There is no time like now to start de-cluttering your life.
With a new baby, it seem as though our house has gotten a hundred times smaller as he has brought into our world a lot of stuff. We are grateful to family and friends for hand-me-downs and new gifts, however I feel like our house is now cluttered. To you seasoned parents, I am sure you are laughing because you know that clutter is going to get worse. Clutter not only takes up space, but it can also be costing you money, and even affecting your health.
Here are some ways that clutter can cost you money and could affect your health.
- Lost bills. Mail that does not get sorted leading to late or unpaid bills affecting your credit score, or even incurring late fees.
- Storage units. This is something that I never understood. If things need to be stored in a storage unit, indefinitely, then how often are you really using them, and why do you still own them for that matter?
- Extra stress. Not being able to find something when you need it will raise your cortisol level. Not to mention having too much clutter might limit who you will allow to visit your home. Friends visiting can help relieve stress, but not if you have to clean the house first.
- Falls, twisted ankles, stubbed toes, etc. Stepping over clutter in the middle of the night while the room is dark can lead to injury if you’re just too groggy to remember something was in your path.
- Buying duplicates. We’ve likely all done it at some point. You can’t remember if you already own something, or have any more of it, and you purchase another just because you couldn’t find the original.
It is easy to allow clutter to happen, however it can be difficult to clean up. Slowly cleaning up the clutter is not only good for you mentally, but also physically. Often times our surroundings are a reflection of what is going on inside. For me, clutter on the outside means junk is going into the body in some way. Weight can be affected by clutter too. Often times gym equipment is covered with clutter rather than being used. Clutter can also be a protection mechanism as we want to keep people away so we clutter our environment making it a less desirable place for people to visit.
De-cluttering is a daily task that we all need to do. We all need to de-clutter our houses, our bodies, and our minds. Start with one room, and slowly work your way around the house. In my closet I will turn all of my clothes inside out on my birthday, and if by my next birthday they are still inside out then it is time to get rid of them. There have also been times where I have turned books around on the shelf so that by, again, a certain date if I have not turned the book around because of use then it is time to donate it.
De-cluttering our bodies often takes the form of a detox, or cleanse. But you don’t have to go to this extreme. You can de-clutter by paying attention to what you are eating; eating more whole foods rather than packaged or processed foods for example. Or, if you need the quick foods then look for items that have fewer ingredients. Also, it might be time to clean out the refrigerator and pantry throwing away any expired foods while wiping down the surfaces. I have always found it easier to keep up with eating more whole foods when the refrigerator is clean.
And finally, lets de-clutter our minds. With our smartphones we can be constantly connected to everything: social media, the news, the world, and other people. There are positives to these things, but there are also a lot of negatives. Too connected means we are living our lives online rather than in person. It is scary that children gravitate towards phones, ipads, and computers, but they see their parents on them all the time. Instead set an example for them by taking time to meditate, or at least do a bit of deep breathing. Before you go to bed, spend 5 minutes at night meditating to help get deeper sleep and better relaxation. Again, start your day with 5-10 minutes of meditation and deep breathing. The calmer the mind the better the day goes.
Clutter comes into our lives without us even knowing it. However, it can take practice and hard work to declutter. Lives with less clutter lead to more experiences, more laugher, and more joy. I challenge you to start de-cluttering your world, and to keep the clutter out for financial and health reasons. This reminds me, I have to go declutter my sock drawer.