Decluttering for a Simpler Life: Physical Clutter

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ESPAÑOL

Have you heard of Marie Kondo and the sparks of joys? Perhaps you have heard about the story of stuff? Or maybe about the impact our linear economy and over-consumerism is having on our planet?. How about the impact of all the things we own on our mental health and finances? Ahhh Now it is getting interesting, right? Well, how about if I tell you they have something in common? STUFF due to our over-consumerism culture. This seems to be a big issue; at least for me, it was. My solution? Decluttering and a change of mind.

When we throw out the physical clutter, we clear our minds. When we throw out the mental clutter, we clear our souls.

– Gail Blanke

Physical Clutter and our Mental Health

YES!! They are related! Actually, I would say, in my experience, one depends on the other. Think about this, every single day, you get home to a mess after a long day. For more you try to organize and clean up, IT IS ALWAYS THE SAME! This, in return, brings those not-so-sparking feelings of stress, physical exhaustion, frustration, anxiety, and overwhelm that can potentially impact your mental health.

  • Stress – A cluttered environment, whether in your house, car, or workplace, can be a source of anxiety, leading to stress. In my case, the visual clutter made me feel like drowning in all our stuff. It was overwhelming. The visual aspect could potentially trigger stress hormones. Would you prefer the busy train station at rush hour or the scenic hiking trail? For sure I would prefer the latest.
  • Physical Exhaustion – As we already know, stress can have a toll on your physical health. If that is not good enough, a cluttered environment contributes to more physical activity as you have to maintain all your stuff ALL the time. Yes! The more things you own, the more you will have to maintain. You will feel tired ALL THE TIME. At this point, your physical exhaustion turned into a mental state of frustration and anxiety.

I’m sure there are many other triggers, but those two have been mine. Fortunately, I found out about decluttering and its benefits thanks to the minimalist community.

Physical Decluttering Top Three Tips

  • Step 1: The first step is NOT organizing.
    • Yes! You read it right. The first step is not to run to the store and buy organizer containers but to identify what you really need and use. Basically, identify your essentials. After doing that, you will have a clear vision of what to declutter, hence more storage space for what you really need and no wasting money on buying anything for organizing your stuff.
  • Step 2: Have a plan for decluttering
    • Think about what you would be doing with the stuff.
    • Schedule your decluttering by either type of stuff or room.
    • Decluttering is a recurring thing. Make a year schedule and have boxes already label with Sell/Donate/Recycle on them.
  • Step 3: Change your mindset
    • There is no point in going through decluttering if you don’t change your mindset about stuff and what you really need.
    • Be mindful of the environmental impact of all the stuff to be decluttered. Find a second home and/or recycle.

Simplicity boils down to two thing

Identify the essencial

&

Eliminates de rest

– Leo Babauta

A simple conclusion

In the end, it all comes down to what you really prioritize in your life. Decluttering is not just to put a bunch of stuff in a bag and send them away. It is more about assessing, prioritizing, and focusing on what really makes us happy. I declutter because my family and time are more important than maintaining stuff I don’t even use or care about. Decluttering has the power of FREEDOM for enjoying the sunset with the people you love! Until next time.

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