When we are stressed or anxious having a calm environment can go a long way in helping us feel better. It might seem trivial, but think about it for a minute: if we have a home that is tidy and somewhat organized, we are going to be more likely to relax because we won’t be focused on the things that need to get done around the house. Tidy and organized does not by any stretch of the imagination mean spotless. It’s about not being overwhelmed when you look at your surroundings. Similar to how things in our house have a ‘place,’ our mind can also compartmentalize things. While we do want to be careful we aren’t avoiding, dividing our worries and working through them one at a time can be a helpful and efficient coping strategy. I would invite anyone to step back and take a look at your living surroundings: if we are living in chaos, it may make it easier for our mind to be in chaos. Here are a few ideas for de-cluttering your personal space.
1) Use the things you have. If you are not using it, but it is taking up space in your surroundings maybe you need to evaluate whether you really need it.
2) Find a home for things. If there is something in your house that doesn’t have a place to go, see point one.
3) If things in your space are cluttered, that can be a daunting task to deal with. Try de-clutter in baby steps. Set a timer for 10 minutes and work on organizing. Once the timer goes off, you’re done. It won’t take long before you start seeing your efforts pay off.
4) Tackle one room at a time, one area at a time. Maybe that means one drawer. Break your de-cluttering into smaller chunks so it seems more doable.
5) Don’t forget your closet. Mine sometimes looks like a bomb went off in it. That is not particularly helpful for getting ready in the morning and can cause unnecessary stress. Go through your clothes and weed out things that you don’t like or don’t fit. If you haven’t worn it for a season, you will likely not miss it.
6) To stay on top of things try the “something in, something out’ approach. For every new item you bring into your house, whether its clothes or a household item, an item you already own either needs to be donated, recycled or thrown out. This can really help prevent clutter in the first place.