Turning Point//

How Decluttering My House Decluttered My Mind

Living with less can give you more

I’m not considered the tidiest person in the world. I like leaving my magazines on the coffee table within arm’s reach, the blanket on the sofa is usually thrown on one side and I tend to keep keys, paid bills and trinkets on the small shelf in the hallway. But for three months I wasn’t just keeping a few things here and there, rather I was cluttering my home little by little until it became messy and overstuffed. Long working hours and some emotional problems in my relationship just made me too tired most of the time and I started postponing decluttering my place until it needed a full-on cleaning and hard work.

But contrary to popular belief among my generation, cleaning my home did more than taking care of the piles of clothes and things – it revived me and gave me strength to move forward and regain control of my life.   

Getting your closet in order will clear your mind

Closets tend to be the secret hideout of our mess and it’s not unusual that they get neglected. But actually, no matter how hidden it is from your view, the moment you open it a closet its mess will weigh on you and unconsciously cause you discomfort.Make some plan on how to organise your clothes and things by starting from deciding what to give away and what to keep. There are many charities which could use a fresh batch of clothes and help someone in need will only make you feel better about yourself.

Clean your home office space

Any place where you work from home is your office. If you don’t have one, it’s time to consider designating a space solely for this purpose because it will give you a sense of order and structure. But if you have a working area and it’s currently overrun with paper, pens, clipboards and even chocolate wrappers, you should’ve sounded the alarm at the first sign of trouble finding anything you need on your desk. This kind of chaos will only make you nervous and more stressful, so take a garbage bin and start sorting through that pile of papers.

One of the greatest solutions is to buy a cork board and install it above your working area, so you can pin all the papers and keep them in front of you. Consider using mugs for pens and small bowls for small items. Fresh flowers or a potted plant will bring lightness and refresh the environment, giving you a boost of positive energy to start the working day.

Minimalistic style for maximum effect

The relationship we have with our space is closer than you may think. It’s all part of the vicious circle emotional state – anxiety – clutter, and not necessarily in this order. Sometimes you create a mess because you are upset or depressed, and sometimes it’s the other way around. So in order to avoid giving in to this stressor, try decorating in the minimalistic style and leave more space so you can move and feel the real size of your place. Take account of all excess things in your home and use super cheap storage solutions to keep them out for a while.

Ideally, use this newly freed space to practice yoga or any exercise you prefer since physical activity is not only good to keep you in shape, but also to raise dopamine levels and your mood. Even dancing once in awhile to your favorite song would elevate your spirit and improve your mental well-being.

Free yourself from materialism

It’s impossible to stop being dependent on things. But you can try making a selection between the things you really need and the ones you just obsessively collect and hoard. This is beneficial for your wallet because you will spend less money buying ten similar earrings, for example, and then you can spend it on something more fulfilling like going to a cinema, concert or buying a book. Also, you’ll stop piling things up in your apartment and consequently building up the anxiety and discomfort. It’s much better to change the old with the new, like replace the sofa or coffee table, or even use multi purpose furniture like a stool to be used for sitting or holding drinks, depending on the occasion.

Lastly

When you realize you started and finished something, you will be encouraged by that accomplishment to move forward and avoid falling back into the routines which created the mess in your home and yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself, but start small and one step at a time. Let it all become a routine and a normal part of your life. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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