Most of us are living in a consumer society, if you are not one of them and live the ‘good life’ – I envy you, I always fancied a life the same as Barbara and Tom! Overall, humans in western society have too much stuff, whether it be through choice or because of others giving us presents and gifts with little purpose.
Your possessions could be holding you back from genuinely enjoying your home and in some cases affecting your physical and mental health. We can become immune to the number of items we accumulate over time because we have grown accustomed to it always being there. Essentially it becomes a part of your living environment and we begin to accept the place of clutter in our homes.
The stresses and strains of modern life can take a massive toll on our health. In fact, according to NHS Digital, one-sixth of people in England will have a mental health problem at any given time. Extra stuff is stressful. Not being able to put your hand onto something you need or want right at that moment makes life stressful and takes up your time trying to find it.
Dust and pet hair tend to collect all over the house, especially on unused items you have sitting around. Even if these spaces are ones you do not use often, you could still be exposed to allergens and other impurities. When you declutter, you remove the places that dust and allergens can gather, make it easier to clean efficiently your home is a physically healthier environment to live in.
Decluttering is less about cleaning and tidying up and more about focusing on what really matters to you. The practice of choosing what stays and what goes encourages you to make active decisions about what belongs in your life right now – living firmly in the present rather than hanging onto the past. In this, we are given the opportunity to release not only material clutter but emotional too.
If the constant stream of things to pick up around your home leaves you feeling anxious, you are not alone. Objects have the power to do just that. In our hyper-connected, over-stimulated world, it is no surprise that people are stressed. Though there are some factors we cannot control, there are ways to create an environment that promotes a calm, centred state of mind. This is a key part of Environmental Wellness which I discuss further in my Wellness Training course and having a clutter-free environment and creating a clear space for a clear mind is easier than you might think.
Here are my top 5 tips for making your environment clutter-free.
1. Ask for help.
If it feels too daunting to declutter yourself, ask for help from a family member or close friend. Even if they do not know what you want to keep, they can help with moral support (and maybe some handy tea-making).
2. Only do it if you feel up to it.
Just because decluttering would be good for you, does not mean that you must do it all right now. Only do it when you feel up to it, for as long as you want to—and remember, once you start it’s difficult to stop!
3. Set a few rules.
If you think it is difficult to know what to keep and what to get rid of, try to come up with a few rules. For example, choose to get rid of everything that you have not used in the last year; or maybe all the clothes you have not worn in the last six months. Marie Kondo, who has written four books on decluttering, has a rule of ‘does it spark joy?’, if not then maybe it is time to let go of it.
4. Share the love.
Just because you decide you do not need something does not mean that someone else cannot benefit from it. You can pass old clothes on to other people or take them to a charity or sell things online and maybe make a few pounds along the way.
5. Do not move things to another room.
It might seem logical to declutter one room at a time, but this can result in you moving items from one place to another and never really sorting the clutter out. It is a good idea to work on one type of clutter at a time. For example, clothes; gather them up from every part of the house then sort through them in one place, putting away what you are keeping and bagging up what will be heading to recycling, charity shop or to sell on.
If you do not LOVE it, USE it, or NEED it, then it is clutter and it is time to take the steps to clear it out and reap the physical and mental wellness benefits once you have.
For more support with your environmental wellness and how to gain a balance in all aspects of your lifestyle, head to my Wellness Training to learn how to create better habits, improve your wellness and live a happier healthier life.
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