant that was given to me as a thank you for emotionally supporting someone who was going through breast cancer 8 years ago, she passed over to the other side not long after. I have been thinking about this pendant many times “Should I keep this? It reminds me of her not being here anymore, is it a good thing to hold on to? Do I have to because it is the right thing to do?” You guessed it, it is still in my cupboard. Now you make me think again and I feel…… IT is okay to let it g. So next time I donate stuff to the secondhand store, the pendant will come as well, going to a new home and owner.
    All good Colette thank you xoxoxo

  • Mary Jane

    I did this about 11 years ago when we remodeled part of our house. I went through most of my stuff, since I had to store a lot of it, and got rid of everything that belonged to me that didn’t bring me joy in some way. It really, really felt good. Now whenever I see something in my home that doesn’t bring me joy in some way, I get rid of it.

  • Shelley

    Dear Colette and All
    Wow, this is such a “loaded” subject for me. As someone mentioned previously about being a Crab and loving everything- that’s me. I always admire minimalist homes, they seem so clean and spacious.
    We have a small city apartment and a small cottage in the country. I collect funky stuff- rocks, crystals, miniature chairs , elves, tiny teapots and jugs, tiny elephants blue glass, little baskets, funky vintage dishes.Feathers. Shells. Pieces of driftwood. Etc.
    I had all of my Mom’s belongings stored in the cottage basement including sets of vintage dishes and ” stuff ” as well as my Grandma’s lovely tea set of paragon China with a beautiful purple violet pattern.
    I have full clothes closets in both dwellings and WAY too much footwear . And don’t even ask about jewellery 😱
    The past two years , with compassionate help from my beloved daughter, I’ve succeeded in clearing out all of my files from 34 years of work, a bunch of work- related books tonne of glassware including some vases of my Mom’s , quite a few clothes. I’ve given dishes and cutlery to our adult children and to local thrift shops. I need to give away three large and healthy plants , half my footwear (!) clothes and jewellery. It’s a process !! I love Marie Kondo and I’ve watched and read everything she has published .
    Do I need help, still! You bet.
    Part of the process involves healing very old hurts as my Mom ( a practical Cap) regularly cleared stuff out including my stuff when I was not there to object.
    I will always be an enthusiast , a bohemian style lover of art, colour, sparkle, creativity. An herbalist, with jars of dried plants , rocks, feathers My home will never be that Zen, minimalist home. I’m aiming for progress, not perfection and it’s a long game for me, no quick dramatic improvement… little by little and I try to get rid of more than I bring in in my thrift shop excursions. 🐌 Ha! even my posts are cluttered and too long. I am a work in progress with still a very long way to go. And that has to be Ok. Thanks so much for raising this issue. Timely!
    Oh and can’t wait to see that next card deck next summer.

  • Mary Joe Nicosia

    Hi Colette,
    Thank you for this reading! My son took his life on Sept.5th, and I have come to the realization that I failed him. I did not give him a basis on which to fall back on a place to go to find solace or hope. With no religious back ground he lost hope and ended his life. In August I went thru a breakdown. And came to a realization that I have to forgive myself to move on. I had set up his room as my office but overstuffed it. I need to let go of past thoughts and behaviors in order to move forward and stop putting such a strict time line to see results in my life! Thankyou!
    Namaste, Mary Joe Nicosia

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      Mary Joe I am sure you did not fail your son at all. As a medium that is the one consistent thing I have heard from every child who has taken their own lives. Healing and grief have their own timetables. Just know you are loved and we have heard you here. May you be blessed with some peace and lots of love this holiday season.

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