Stop Tolerating Clutter Part I

Clutter can be one of the biggest stressors in our lives. Seeing piles of clothes, unopened junk mail, loads of laundry, a messy desk, and other disarray causes many people to feel anxious and overwhelmed, sometimes even depressed. It’s hard to achieve a sense of calm when there’s chaos all around, in the form of physical eyesores. That’s why it’s important to corral the clutter in your life. Taking steps to get control of the disorder is the start of creating calm. Read on, and I’ll tell you more about that.

Clutter and stress

Each person’s definition of clutter is different. We all have our comfort level when it comes to the amount of stuff we want to have around us. It’s when you begin to have a negative reaction to all of this input that it becomes a problem. Whatever that point is for you, when you finally reach it, then you’re dealing with clutter. Usually, this breaking point arrives because your life is affected by the amount of disarray you’re facing. Whether you’re feeling closed in and agitated or you’re physically constrained by the mess, you have a problem that needs to be addressed.

Benefits of clutter control

There are so many benefits that come from controlling the clutter in your world. You’ll likely feel an increased sense of energy because you’ll spend less time looking for things you’ve misplaced. You will no longer feel as overwhelmed emotionally by your stuff. This can lead to greater productivity and getting more done. There are even studies that show that begin to make improvements in other areas of their lives such as diet and exercise once the “weight” of excess clutter is lifted from them. Taking action in this one aspect of your life can have tremendous impact on other areas. Finally, you’ll be much closer to achieving the calm you seek once you start to pare down your “stuff”.

How to get started

The hardest part of ridding your life of clutter is getting started. This is especially true if you’ve lived in chaos for a long time. The good news is that this problem is relatively easy to tackle once you overcome your initial resistance. The best place to start is the one that is causing you the most stress. For example, if coming home to your messy living room makes the idea of relaxing impossible; begin to clear things out in that room. Having a place to unwind at the end of the day might just be the catalyst you need to motivate you toward clearing out other cluttered places. It’s also a good idea to enlist help in order to make the process more manageable and less overwhelming. Have your family or roommate pitch in or consider hiring a professional organizer if you live alone. Get rid of anything you honestly don’t use and find a “home” for everything else. When you cut down on the amount of stuff and put things in their place, you’ll find life becomes a whole lot less hectic.

These are just a handful of suggestions for minimizing the clutter. I’ll cover more in the weeks to come. Now that you understand the impact clutter can have on your stress levels, you can start to make some changes of your own.

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