Clutter is bad for you… it saps your energy, wastes your time and makes for extra stress in life. Polarity therapist Jane Seaman explains how and offers you help in achieving balance in your life in the form of a four-week challenge to declutter your environment and your head
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 declutter 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.
For a minority of people there is comfort in chaos – and that’s OK. However, we’d hazard a guess that if you’ve been drawn to reading this blog you are one of the majority of people who suffer from too much clutter. There is both a mental and emotional cost to clutter. Messy, chaotic homes and workplaces leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Whether you are aware of it or not, a cluttered environment can make you feel frustrated and tense.
Yet it is amazing how we get used to a reduced space (due to all our stuff). It is so easy to build up clutter when life is built around being busy. We store up stuff to deal with ‘later’ because we don’t have time… but I really love that dress even though I haven’t worn it for years as it doesn’t fit any more!… I have no energy… it feels too overwhelming… I just throw everything into a drawer so it’s 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. Just notice how you feel about your space at home or work. Do you have a restful home or an inspiring place of work or a messy home or workspace that ‘stresses’ you out?
We are a society of excess and are in the midst of a clutter culture, we either collect clutter or throw away clutter that cannot be digested by the planet earth. We’ve had decades of commercialism and buying stuff we may not need with very little regard to the impact this has on ourselves as well as the planet. Well, isn’t it time to change?
Gone are the days of creating something that will last… our society is based on consumerism, a throwaway society. And you are probably wondering why I am encouraging you to de-clutter! Well, to create balance in life, first we have to create some space. Once you create space you become more aware of what your space means to you and amazingly you become clearer about the choices you make. Try it!
In other words, reducing your clutter reduces your stress, reduce your stress and you reduce the need to have more in the first place. Once you feel the difference in having your living and work spaces clear from extra stuff, you will feel so much better. You may find yourself buying with thought and perhaps you won’t want to fill up your space again!
De-clutter with awareness. Recycle cloths and items to charity shops, perhaps your old towels could go to veterinary practices, books to doctors’ 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 recycled.
- For every new purchase you make, clear space and let go of something else.
Say goodbye to stress and introduce some peace and calm back into your life…
JANE’s NEW YEAR DE-CLUTTER CHALLENGE
Here is my de-clutter challenge to you… to get your head space off to a good start in 2019.
- Empty out your junk drawers
Choose one to do at a time… recycle old flyers, dried-out plastic bands, old bills and batteries… old shoe laces… trinkets that you don’t put on show… spare cables… wires… adapters that you no longer have use for… in fact, anything you haven’t used in the last six months.
- Clean out your TV stand
Clear out any old VHS tapes or DVDs 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 are out of date… file away important bill, pay them or tear them up and throw them away. Opt in for paperless billing online.
- Rationalise your bookcase
Clear out any books that have been read and you don’t need them any more – give them away. You could even go as far as organising your bookcase 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. 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.
- Purge your kitchen cabinets
Do two cupboards at a time. 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 drawer and knives in another… you get the picture.
- Spruce up your fridge and freezer
Throw away items that are out of date. Organise your freezer into sections; vegetables in one tray, bread in another etc 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.
- Refresh 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.
Throw away any worn-out shoes! Only buy a new pair of shoes when you have thrown out or donated another pair. You can only wear one pair at a time, one for every general occasion.
- 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 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 or 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!
- 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 a 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 lying around the house ask the kids if they want them or not. If not, get rid.
- Organise toys that are left
Designate a play area or toy bin where all the toys will go from now on. If you already had something like this, enforce it again at the peril of losing their playtime privilege. The toys may belong to the children, but they’re still toys under your roof.
- Clean out your car
Get out that vacuum and get to work. First, get rid of the empty bottles, old tissues, crumpled receipts, and whatever else you find. Then bang out the mats, clean out the compartments, and scrub down the interior with non-toxic car cleaner.
This should get you started. Keep up the good work… and well done!
Jane Seaman, polarity therapist
If you need help with stress, anxiety or depression or need some focus in life, go here to find out more: www.janeyseaman.com. To find out more about polarity therapy or to book an appointment with Jane click here