The underlying hum of anxiety and stress that stems from the pile-up of (what should be) simple everyday tasks can make anyone feel as though daily life is a growing weight. When we fail to declutter our lives we return home to, or work in, an unorganised space that can add greatly to this mental drag, whether on a conscious or subconscious level.
We all know how to escape from it all physically with a vacation, but running away doesn’t banish the problems from lingering there when you return. Instead, go the extra mile to make your home your haven. There is a link between the mental baggage we carry, and the life baggage we stow in our homes.
Clutter can become overwhelming and emotionally draining. Wading through junk to find the important stuff takes its toll on our physical and mental energy as well as our time. When clutter has you caged in this way, then it’s time to declutter to detox your mind.
Declutter Detox Plan
To make our bodies feel refreshed, many of us take part in detox strategies, to purge the nasties from our systems. Improving general mental wellbeing can be trickier but consider this: by changing our physical surroundings we feel changed on the inside. We already know this to be true from being away on vacation. However, this isn’t about making our homes look like a tropical oasis (although that could be nice too!) We need to look deeper than the aesthetics. Instead of purging the junk from our bodies, we’re going to purge junk from our homes.
To sample the benefits of a clutter detox, all you need to start is one messy drawer. One. Let’s imagine this is a desk drawer in a home office. Empty it out, all of it. Throw out the obligatory crumbling rubber bands and rusty paper clips, impractical stubby pencils and pens that run dry or leak ink, and all old receipts and circulars. That was the easy part…
The hardest part of organising desk space is the remaining unactioned paperwork. For this exercise we’re going to do a brisk blanket sweep, creating just three piles: ‘To Do’, ‘To File’ and ‘Recycle’. The first pile should be dropped into a tray on top of your desk so that you will take care of them rather than letting them fester in the drawer (make this task your next priority). The second lot should be filed immediately (or at very least tucked neatly into the fronts of the files in which they belong, until that area reaches the top of the declutter/detox list). The third pile can be blissfully removed from your life. Aah.
Now you need to get rid of the things that aren’t so easily defined as trash. Many of these will be things that don’t belong in a desk in the first place, things that need relocating to more suitable parts of the home (please re-home considerately rather than creating more mess stations!)
The remaining items are those that need to be pared down, you do not need 3 staplers (even if the mini plastic one is quite fun) and those multicoloured staples you thought seemed a good idea 10 years ago but never found a purpose for are probably never going to find one either. This is where you might feel like calling it a day, throwing everything back in the drawer and closing it rather than make more decisions. Don’t be tempted! Be ruthless.
Once the purge is done you will already be feeling lighter, much like a physical detox.
The final part is to arrange the reduced collection of items back into the drawer. Because of the reduced amount, you will be able to carefully organise your purely useful items so that they can be selected and accessed with ease. With each item you put into place, and subsequently find in its place, a tiny piece of the mind will settle. These cathartic moments accumulate and help toward finding an overall mental peace within your surroundings.
Just remember: “Simplify to Run Smoothly“. By ridding your home of clutter, you too will feel cleansed.