How Clutter Is Affecting My Health?
You may not have given much thought as to whether the stuff in your home could affect your physical and emotional well-being. However, there is a clear link. But happily there is a way through the mess and the stress to more calm and content. Our London Professional Organiser & Declutter Coach, Craig, shares this inspiring blog post about protecting your health and your home.
Over to you, Craig…
Our health is the most important thing to us as human beings. We should look after it as much as we can. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just mean eating healthy and doing juice cleanses, our bodies react significantly to our surrounding physical environments and our brains control how our body feels at all times. If our brain is stressed, our bodies will be affected too. A cluttered home contributes to stress which has adverse effects on our physical and emotional well-being, so why do we often ignore the signs?
What is clutter?
I don’t believe that clutter can be defined as it is seen differently from one person to the next. What I see as clutter may not be for the next person. Some people see themselves as collectors of rare items, some may want to keep memories from years past to reminisce, others enjoy shopping and cannot let go of items as they feel it will increase worth. It boils down to having discipline, knowing what to keep and what not to keep. As I always say to my clients, ‘Don’t let physical belongings control you, you should control them.’
Easier said than done in most cases, but decluttering and organising your life is a process. It is not an easy task and it requires a lot of thought, motivation and emotional support.
Why have I accumulated clutter?
Clutter is sneaky and slowly creeps in on you, before you know it, it has taken over your life, slowly impacting your emotional and physical wellbeing.
Many people do not realise why or how they reached a point of owning excess stuff. They find themselves using 10% of their home whilst the other 90% is used by the things they never use. Being organised has more to do with one’s psychology than the things that take over their lives. It is a build up over time of our emotional state and the need to hold on to something, clinging to memories from the past, thinking more things mean more worth, thinking it will fill a gap in our lives, fearing change or failure.
It is important to realise what is causing the clutter in the first place in order to make a change for the better and take back control!
Is clutter affecting my health, if so, how can I tell?
If you’ve ever found yourself being unable to find something, losing focus, eating more, feeling you have a ‘brain overload’, feeling more anxious, getting colds often, feel stuck in the past or find yourself often procrastinating about the future, then clutter may be taking over your life and you need to take a stand.
Increased stress levels lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, dizziness, insomnia, feeling tired and overeating. Emotionally you will feel more anxious, irritable and have a lowered self-esteem. Mentally you will find yourself worrying, finding it hard to make decisions and maintain concentration.
Dust tends to gather more in a cluttered home. You will find yourself sneezing a lot, being susceptible to colds more often and feel like the air is heavy. Ever noticed after a big clean that the room feels lighter?
I have witnessed how a cluttered and disorganised home can damage relationships, cause stress, chaos and overwhelm. It reduces productivity, increases anxiety and regret, having an ‘I should have’ instead of an ‘I did’ mentality and affects your financial stability.
How can I get rid of clutter?
The first step is taking accountability, finding the motivation and if you need to, the support of a professional to help. Take some time to yourself, gather your thoughts and make the first step. Imagine your ideal home and life, set that as a goal and work to achieve that goal. Kick that ‘I should have,’ ‘I want to but,’ voice in your head to the curb, you are capable and you can do it!
My biggest advice is to start small, then work your way up. It’s always great to practice and notice the difference.
Make a list of places to start and go down that list, focusing on small manageable areas every day. Don’t feel disappointed if you are unable to complete the tasks you have set yourself, it is a process and does take time. Find your balance and what works for you and your lifestyle.
One simple thing you can do today to get started is clearing your wardrobe. If it is overflowing with clothes but you hardly wear any of them, leave a ‘to donate’ bag/basket next to it. Each time you try something on and it no longer fits or you know you will never wear it again, put it in the bag. Do not put it back in! It no longer belongs there! When the bag is full, take a it to a charity shop or clothes donation point. You can even sell them too if you want to make some extra money.
The final hurdle
Once you have decluttered your life you will see that you feel lighter, the air is softer to breathe, you can focus on the present, work to achieve your goals and you can even use that room you could never use before. You will take better care of yourself, you will harness more patience and your energy will rise! Remember decluttering takes time, it is a process, you are good enough and you can do it.
Decluttering your home and life isn’t always easy and if overwhelmed has kicked in for you, it might be time to call in the professionals. A Tidy Mind operates in London, Yorkshire, Midlands and Glasgow. Visit the main site for more info or email [email protected] for general enquiries.