I was in the Army, many years ago (a far cry from what I am doing now!) and one of the best things I learned during my military training is to de clutter my space on a regular basis. Today, working with people to help them achieve health and balance in their lives, I realise even more how important it is to have your environment cleared of clutter…
There is no doubt that there is a mental and emotional cost to clutter. Messy, chaotic homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed, whether you are aware of it or not a cluttered environment can make you feel frustrated and tense. For the minority however, some find comfort in chaos and that’s okay too, however if you are someone who suffers from anxiety symptoms and is feeling the effects of stress then a clear home and work space can really help.
It is amazing how we get used to a reduced space. It is so easy to build up clutter when life is built around being busy. We store up stuff to deal with ‘later’ because you don’t have time…..or you really love that dress even though you haven’t worn it for years as it doesn’t fit any more!…. perhaps you feel like you have no energy…… or it feels too overwhelming to even start de cluttering your space.…. maybe you just throw everything into a draw so its out of sight out of mind – sound familiar!
Your home may not be the stereotypical pigsty, but clutter can seriously affect how you feel about where you live or work. It is rarely seen as a source of stress in our lives, but just notice how you feel about your space at home or work.
Do you have a messy home or workspace that ‘stresses’ you out? Or a place of peace and calm?
We live in a society of excess and are in the midst of a clutter culture, we either collect clutter or throw away clutter very often our ‘stuff’ cannot be digested by the planet earth. Many of us are driven by commercialism and the latest celebrity trends, buying stuff we may not need with very little regard of the impact this has on ourselves as well as the planet. Well isn’t it time to change?
We live in a throw away society and you are probably wondering why I am encouraging you to de-clutter! Well in order to create balance and clarity, first we have to create some physical space in your life. Once you free up some space you become more aware of what your space means to you.
In other words, reducing your clutter reduces your stress, reduce your stress and you reduce the need to have more in the first place.
When you feel the difference in having your living and work spaces clear from extra stuff, you will feel so much better. You may even find yourself buying with extra thought as you won’t feel the need to fill up your space again!
However, it is important to de-clutter with awareness. Recycle clothes, give to charity shops, perhaps your old towels could go to veterinary practices, books to doctor surgeries, there is someone out there who needs what you have.
Introduce 3 new rules into your life to prevent you becoming a clutter slave.
- Only buy what you need with the occasional what you really want.
- Buy what can be re-cycled.
- For every new purchase you, first clear space and let go of something else.
Here is my de-clutter challenge to you…
De-clutter challenge – Week one
Empty out your junk drawers
Recycle old flyers, dried out plastic bands, old bills, old batteries, old shoe laces. Let go of trinkets that you don’t put on show, old cables, wires, adapters that you no longer have use for…. in fact get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months.
Clean out your TV stand
Clear out any old VHS tapes or DVD’s that you no longer need or want, make the TV space cable free, tidy up loose cables.
Go through your paper pile
Recycle magazines or newspapers that you no longer read or which are out of date, pay bills then tear them up and throw away. Opt in for paperless billing online.
Clear out any books that have been read and you know that you won’t read them anymore – donate them. You could even go as far as organising your book case into subject and size!
Clean off your dining room table
One day it’s clean and the next day it’s as if it turned into an open filing cabinet – sound familiar? Move the laptops, homework, and loose sheets of paper. Keep your dining or kitchen table clear for eating during meals, not a dumping ground for ‘stuff’ to pile up.
De-clutter challenge – Week two
Purge your kitchen cabinets
Do two cupboards at a time (or all if you want too!) so its not so overwhelming. Clear away any old packets of food that are out of date. Organise your tins into one cupboard shelf, your packet foods into another, sauce jars, oils, and seasonings into another. All your crockery in one place, your saucepans and pans in another. All cleaning products under the sink, your cutlery in one draw and knives in another…you get the picture.
Purge your fridge and freezer
Throw away items that are out of date. Organise your freezer into sections; vegetables in one tray etc. Arrange your fridge into the appropriate sections; cheese in one section, milk in the door section, vegetables in the veg tray…you get the drift.
Clean out your handbag or wallet
Clear out old receipts, notes, or rubbish. Have only the essentials in your bag or wallet.
Purge your make up bag or drawer
Organise your make up into sections; lipsticks in one place, foundation in another and so forth. Throw away anything that is out of date.
De-clutter challenge – Week Three
Throw away any worn out shoes! Only buy a new pair of shoes when you have thrown or donated an existing pair. You can only wear one pair at a time!
Purge and organise your wardrobe
Let go of any clothes that you have not worn in a year (taking into account seasonal clothing). Organise your wardrobe into types or colours. Put all your shirts together, your dresses or trousers in one place and you could go even further and then put all the matching colours together in each section! Let go of items that no longer fit – go on you can do it!
Purge and organise your chest of drawers.
Let go of items that are worn out or no long fit. Organise your drawers so you have all your underwear in one, socks and tights in another, tops in another. Fold the items neatly so they are easily found.
Get rid of unwanted jewellery, trinkets, ornaments
Let go of any items that you have stuffed away as you don’t like them, what’s the point in keeping items that you don’t care for, wear or even want?
Clear out your bathroom cupboards
Let go of any empty bottles of shampoo or shower gel. Organise your cupboard so you have your hair products in the same place, body wash in another etc. You can probably see my military training coming through!
De-clutter challenge – Week four
Discard Kids Unused Toys
Depending on how old your kids or grandkids are, this will either be a hard day or an easy one. If the toys are in box and you know they haven’t been used in forever, those are fair game to put up for donation or sale. If they’re laying around the house, ask the kids if they want them or not. If not, get rid.
Clean out your car
Get out that vacuum and get to work. First, get rid of the empty bottles, old tissues, crumped receipts, and whatever else you find. Then bang out the matts, clean out the compartments, and scrub down the interior with non-toxic car cleaner.
If you have done all this then you are on your way in creating a clutter free life!
If you need help with stress, anxiety or depression or need some focus in life, I can help you find that space you need to create balance and health in your life, relationships or business.