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Reduce Your Clutter, Reduce Your Stress

Reduce Your Clutter, Reduce Your Stress

When your parents used to threaten to ground you if you didn’t clean your room, it’s possible they were just looking out for your mental health. Clutter definitely affects your mental health, increasing anxiety and depression.

It can also lead to avoidant tactics as this survey shows where one-third of the respondents did not want to go home in order to avoid the clutter. Imagine not wanting to go to your house, a place that is meant for comfort and enjoyment?

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If your house is messy, this is very understandable. Research shows that clutter affects your brain, as too much stimuli hinders your concentration and ability to process information. No wonder you’d rather take the keys and enjoy a cleaner space elsewhere.

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The Correlation Between Mess And Stress

You don’t have to be on an episode of Hoarders to feel the mental side effects of clutter. So what’s the correlation between mess and stress?

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  1. Missing those keys? Can’t find that file for work? You can count on that increasing both levels of frustration and cortisol.
  2. Clutter causes our minds to do extra mental lifting. Those messes translate to added stimuli that wouldn’t exist with an uncluttered home or office.
  3. That pile of papers on the desk? It represents a constant reminder of work that needs to be done.
  4. Imagine trying to write a paper while a construction worker uses a jackhammer outside your office. Clutter is a distraction, pulling your attention away from the task at hand.

Decluttering Tips

We’ll avoid cluttering the page with too many more reasons; instead how about we  focus on methods of decluttering your life? Here are a few tips:

  1. Treat your home like a filing cabinet. Have designated spot for household items that don’t get frequent use? Try to limit them to drawers, cabinets or closets to keep stimuli to a minimum. As the cliche goes: out of sight, out of mind.
  2. Don’t use it, don’t keep it. Seems simple, but how often do we hold onto that “As Seen on TV” item we couldn’t live without, or that pair of heels that haven’t seen the light of day for years? Clean your clutter and do some good in the process by donating your unused items.
  3. How much time would we save if we simply put things away when we were done with them? The answer is a lot. We have bigger things to worry about than clutter, so take those extra few seconds to put an item away as soon you’re done using it.
  4. Keep cleaning fun! Add some music to the mix or brush up on your basketball skills when tossing out that spam mail. Treat it like a chore and it’ll feel like a chore.
  5. Have a method to the madness. Don’t worry about covering the entire house or even the entire room at once. Pick a corner and work from there. Those small victories will help you continue to push forward until you have an entire house looking fresh and clean.
  6. Teamwork always helps. Whether it’s family or a friend, having someone to lend a helping hand can make all the difference between organizing that clutter or calling it quits. Not to mention you’ll be able to get the job done in a fraction of the time.

Are you buried beneath that clutter and don’t know where to start? Don’t be afraid to bring in the reinforcements. Make it a family affair or bring in the professionals. A cleaning company can be a great way to get things to a more manageable place, eliminating the stress of household chores.

Whatever you decide, don’t let your brain get cluttered with the clutter around you.

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More by this author

Josh Dailey

Owner My Model Maid

Reduce Your Clutter, Reduce Your Stress

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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