When our surrounding environment is calm and uncluttered, we invariably feel more energetic, positive and in control. Why?
So many reasons!
Clutter means unfinished business. It represents decisions that haven’t been made and things that need to be dealt with – which you may not want to face – and indicates a general lack of self-care.
Constantly looking at clutter creates stress and unease, and your mind becomes full. All of this drains our sense of wellbeing, fills our thinking space and takes our energy away from being present in the moment.
Having less stuff to look at means less chaos for the eye. A more harmonious environment sends good vibes and messages to the brain, which in turn creates a greater sense of wellbeing. This is why we seek beautiful places to go on holiday.
Where do you feel most drained of energy?
I mean the place that makes you feel a heart-sinking heaviness whenever you walk in or think about it. For some it’s the spare room or their bedroom, for others their desk or the garage.
Once you’ve identified it, set a clear goal to tackle it. This is the first step in my Home Declutter Kit process: set a clear objective and make yourself accountable to achieving it within a certain timescale.
Let’s take the desk as an example.
I call this your flight deck, so if it’s in chaos you’re heading for a crash! To clear it, I recommend our Paper declutter set. Use this purple set of cards in conjunction with the green core cards which include the basics such as Recycle it, Keep It, and Action It.
Lay out the cards, set a timer and get decluttering. The Action It card is my favourite because most of our energy drain comes from incomplete actions. These become the ‘nags’ in our heads, constantly reminding us of things we need to do: call to upgrade the broadband, close this account, check that pension is paid, send this to a friend… and so on.
Clear your desk then do the items in your Action It pile – and you’ll have HEAPS more energy!
A little at a time – or one big clear-out?
One approach to decluttering is to take 15 minutes a day to tackle something small, like a drawer or corner. The idea being that this will ease your stress and help you feel a bit more in control. The problem with this is that it becomes like drudgery. Life’s too short and your inner rebel won’t co-operate!
So I’d always recommend a deep purge. Put time aside (take time off if necessary), enlist a friend, use our kit and get on with it! Do it all in one or two days, treat yourself with a reward and then maintain it.
Look after the places that look after you
If that’s just not possible, or your whole house is such a mess that you’re overwhelmed and struggling to cope, just choose one room and make a contract with yourself to keep it tidy and clutter-free.
It could be the bedroom, the place where you rest and rejuvenate – sleep is so important. Some people get lots of enjoyment just from cooking, so they might choose the kitchen. It’s the place where you nurture yourself and your family, so it makes sense to keep it clear to allow you to be creative.
If one room is too much, chose an area where you can see results. It makes sense to value and look after the places that look after you – it’s a mutual exchange.
Keep It Up
At the end of the Creating Calm from Clutter kit guide, I talk about setting house rules, not just for kids, but for yourself. These are about maintaining your space.
If you can manage to do that – whether in your favourite corner or the whole house – you’ll be gifting yourself more time, space and energy. Who doesn’t want that??
Do you find a cluttered space drains you? Does decluttering give you an energy boost? I’d love to hear your thoughts.