Organisation as an act of wellness and self-care – how decluttering can benefit your health!
It may sound like something your mother would say in order to inspire a cleaner bedroom but there is merit to the theory that reducing the clutter in your immediate surroundings can significantly improve your mental health.
So many of us are guilty of hoarding, not to the extent of those people you see on TV with 8,000 dusty magazines stacked in their tiny front room – each pile covered with cats, but we are lured into the material world. Once that bait has been taken we find ourselves with stuff. Stuff upon unnecessary stuff. We become attached to said belongings and find it difficult to convince ourselves that we don’t need a lot of it. It’s called clutter because it does exactly that, it clutters up our homes and our lives, and therefore our minds. Clutter is defined as: “a collection of things lying about in an untidy state”.
What we need to do is to manage our personal space as though it was our head space. Too many thoughts and ideas rushing around our minds makes us incapable of thinking straight and focussing on one thing; all this relates to our surroundings. If there is too much clutter we fail to focus. There is a direct correlation, according to research, between disorder in the home and disorder in the mind.
This isn’t just about ridding yourself of a load of physical objects, it is about feeling good and what researchers believe is the key to clarity, efficiency, and even empowerment.
Disorganisation can lead to our minds being convinced that our work is never done. If your personal environment is clean and clear and there is nothing to be done to make it so, then you are free to concentrate on anything and everything else. Physical clutter bombards our brains with excessive stimulation. It can also create an emotional toll on our lives. If we are living in disarray we feel constantly unnerved and distracted. If we don’t have order in our homes we can begin to suffer from decreased productivity; for example, if you spend time every day looking for things because you can’t remember where you put them, this is a waste of your precious time. If you keep order in the home and things are where they belong, this time-wasting can be avoided and your daily rhythm kept in tune.
Take time out to streamline your space, consider productivity – if you have a work space, keep all the relevant items in that area – you don’t want to be running up and down the stairs each time you need a pen for example. Making your home an organised zone is practicing a very important form of self-care. To be organised is a wonderful shortcut to saving you time, energy, and money.
Organisation enables you to efficiently find what you need and move through your day with ease and freedom because you are ready and prepared. This freedom generates peace and tranquility. Why is a hotel room a relaxing space? It is designed to be streamlined and calm, so why not generate the same aesthetic and ambience in our own homes? Being aware of our personal items is also healthier for our environment as well as our peace of mind, we recognise the power of the word ‘need’, and succumb less to the temptations of the material world but more towards practicality and necessity.
How to go about making order
First of all, don’t try and rearrange your entire home in one swoop. Take it in steps, make a plan of what you are going to do and how to spread the tasks out over a period of days. You don’t want the job of decluttering and organising to become a stressful one as this opposes the nature of it! It can be overwhelming so don’t let the size of the task overcome you and start small – tackle a drawer or one cupboard for example, once that is completed it will inspire you to continue.
Remove items from your life that serve no purpose, give them away, have a garage sale, sell them on eBay, donate them to charity. Make your home a fully functional one and you’ll literally feel the benefits. Once you are in control and have a place and purpose for all your belongings you will start to become far more stringent when it comes to adding more items to your home, you’ll commit to being more intentional and thoughtful about what you bring in.
Preparation and planning are key to creating order in your life. If you know exactly what needs to be done and have a plan for when and how this will be accomplished, you permit yourself time to relax in between these moments. Make sure you have all the essential elements with which to do so in advance. Take care of your tomorrow self by prepping a day in advance. Consult your calendar so you can select your outfit ahead of time, prepare meals, confirm appointments, and pack your bag with your necessities.
You don’t have to be a naturally organised person in order to achieve this, you just have to follow some simple disciplines. Organisation delivers an opportunity to create order and tranquility in our homes and our lives. All you need to do is start, you’ll thank yourself for it.
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