The very first time I consciously decluttered my whole house was in 2005. I lived in a large three-story apartment with three bedrooms, a downstairs sauna, and a big attic in a small village in Germany. I was doing FlyLady, with a breastfeeding baby I was doing it 15 minutes at a time and it took me a couple of weeks to work myself from the bottom to the top story which was actually the fourth story above my oldest son’s bedroom.
When I finished within one hour a car parked in front of my house and I recognized my old neighbor from a small village way up in the north of the Netherlands get out of the car. I had not seen him in perhaps ten or so years and here was unexpectedly dropping by to visit me. After a nice afternoon and dinner, he politely asked my then Senegalese husband if it was okay to give me a gift. He had just received a large inheritance and wanted to give me a small token of appreciation for being part of his life when he was going through a really rough time. We used to live around the corner from each other and I would wake him up early in the morning and we would have breakfast together and just talk. He had just gone through a bad break up and I was going through a postnatal depression. He would give me books to read on the connection between our food and our mental wellbeing so we basically pulled each other through a mutually rough period, but nonetheless, he made me a gift of €200.
Within the FlyLady group, I had heard that people would find money or get money after decluttering, but this was the first time it had happened to me. I love FlyLady because not having grown up with my mother, and leaving home at sixteen I had not really had great examples of keeping things tidy and clean. Keeping things clean wasn’t an issue but keeping things tidy with three kids in various ages was my biggest challenge and through FlyLady, I learned a routine that has served me for the rest of my life to not only keep things tidy but to leave every room ready to use.
Recently inspired by an audiobook I was listening to, I decided it was time for a big declutter again. It wasn’t that I had a lot of stuff I didn’t love anymore, but I had a lot of stuff that I wasn’t using. A lot of new stuff that I had told myself I would use, but then didn’t which violates the law of use. My favorite teacher of metaphysics, the late Florence Scovel Shinn teaches that when we hold on to things that we do not use it creates stagnation in our bodies and lives. I went through my room again and got rid of amazing stuff including a pair of new silk pants that I loved but that were four sizes too small at least, cat houses my cat refused to get into, and much more basically all brand new. I put everything in the hallway called my cleaning lady to come and pick it up and within 24 hours everything was out of the house and being distributed to people that would make use of these beautiful things.
The trick is to not expect a reward when you declutter and just be open to what wants to come into your life, now that you have made the space to receive it. That’s what I did, I simply had intended to create space for the new, and for the rest, I was living my life not thinking about it. Fourteen days after my big declutter I get a message on Skype from a friend in India. I met Ankur in India in 2015 and he was a friend of a friend of the guy I was in love with, Ankur being the smart businessman that he is came out to meet me and brought me a gift. He gave me the beautiful red and gold sari I wore to surprise my lover at his best friend’s wedding.
View this post on Instagram
We stayed friends ever since and when my business started taking off in 2017 I became Ankur’s client. At first, he gave me his lead designer at an hourly rate, and then we built an oracle app together on iOS and Android. I wanted to repurpose the app for my Inner Union Oracle but because we changed the structure of the site so much, it wasn’t possible and I currently did not have the funds to rebuild an app from scratch, especially because I had recently invested in an app upgrade that was never launched. With everything going on, including my mother’s recent fall and me taking care of her 24/7 I made peace with the fact that there would be no app and let it go.
That same evening Ankur sends me a link on Skype and tells me to go check it out. If I can use it I can have it, me having no clue what ‘it’ is. I click on the link that brings me to the Google Play store and download the app, I log in and the app has the EXACT structure that I need for the Inner Union Oracle that is only accessible through the Inner Learning Circle membership. It has the locked content feature, it has the subscription tiers with paywall and the post categories and subcategories that we use to organize the spiritual teachings that members of the Inner Learning Circle have access to. It’s exactly what I need and it was developed in iOS and Android.
Apparently, a client had commissioned it prior to the pandemic and then left without paying for it. It was literally just sitting on Ankur’s laptop collecting dust. If I had to have this app built it would cost a couple of thousand euros and the best thing yet was that it had never been launched because the client had not made the final payment. Ankur’s team is currently looking into it, but if they can repurpose it all we need to do is change the language and branding and I have the app that I needed but couldn’t budget in at this time.
How’s that for a five-figure gift from the Universe?
I will be interested to see what will happen in Ankur’s life as he basically has done the same thing I did, he decluttered his laptop, found something no one was using (violating the law of use), and then decided to gift it to me which again shows how smart of a businessman he is. The app was basically already paid for, whatever the guy still owed him was probably profit as they work with payment per project milestone. I would have never commissioned a new app because, to be honest apps hardly ever earn their money investment back, especially if they are free apps. Most app owners will not cash in on having an app unless it can lead to in-app or on-site purchases. By offering me the app, Ankur can bill me the redesign and development costs for customizing the app and all future app upgrades because apps can become outdated as well, as all technology eventually does. This way the app can continue to generate him money, which it doesn’t collecting dust on his laptop.
There’s a magic in decluttering that unlocks miracles as my story shows you, energy can simply flow more efficiently through our lives when we let go of things that we no longer use. There’s a certain fear that comes along with hoarding and although we may not identify ourselves as hoarders when we hold onto things we don’t use we are acting as hoarders, keeping others from using the things we hold onto but don’t use ourselves. Because everything is energy, it’s no wonder that holding onto things we don’t need and don’t use creates stagnation in other areas of our lives.