Clutter can come in many forms.
For simplicity's sake, I'm going to break it down into two main types: physical and mental.
Each has a heavy impact on your stress levels. They both are likely to play a role in keeping you from creating calm in your life. Therefore, I think it's important to take a look at each type, definite it, and examine ways both can negatively affect you.
Physical clutter is easy to understand. This is the kind of mess you can see. It's the piles of clothing, papers, dishes, and more that are strewn around your home or office.
It's the overabundance of things you've been holding onto for years because they're sentimental or you might use them one day.
Physical clutter can even be the many tabs you keep open in your computer browser or the tons of media you consume each day. These things can be seen. They consume large amounts of your resources such as time, space, and money.
Mental clutter isn't as simple to define. It involves the overload of information, along with nagging emotional issues, that overwhelm your mind.
This type of internal congestion can consist of things such as your never-ending to-do list, negative internal dialogue, relationship demands, old grudges, or habits that don't serve you.
The source of such mess usually lies in emotions like fear, regret, worry, guilt, or shame. Identifying the types of mental issues that are cluttering your brain can lead to purging yourself of them.
Effects of Clutter
Ridding yourself of clutter, both physical and mental, can truly increase your feelings of happiness and calm. It can lead to less stress and overall greater well-being. The negative effects of too much clutter are astounding.
Decreased mental health is one of the biggest issues to come out of surrounding yourself with all sorts of clutter.
Too much physical clutter impairs visual processing. It can be incredibly distracting to see lots of piles and messes in your surroundings, leading you to miss cues regarding people's emotions and other important information.
Your clarity and peace of mind are adversely affected by excess mental clutter.
You simply can't think straight when you've got a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions swirling around in your head.
Get Started In Clearing The Physical Clutter
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.
Finally, get rid of anything you honestly don't use and find a "home" for everything else.
Get Started In Clearing The Mental Clutter
Finding calm can be next to impossible when you have a million thoughts swirling around in your head. It's stressful when you have so many details going on inside your brain.
These rambling, disorganized thoughts are always with you and it can seem like there's no escape.
Here's one simple trick that can help you to overcome that helpless feeling: It's called a brain dump, and it truly is as easy as it sounds.
Once you learn this technique, you'll no longer be forced to deal with the overwhelm of an overcrowded mind.
A brain dump is simply taking what's in your brain and transferring it to another place. This place can be onto a piece of paper or into digital form like a computer app or word processing program.
What's important is that you clear your mind of all the clutter so that you can think clearly again.
Dumping the excess thoughts and information from your brain to a different storage medium frees up valuable space. It also unloads a heavy burden. You'll feel a lot freer once you've experienced this process.
Write down or type out everything that's in your head. Keep going until you can't think of anything else.
Then come back to the information later to categorize and organize it in a way that makes more sense.
This is good to do on a weekly basis. You can do it more or less frequently, depending on need. You'll find you feel more refreshed and can think more clearly after your brain dump session.
Questions To Consider: Awareness is always the first step in every transformation journey, which area of clutter do you struggle with most? Physical or mental?
What's ONE step you can take this week to start to clear the clutter?
Action Steps: Jot this down in your Creating Calm Journal and share it with someone who can hold you accountable.
Still need your journal?
Click the image below to grab your Creating Calm Journal - it contains a Decluttering Plan that you can use to kickstart this process today!