I find it interesting how clutter affects me. It sounds kind of new-agey to talk about Feng Shui or about the ‘energy of stuff’. The truth is that I think there is something to that. My surroundings definitely affect how I feel. Close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting at the city dump, watching them move the piles of trash around with bulldozers. Next imagine yourself sitting outside in a lush garden with a fountain, flowers, and perhaps a bird gently chirping. This may be an extreme example, but the point is that surroundings matter.
One thing about clutter in our homes is that we become used to it. We may not be aware how the pile of clutter on the kitchen table is affecting us, or how the clods of pet hair on the floor bother us, or how the unworn clothes filling our closet weigh on us.
As part of my goal to practice habits for energy for the month of July, one of those habits has been spending at least 10 minutes a day tidying. While I haven’t met all my goals, this is one where I’ve gone above and beyond. I’ve been working on getting rid of stuff for months now, so this is kind of a continuation of that, re-framed with energy in mind. So far this month, I’ve made big strides in my office- cleaning off my desk, rearranging some furniture and entirely doing away with some shelves and everything on them. I got rid of a portable dishwasher that I no longer used ever. (I thought it was the coolest device when I bought it- a dishwasher on wheels with a hose that would hook up to the kitchen faucet to allow me to have a dishwasher even though my kitchen wasn’t designed for one. But it didn’t really get the dishes clean and took up a lot of space.) I threw away some disintegrating old plastic plant pots in the backyard that came with the house when I bought it years ago. I’ve gotten rid of other miscellaneous items, and also done well with just keeping the house clean.
It feels so GOOD to get rid of the things I don’t need and to have a clean space.
For a quick burst of energy, try one of the following:
- Organize. Sometimes, clutter just needs to be organized. A thing may be perfectly good and just need a spot to live.
- Clean. Decluttering goes a long way to making a space cleaner, but sometimes, things just need cleaned. The floor needs swept, the dishes need washed, the laundry needs to be done.
- Toss. Some stuff is just trash. Toss it.
- Donate. Some stuff is perfectly good- you just don’t want it, need it or use it. Donate it.
- Buy. Generally, I’m for getting rid of stuff and having less clutter. But after cleaning, decluttering and organizing a space, it can be nice to spruce it up with something new- a plant, a new wall hanging, some new towels for the bathroom, a container or some shelves to provide more organization, etc.
I’ll keep this post short- I mostly wanted it to be a reminder of how energizing it can be to have a clean, decluttered space. If you liked this post, you might also be interested in reading about discarding stuff, resources on minimalism or scanning documents to reduce clutter.