Finding peace in your home through breathing

We all crave space. Space to be ourselves. Space to be creative. Space to express ourselves. Space to simply be. To find this space, we must first create space within ourselves.

Most of us are constantly and consistently flooded with information and stuff. So much so that we often veer from the path of our most basic needs – connection, love, community, joy – in the name of “getting things done.” The experience of life can feel like a never-ending to-do list. Our homes, no matter how big or small, also bear the heavy energetic burden of all the stuff we are managing. Homes contain more than just our belongings – those walls house our bodies and all of our emotions, habits, thoughts and intentions.

The task of decluttering life’s congested highway within ourselves and our homes can be overwhelming no matter how much of a go-getter we are. If our external environment is a reflection of our internal landscape, most of us would benefit from a deep cleaning. When we get the itch to declutter it is generally a sign that we are ready to work with some unresolved energy. 

Everything, including you, is made up of energy so it makes perfect sense that when your home starts to feel dense, you do as well.

Generally speaking, it is easier for people to tackle the physical clutter first as it is the most pressing. We need to have a clear table to eat meals, an inviting sitting area to relax and a welcoming bed to sleep. But we get comfortable with a certain amount of clutter. We don’t really notice it. It may even become invisible to the naked eye because our brain starts to see it as the “norm.” And then one day, as if out of nowhere, our space becomes unbearable and we just can’t take it anymore. Feelings begin to surface – anger, frustration, lack, shame, unworthiness – and overwhelm. Consciously or subconsciously, we recognize that something bigger, something deeper, has caused the clutter in the first place. 

Body of work

If we think of our bodies as a temple (they house our emotions, our organs, our desires and so much more) we begin to see the connection between what we are feeling inside of ourselves and how our homes reflect exactly that same feeling. How do we create space within ourselves to get clear? Simply breathing will give us access to feelings that need to come up and out, and be cleared. This allows us to be an open channel for what our hearts desire most. When we create a clear energetic foundation our homes will vibe at the same frequency. Once we feel safe and stable emotionally we can begin to take conscious loving action in our physical space.

I stumbled upon breathwork meditation about 6 years ago and its effect on me would forever alter the course of my life. I actually wouldn’t be writing this article if it weren’t for breathwork. I wouldn’t have become a professional organizer and breathwork teacher if I hadn’t been dragged to a New Year’s retreat in New Mexico all those years ago. After one session, years of bottled up emotions and energetic karma began to literally pour out of me. People began telling me that I looked 10 years younger. They said I was calmer and more clear than they had ever known me to be. 

The more I used my breath as a tool, the easier it was for me to navigate life’s challenges and manage my environment. And let’s face it, life isn’t always roses and unicorns no matter how much personal development work we do on ourselves. I use breathing techniques and breathwork meditation as a healing modality not only for myself but for my clients who are open to the deeper cut of decluttering. You see, it’s never really about the stuff. It’s about the meanings, the judgements and all the feelings we have wrapped up in the stuff.

A few years ago, I worked with a client we will call Sam. He was longing for his romantic partner, however, his living situation was less than ideal. He had relocated to California from his home state of Utah and was couch surfing. Eventually, he settled into a roommate apartment situation with a dear friend and had his very own bedroom. When he called me to help organize his space, it was clear to me that it was about way more than the lack of order on his desk and his mismatched hangers. He was craving connection with a significant other, yet his bedroom offered no space for a partner. There was no space for her to place her toothbrush or hang her coat. 

Breathing room

We started our work together by first doing a breathing session. We called in the energy of love, allowing him to see his partner clearly and we visualized her in his space. Yes, we changed all his hangers, donated a bunch of old books and knick-knacks, got him a few pieces of furniture and a new comforter but, the real magic was Sam creating space for her – first in his heart and then in his physical space. I’m happy to report he met her and they just celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary. When we make space in our hearts and our minds for what we know we deserve we can more easily get our homes on board. The breath helps to clear the clutter blocking us from manifesting.

When we feel restless and heavy there is work to be done. It can be accomplished by simply breathing – trust me. Throw on some music, infuse your air with comforting scents, breathe and begin creating space within you and your home. You deserve every bit of it. 

Essential oil suggestion

I’m a big fan of using scents to help open up the space for meditation and ritual - and yes organizing is a ritual! There is something to be said for ceremonies that have been around for centuries that use scent at the start. Burning a bit of sage and infusing the air with essential oils before a decluttering or breathing session sets the stage in the most simple, yet efficient, way.

