As we’re about to flip the calendar to a new month tomorrow (one day closer to Spring – yeah!), it’s a great time to consider decluttering your space to make room for what you truly need and want in your life.
Let’s face it, currently you most likely have way too much stuff that you’re not using all over your home.
- Bedroom closets are filled with clothes you either no longer wear or don’t feel confident in, causing you to reach for sweats instead
- Drawers are filled with junk that you don’t need so you can’t even find the scissors
- Your desk is strewn with paperwork with no organization making it difficult to focus
- Your kitchen pantry is packed with processed foods making it difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan that will support weight loss and overall health
When we hold on to unnecessary clutter, it definitely slows our progress toward the life we want to create. It makes us feel heavy and burdened. It can even make us feel guilty for not being more organized.
However, when we allow ourselves to purge unused items, it opens up physical and mental space that we can use for higher level decisions and habits.
Experts have made correlations between excess clutter and sleep quality, brain function, digestion, immune response, and weight.
Sleeping in a cluttered bedroom can affect how you fall asleep. If you’re looking around at everything that needs to be put away, you’re revving yourself up when you should be winding down, preparing for dreamland.
Research shows that constant visual reminders of disorganization and clutter actually decreases your focus, working memory, and productivity. Looking at what needs to be done, distracts you from the task at hand which is a huge time waster.
Other research shows that living with chronic clutter can produce higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), which if left unchecked over a long period of time can lead to adrenal fatigue and other health complications.
Interestingly, multiple studies have shown that there’s also a correlation between clutter and poor eating choices, which can lead to unwanted weight gain or systemic inflammation, which puts unnecessary stress on your body.
So why do you find yourself struggling to let go of all the things?
One of the reasons I think we avoid decluttering is that it feels so overwhelming. I get it!
When you’re busy working, taking care of children, volunteering, it’s easy for sneaky piles to add up all over the place. You may feel as though you don’t have the time to add one more thing to your to-do list.
But let’s be frank. We all have the same 24 hours. How we spend our time comes down to our priorities. If feeling calmer and more relaxed in your home can free you up to develop other healthy habits, isn’t it worth it?
If you’re sentimental, letting go of certain objects can be even more challenging. For instance, you might not want to donate a dress that you wore for your child’s preschool graduation ceremony, even though you’ll never wear it again. You might struggle to donate books or knickknacks that you inherited from your grandparents because you feel that if they were important to them, perhaps they should be important to you. You may struggle parting with all your children’s art work through the years.
Then there’s the guilt of not wanting to waste or feeling as though you’re being ungrateful. You might not want to throw out unhealthy food because you spent money on it and people are starving in the world, right? You may not want to donate the gift your friend gave you even though you’ll never use it.
Finally, decluttering requires you to make decisions and sometimes that can feel exhausting when you’re already dragging from a hectic schedule. That’s why it’s important to start small and ease yourself into the process.
So how exactly do you start?
1. Decide on the amazing benefits of having a clutter free home.
This will be unique for each individual. Will the sense of peace that you experience make you more patient with yourself and your family? Will being more relaxed help you to dream and take action on your God-given desires?
2. Make a plan for what you will do with items you are releasing.
Will you donate them or sell them? Where will you drop them off? When will you do it? The more detailed your plan is, the easier it will be to stay on track.
3. Start small and set realistic expectations.
Your clutter didn’t accumulate overnight so expecting to clean out the house in a day (or even a weekend) is not realistic. Choose one area that you will work on per week and acknowledge yourself for even the smallest amount of progress.
Once you get started, you will be amazed at how much lighter you’ll feel. When you feel lighter, you feel calmer and more relaxed, which benefits you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Recently, I took one small area of my kitchen counter and reorganized it. My son takes a lot of supplements several times a day and the bottles were always all over the counter, even though I had a two tier basket to organize them. I realized that it wasn’t the right system. So, I went back to a simple box that held everything neatly. A week later, I’m still smiling when I look at that part of my kitchen. When you feel in control of small things in life, it helps you handle the bigger stressors with more grace and ease.
If you’d like to connect with other Christian women who are learning to manage their stress by prioritizing healthy habits, we’d love to have you join my private Facebook Group, Christian Women’s Stress Relief HOPE Circle.
I’m on a mission to help Christian women manage their stress so they can show up full of confidence, purpose, and peace.
Looking forward to connecting with you!
Have a blessed day!