An Innovative Weight Loss Program
How much clutter do you have in your life? How aware of it are you? Where is it? What type is it? In what ways does it affect you? You might be surprised at how much lighter you feel with just the smallest amount of decluttering.
Physical clutter is usually the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word clutter. Perhaps you are one of the rare souls who has not an iota of physical clutter. For those less fortunate, do you have a single pile or many? Is this a constant state, or do you manage to clear them away only to have new piles accumulate? Do they bother you, or do you no longer even notice them? I truly, deeply, passionately dislike clutter, and for the most part my home and work space reflect that aversion. Yet inevitably there is one small pile on my desk. It might be the paper I’m not quite ready to address or notes for a project not yet ready for implementation. The pile morphs but seems to be there always. Obviously more effort is required on my part if I expect eradication of this eyesore, and I continually promise myself to do better.
Physical clutter may also be reflected in the amount or type of items we possess. I’m not referring to hoarding, which is a different topic entirely. But the human tendency seems to be over-accumulation. Are your closets overflowing, your shelves sagging, or the pantry about to burst? Perhaps it’s time to reassess. I did this with my living room bookshelves. They did not look particularly overcrowded but had begun to ‘feel’ heavy to me. As I wondered why, I realized that it had to do with the choice of some display items rather than the magnitude. Moving a collection of dark leather-bound books to a different room made a huge difference. The shelves looked cleaner and, more importantly, the energy in the room instantly felt tremendously lighter. In that particular circumstance the decluttering required only some rearranging to open up the space. More often the task will require discarding excess or outdated items, and there are some resources below to help you with those steps.
We also experience emotional clutter. Former Buddhist monk Donald Altman describes this as such: “Emotional clutter from the past is like old boxes of emotional stuff that fill up the attic of our minds. If what’s in the attic leaves us feeling perpetually powerless, defensive, betrayed, sad, and unhappy, it can block us from recognizing the good and decent things in life.” Mindfulness can help here. Becoming aware of and then accepting what is occurring emotionally are the first steps to reducing and ultimately clearing that which is weighing you down.
Suffering from mental clutter? Mental clutter is anything that keeps you from thinking straight, and some causes are information overload, expectations, procrastination, or negative feelings. A mala, which is a strand containing 108 beads, is one of the tools that I use to combat this type of clutter. As my fingers progress from bead to bead I generally recite a mantra, but you don’t need to do so. Just breathing deeply while appreciating the tactile sensations of the beads is calming to both the mind and the body.
Psychology Today shares 5 Reasons to Clear the Clutter Out of Your Life, but there are more. No matter the form your clutter takes, your health and well-being will be vastly improved when the clutter in your life is reduced. So why not rid yourself of some physical, emotional or mental clutter? Take the first step today. Lighten up!
A few resources that just might help:
- Common types of clutter
- Organizing tips
- Creative ways to declutter
- Do you have hoarding tendencies?
“Clutter is not just physical stuff, it’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits.” ~ Eleanor Brown
“Outer order contributes to inner calm.” ~ Gretchen Rubin
“Decluttering is infinitely easier when you think of it as deciding what to keep, rather than deciding what to throw away.” ~ Francine Jay
“When home feels out of control, no matter what the reason, unsettledness and anxiety can seep in, and then the chaos becomes internal as well as external.” ~ Myquillyn Smith