Clutter…The Bane of My Existence
How many times have you ever said…”If I could just get rid of this pile of (fill in the blank), I’ll feel better”? Or is that just my feeling about nearly every room in my house?
How many magazines do you collect to read “someday”? I have never found “someday” on the calendar…have you?
I’m embarrassed to tell you how many things I’ve printed out to read later, but later never seems to get here.
The question for me is…”what does all this clutter do you your health? Following might be some startling information, or maybe you already know but could use a reminder. Either way, read on.
Clutter is a form of hoarding
As with many mental health classifications, hoarding is a spectrum. Having piles of relatively harmless clutter in your home may not be life threatening as some hoarding habits are, but can be stress inducing.
Pleasant topic, I know. Death cleaning is a Swedish concept that actually makes a lot of sense. The idea is that you clean and declutter in preparation for your death so that your loved ones aren’t burdened with the chore after you’re gone. It’s actually a thoughtful approach to how we live. If you keep things for no other reason than you just don’t want to part with them, you end up with a lot of stuff your family will have to dispose of after you’re gone. Before squirreling away your collectibles, consider whether your loved ones will want to keep them when you are no longer here.
Just in case
When we hold on to things for ‘just in case’ we’re operating in a scarcity mindset. If you refuse to release things you don’t use, you send the message that you don’t have enough and that you are not enough.
Junk is a poor substitute for whatever left the emptiness we try to fill with it. The false sense of security that we get from possessing “stuff” doesn’t last.
Just let go
When we let go of that which no longer serves us, we make space for more of that which does. It isn’t necessarily more ‘stuff’ that will fill that void but possibly new opportunities that were not available before.
What are the benefits of decluttering?
A more peaceful environment
If you’re anything like me, you feel anxious around a lot of clutter. It’s almost like noise to me. I feel much more at ease when my environment is clutter free.
Clutter collects dust and dust mites. If you get rid of the clutter you eliminate some dust and possibly some sneezing.
When you’re in a cluttered environment, your mind is cluttered also. Clean up your environment and you will likely be able to think more clearly.
My experience has been that when I declutter an area, I want to continue doing so throughout my whole house. Once it’s done, I’m a little manic about maintaining it…at least for a while.
I love a neat clean house but getting started is always my biggest hurdle. Just writing about it tonight has made me feel like I want to tackle the job starting first thing in the morning. I’ll see how far I get between meetings tomorrow.
Start with one small area at a time so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I’ll start with the desk in the kitchen. Wish me luck. And by the way…the picture at the top is not of my house. My mess isn’t that bad.
Since June 2019, I decided to hold myself accountable for walking my talk. Several years ago, I was able to take off 135 pounds and essentially save my own life. I regained some of that weight in the last couple of years and I’m working my way back down. I’ve lost over 40 pounds since I began in June and have exercised nearly every day since August.
If you choose to join me on this journey, I hope I am able to impart some nutritional and lifestyle wisdom. Even though I may have gone off the rails temporarily I can still share some of my first hand experience as well as my acquired knowledge and training to help you make the right changes to live your best life.
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If you continue to follow the path you’re on, where will it lead you in six months? a year? Isn’t it time to take a different approach?
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I am a bit of a clutter bug. Not a huge problem but I am stressed now and again by my clutter. I had to sweep all the stuff off my dining room table. I put them all in a basket to be sorted later on. Now I have to hold myself to sorting it . I have the potential of it becoming a bigger problem if I don’t take care.
I am the same way Lily. Sometimes I just have to remove the junk from a surface and go through it later. Unfortunately, later is an elusive concept 🙂
I have managed to create a dramatic mess, and I have no idea how to get started on decluttering. Needless to say, I truly don’t like looking at that mess!
I’m going to start by taking one small area and start decluttering it. Whatever is there should be either thrown out, given away or put in its proper place. That’s the approach I’m going to take. Let me know how it goes if you choose to tackle your “dramatic mess”. Good luck.
Did you write this for me? 🤣 I’m in the process of doing the death cleaning; we moved to SC from upstate NY in 1994. I have an entire closet full of old receipts from 7 years prior to moving up to current year. I keep thinking I may need then but my granddaughter says otherwise. I can’t imagine what my granddaughter would have to do when hubby and I “leave”. You’ll love the blog I’m working on to post in a few days(
Martha…I really need to do the “death cleaning” too. But first I just need to find the top of my desk so I have a place to work that isn’t the recliner in the den. Good luck and I look forward to your blog.