Updated: Jul 29, 2019
Who would have ever thought that grandma, grandpa, aunt Betty and Uncle Joe’s Christmas gifts for the past twenty-five years could cause so much mental anxiety ? I mean these are small harmless items that have no real place, they are not worth much value other than sentimental and you are afraid that getting rid of them is somehow tarnishes your relationship with the person. I mean all of those Happy Birthday, Happy Holiday, Congratulations for every accomplishment or promotion, how can you get rid of them!?
There is continued research and studies developing around the impact of clutter in our homes and our mental health. Now we have all seen the horrible conditions that are displayed on television around hoarding. Those are extreme conditions, and we look at our small pile of displaced items and compare them to that so it seems as if our stuff is harmless. Well, you may not meet the criteria for a hoarding disorder, but that does not mean these displaced items are not impacting your mental well-being.
Clutter is incomplete items that have no place to live or land. It is a disorganized object that occupies a space for no absolute reason. Now, in having an idea what clutter is, how does that relate to our mental health. Well, many of the things we consume in life are symbolic of who we are in some way, shape or form. Are we holding onto something, someone or a situation that we should have let go of? Does our life seem chaotic or disorganized? Is it hard for you to find things or do you lose things easily? What about, how do you handle issues or problems in your life, do you suppress with no real resolution or acknowledgment?
When you go to your space at home visit them, speak to space and allow it to speak back to you. Say something like what are you here for, what would you like for me to do with you and what purpose are you serving. If it meaningless and have served its purpose in your life then let me say this gently but strongly at the same time “toss it”! Holding onto an item does not mean you love a person more, just like getting rid of it does not mean you love them less. All it means is that it is taking up space for something more purposeful. Are maybe you would like a clean, space. Maybe this could be your breathing room, or meditation space.
Decluttering does not mean that you have to toss everything, but maybe simply organizing it will help. You may want to purchase one of those inexpensive decorative boxes to store your “Happy Birthday”, “Happy Holiday” and “Congratulation” on everything in your life moments. Simply putting them in a box and stacking them for the next 200 cards you will receive this year could be liberating for you.
When you are able to clean up space in your home then you are mentally signifying to your brain a mood increase. You are empowering yourself to take charge of your life! You deserve to be happy, to feel intact and material items does not determine the value of a relationship! Clutter also has an underlying meaning of attachment issues. Maybe you are still subconsciously holding onto something that is mentally and emotionally holding you back because you have not dealt with it. Clutter is entrapment of space so that new things are not able to come. It is a overwhelm that causes us to feel fatigued, what’s the point of trying and studies have shown clutter causes a chemical imbalance in the brain.
If you feel stuck, unsure, overwhelmed, anxious and hopeless dedicate some time to unclutter a space in your home. Be fair with yourself in understanding this clutter did not accumulate overnight, It was a series of years, events and periods in your life that consumed these spaces. Therefore, be gentle, patient and kind to yourself during this process. Take breaks, make it fun by putting on some happy music, invite a friend to help you with this process as I am sure you will have many laughs and stories to share behind these items, and schedule your unclutter days once per week so that you do not overwhelm yourself. You have the power to create the life you want!
- Yours truly,