Make space for new possibilities. Enjoy the peace of Nature and declutter your Inner World.

When a room becomes cluttered, the cause is more than just physical. Mental clutter doesn’t only apply to our physical environment, it can be just as stressful, if not more stressful than physical clutter.

Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognised as a significant source of stress in our lives.

Recent research reveals that some 39 per cent of Brits admit to feeling stressed when their homes aren’t tidy but 43 per cent say that a clean household gives them a sense of peace and accomplishment. Where do you sit? 

Procrastination is often the key reason people put off a deep clean. It can be daunting where to start your decluttering, and excuses will crop up to delay the task. The best way to tackle the ‘procrastination monster’ is simply to begin. Decide to start and suddenly the task will seem manageable and cathartic.Confront your feelings of anxiety and imagine the environment you want most once your house is in order. The results don’t have to be perfect – accepting ‘good enough’ as a goal will take the pressure off and get you started.

Use this 5-stage gardening metaphor to declutter you home, and mind:

1. Prepare for gardening

  • If clutter has invaded your entire house, don’t tackle the job alone. Get the whole family involved by starting with a room everyone uses and making each person responsible for a section.
  • Letting go’ is about making space for the new. This might be for a creative project, relationship or new opportunity. 
  • Prepare yourself mentally for letting go. Sit down, meditate and write down goals and objectives for your declutter task.
  • Consider what’s holding you back from clearing out your home and visualise how tidy your home will look and feel.

2. Weeding

  • This is the hardest bit! Once you’re in the right frame of mind, set aside some dedicated time with no distractions and favourite music.
  • Watch out for those unhelpful thoughts that make you hang onto stuff. ‘I might need it one day; ‘it was expensive; it might be important’ are just excuses for keeping broken, outdated, useless or ugly items. It’s a sad fact that things do wear out, go out of date, or no longer suit the way you live. Take a photo of it instead!
  • Focus on one task and time yourself – Choose to do one room at a time, in category order – clothes, books, paperwork, photos etc. and finish de-cluttering that area before moving on to another.
  • Go quickly and systematically through your things. Read one old letter, and suddenly you’re down a rabbit hole of nostalgia!
  • First, put your hands on the item and ask yourself if it sparks joy, and if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it (weed-pile).
  • Place what you want to keep in a ‘joy-giving-pile’ and separate out what you want to ‘weed’.
  • Be honest – denial is one of the ways we convince ourselves to keep things. If you’ve not used it in 12 months, you probably never will.

3. Planting

Next step? Now you’ve cleared the weeds, decide where you want your flowers to go. 

  • Take your ‘joy-giving-pile’ and decide where it makes sense to keep or display them.
  • Decide who will receive the ‘weed’ pile. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure – recycle, charity, friend, or tip & write a date in your diary when you will part with each pile. Not in the boot for weeks/months on end!

4. Maintenance

You’ve invested precious time in decluttering and I am sure you’d have preferred to do something else. So, just like you keep up with the weeding and pruning, it’s vital to maintain your organised space to avoid a mammoth task again. Use your time wisely. 

  • Practice the ‘one in, one out’ principle – when you buy something new, recycle or give an item to charity.
  • Paperwork accumulates fast. Avoid clutter by switching to paper-free bank and utility statements. The less you have coming in, the more mental space you have for being present and enjoying life.
  • Build your ‘organisation muscle’ by setting house rules, not just for kids, but for you too. Make chores easy and front of mind by automatically scheduling your daily tasks and this will support your mental well-being.

5. Blooming Marvellous

Just like gardening, after the clearing and seeding process, beautiful colours, new life start to appear. Soaking up the moment with new energy and golden opportunities to shine. 

  • Once the clutter is cleared, seedlings of new aspiration with old and new hobbies emerging. Your home can support any changes as you grow into the new you.
  • With the relief of parting with your unused stuff to a better home (yes a purposeful place for everything, even the bin!), I bet you feel 100 times lighter – so reward yourself. 
  • Commit to buying things you really need and love and what brings you joy – ‘one in, one out’!
  • Well done, you’ve reached the nirvana of housekeeping, and never have to declutter again😊

“Start small and tackle one thing at a time.” It will be worth it…