I’ve chosen an uplifting and balancing diffusion blend that makes me feel inspired to create space. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.


5 drops each in water:

frankincense = meditative

bergamot = uplifting

clary sage = balancing


3 drops:

grapefruit = joyful

Lili Pettit
Contributor & Founding Member

Hello there. My name is Lili Pettit and I am the founder of Clutter Healing®, Inc. a professional organizing business dedicated to helping clients establish supportive environments both internally and externally. I have built my life around clearing out the negative and unnecessary, finding room for only what serves in positive and productive ways — both in the home and in the body. My positive attitude, clear logic, and focused energy gently guides individuals through a cleansing process to establish a sense of calm, clarity and consciousness in things we call home.

Share Your Thoughts

Helen P 2088543275

January 29, 2019 - 1:31pm

Thank you so much for the suggestion! I come from a line of hoarders and I have made certain rules to keep myself from showing it. I have had to literally move before because the house flow was so terrible. It has taken me a lifetime to learn what triggers me to ignore things and what triggers cleaning sprees. I have noticed that I’m trying to find my ‘cleaning smell"and just can’t seem to hone in on it. Any of it. I have never really used all the synthetic fragrances because I am mildly allergic to them. I’d love to have that one thing that says “fresh laundry” to me or “clean countertops” but maybe that’s broken in my brain.

Lili Pettit

January 31, 2019 - 2:51pm

Thank you Helen for sharing here. I’d love for you to find your perfect scent! While I am not a certified aromatherapy specialist, I have taken the time to smell many, many essential oils in my lifetime. I find that lemon feels clean and lavender is relaxing. I’d suggest that you simply get our there and smell your heart out as I am sure there is a scent that works perfectly for your well functioning brain!  You are not broken! You are perfect.

Teresa M 2129735812

January 23, 2019 - 2:02pm

I understand exactly, the emotions, breathing and recognizing.  My problem is the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness,  confusion, regret….  Every week, if not every day, I look around at the clutter and tell myself, “tomorrow….”.  But that tomorrow never gets here.  Everything I read from the Noteworthy emails make total sense.  I wish I lived close to your office and could become a client.  Keep up the good work and who knows, tomorrow could become my today soon.

Lili Pettit

January 23, 2019 - 5:20pm

Hello Teresa! Thank you for sharing your truth here. The thing that I can share with you from my own personal experience is that you have to break the cycle of the story. Your tomorrow can be right now if you are willing to simply take a few steps toward your clutter free life. It may be opening your mail right away, doing the dishes every night, putting away your laundry immediately after you fold it, recycling all your old magazines, etc. It doesn’t have to be scary. In fact it should be fun! You are in charge of your every moment and with every breath you can begin again. You can work with me virtually as well. The options are endless. Trust that support is all around you.

Susan Everett B

March 24, 2018 - 2:31am

My husband and I made a move from Colorado to Georgia. After we decluttered the house and took carload after carload to Salvation Army, we could breathe. We also loaded three small PODS with STUFF. That stuff came to our new house. Now it feels I’m swimming in a sea of clutter again. Help!

Lili Pettit

January 23, 2019 - 5:24pm

Hello Susan! I understand. When did you decide to start accumulating again? It’s very simple. When we clutter begins to collect, you simply have not done two things:
1. Made a decision about wether or not to keep it.
2. If you are keeping it where does this new item live? We often won’t put things away if it is too challenging to do so!
Sometimes we have to make space for new things to come in by letting older things go. You can do it!

Helen P 2088543275

January 29, 2019 - 1:33pm

Excellent rules!

Lili Pettit

January 31, 2019 - 2:52pm

Thanks Helen!!

Marcy M 1493558468

March 23, 2018 - 7:27am

Wonderful way to integrate a cleansing ritual!I am going to do this! Thank you

Lili Pettit

March 23, 2018 - 11:31am

Hi Marcy! I’m so excited to see how this goes for you! Please check back post cleansing??

Persephanie C

March 23, 2018 - 7:03am

I’ve been meaning to go through my things and do some spring cleaning. I keep putting it off, because I know how big of a mess i’ll make, but i noticed that I feel heavier, my chest feels tighter and I can’t focus.
This article reinforced that I need to do some space clearing/cleaning. Thank you so much!

Lili Pettit

March 23, 2018 - 11:35am

Persephanie, know that you are feeling exactly what you need to be feeling. Let that feeling be the motivation to move you into letting go of what isn’t working in your space any longer.

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