After my third miscarriage when I had recuperated from my D and C and my hormones levelled back out, I needed something to get myself back in the game. Growing up with a mother who struggled with OCD and used hoarding as one of her coping skills, I suppose de-cluttering or cleansing my environment is one of the skills I picked up along the way.
Like I mentioned with my Jaguar analogy of creating peace by canceling noises, our environment can become noisy with objects. De-cluttering is a nice way to find peace without costing any money – like having a massage, going out for dinner, shopping, buying a bottle of wine, or going for counselling.
Some people have advocated a similar idea, like Leanne Jacobs in Beautiful Money or Marie Kondo of the KonMari Method, or Dr. Northrup with the meaning behind clutter in our lives, or even how it affects our kids as described by Kim Payne in Simplicity Parenting. Want an easy way to settle your anxious child? De-clutter your house. Ask your husband, sister, mother, or friend, to take the kids out for a few hours, roll up your sleeves and start with a small space.
- Jewelry tree – haven’t worn it in in the last year? Pay it forward …
- Health products in the bathroom – are they expired? Hello garbage can…
- Fridge – any soft, fuzzy, new friends? Garbage! Expiration date long gone? Bye…
- Pantry – see food that isn’t too healthy? Pay it forward …. or put it in your car for when you drive by someone who is asking for some help while you are stopped at a light.
- Closet – be honest … holding onto clothes that don’t fit now but “I’m going to lose weight!” is just stressful. Put some good karma out there for yourself and say goodbye to the old and embrace the possibility of new…
- Car – yes I keep garbage in the side of my door – time to throw it out!
- Bookcase, night-stand – if you haven’t read it and it’s been three years…who are we kidding?! If not, at least put it in an orderly fashion in the bookcase – then breathe a sigh of relief!
- Wallet/purse – oh how freeing it is to throw out receipts or file them away. And it only takes 5-10 minutes!
But de-cluttering doesn’t have to just be in the house!
- Email inbox – just say no! I was on the phone seeking help with one of my websites, and the lady asked for permission to send a feedback email. Just because people ask, doesn’t mean we have to say yes. But pressing the trash button on an email and seeing an inbox with only a few emails is totally liberating. You should try it!
- TV – yes watching less TV feels good. But even the shows you watch before bed can be cleansed. Watching Game of Thrones before bed sure doesn’t help with creating zen-like dreams!
- Screen time – stopping at least 20 minutes before lights out can go a long way to creating an easy transition to some good zzzz’s. Try reading, or visualizing your last vacation on the beach, or just deep breathing before you say good night instead.
- Self talk – lions and tigers, and bears – oh my! Sometimes I joke with my husband that we should call each other on our negativity. Like in a snickers commercial when someone loses their s(*t. Having a funny nick name or code word will help reframe someone in a gentle way to be more positive. Negativity clutters the mind and body!
- Schedule – with so many options to do things these days, sometimes it’s nice to look at your schedule and say … not today! In our fast-pace environment, we rev ourselves so fast that it creates disturbance in our lives. Time to press pause…
- GOSSIP – this is one of the advantages of being self-employed. Or having good boundaries or good communication skills come in. Or just good self-respect or respect for your colleagues or environment. If you are in the staffroom or someone’s office and a colleague just starts in a negative rant, it’s okay to say, “I can hear you’re frustrated but I’m not comfortable with this topic…What do you think about… or I really need to excuse myself. Let’s talk later…”
Remember it doesn’t have to be some huge overhaul – one item at time really does add up!
Had a monumental day of stress? How about a deep clean? There is nothing more satisfying that scrubbing all the grime away from the bathtub and watching it shine! Or the windows …and letting the sun come in.