Many studies have shown an increase in personal stress when we live in various states of clutter. For some people, perfect organization is vital to a healthy mental state; however, I would argue most people don’t realize how minor amounts of clutter in their life might be clouding their ability to focus and live with a deeper peace of mind.
Think about a place in your home that just seems to accumulate stuff? This could be the landing by the front door, or the place where you set the keys and mail, or maybe it’s a corner of your kitchen, or your office desk. Whatever that place is…think of it! Now think about a time when it was clean and cleared off, with everything put away. In an effort to live in the present…what feelings does this cleared space give your body and mind?
For me it feels like a deep breath, like a weight was lifted, and a moment of calm!
Decreasing clutter can truly lead to more productive and peace-filled days. There are 3 steps to accomplishing this:
1. Purge and put away the items in that area that are creating the clutter.
2. Clean the area! Get your cleaner out, wipe down and clean the surfaces, floor, etc.
3. Time to change your habits…this is the hardest part but will make it a lifestyle change.
Here’s where the life hack tip comes in: COMPLETE THE LOOP
Many of us go through our habits and partially ‘complete the loop’! For example, making coffee: we get out the mug, make the coffee, drink the coffee…where does the mug go? If you were completing the loop, you would clean the mug and put it away. Sometimes the loop can’t happen right away: maybe you are drinking your coffee during a zoom meeting, but WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED and get up from your desk…complete the loop. This disciple takes under 2 mins and suddenly you don’t have 4 mugs on your desk! What is something that you instinctually do that accumulates clutter and is the result of partially completing the loop?
Since COVID-19 is challenging us to focus on new priorities, I challenge you to identify partial loops in your life and work this week to complete those loops every time! You will be surprised how simple, yet impactful this exercise can be for a calmer mind and environment.