Okay. We’re a few weeks into January and now is the prime time for a few things to happen that make us feel a little bit down and that maybe this is not going to be our year. Don’t worry, we’re here to make sure that isn’t true and to help keep you in control.
For one thing, now is the time 80% of people’s New Year’s Resolutions have gone out the window. So, if you are one of these people, don’t beat yourself up about it as you are in good company. Plus, as we talked about in some of our most recent blogs, we don’t mess with NYRs anyway. For the most part they are too superficial and short term.
However, an issue that is definitely worth paying attention to at this time of year, is clutter. Believe it or not, clutter is the silent, invisible killer. And while this sounds dramatic, we’re actually being more literal than you might first believe. Read on if you want to live… and be happier and more productive.
5 Ways Decluttering Improves Your Wellbeing
1) Mental Wellbeing / Stress – Cave man brain
Let’s start off with the most primal reason to declutter. Your caveman (or cavewoman) brain can’t handle clutter. It’s instinct, programmed in for survival. Predators hide behind things. Is that your cat behind that stack of clutter in the corner or a sabretooth?
Logic tells us it’s nothing dangerous, but subconsciously there is stress brewing that drains away energy from other areas. So, grab your spear and start digging through your clutter jungle.
2) Physical Wellbeing
Pre-historic predators aside, a much smaller but ultimately much more realistic threat to your health could certainly be lurking amidst the mess. What is clutter after all, but stuff that is sitting there gathering dust – with the potential for germs and even mould to build up along with it. This can lead to asthma and other more serious conditions.
Be vigilant, we get so used to our clutter we don’t even see it anymore, and we definitely can’t see the microscopic particles we breathe in. When you declutter space, you’re also decluttering the air. Piles of old clothes and paper are among the worst offenders. Grab some bags and stop by the charity shop, hitting the recycling bins on your way out. Tidy desk, tidy mind.
3) Emotional Wellbeing
While the aim is to make your entire home a peaceful, clutter-free oasis, you have to start somewhere. It’s time to create a tranquil space. This is ground-zero for your new anti-clutter lifestyle. Even if things slip back from time to time in other areas (and they will), this spot is your sanctuary.
Choose a small area, like a kitchen counter or island, a bedside table, or a quiet reading corner for example, and strip out all the clutter. Now carefully choose a handful of special items that genuinely make you feel happy or energised. It could be a book, candle, your pet’s bed, or even nothing at all. Whatever you choose, this little haven will start making you feel better from the moment you complete it.
4) Financial Wellbeing
Put the electric tin opener down! This tip is about stopping clutter ever entering your home in the first place. We’re all prone to the odd impulse buy, and while we may not realise it at the time, many of those purchases are destined to become clutter. It’s a triple threat of waste. Packaging and materials. Space in your home. And money out your account.
Next time your catch yourself wanting to buy something unplanned – put it down, wait 30 days, and then go back and buy it. Many items you will likely forget about, but the ones you really need will stick in your mind. And sorry, but “it’s only on ‘sale’ for this week” is not a valid argument to buy it anyway. If you don’t need it badly enough you would pay 10% or 20% more for it in 30 days’ time, then it’s just clutter at a cut price.
5) Spiritual Wellbeing
Don’t think spiritual in a religious sense, rather going beyond individual emotional benefits of decluttering towards a feeling of the greater good of all humankind. Woah. Okay, that is pretty deep, but not as deep as the piles of paper, plastic and other waste around the world. The more aware we are not to let waste creep into our immediate environment, the more conscious we become of its impact on our global environment.
Going paperless in your home is a great example of green decluttering in action and the Twasme app is the perfect app for going ‘paper-free’ in a hurry. Download it for free and use the built-in scanner to instantly capture all your important documents – from receipts to legal paperwork – in one centralised app with zero-knowledge encryption security.
Go for it!
Start right now. And be brutal. If it doesn’t energise your life on a weekly (or at the very least monthly) basis, it has to go. But remember, when having a big clear-out, please don’t simply throw everything in one bin. Try to dispose of each item as responsibly as possible – helping the planet, other people, and yourself at the same time.