Sometimes, it takes moving to make you realise just how much garbage you’ve acquired over the years.
Sadly, most of that garbage I’ve accumulated survived the move, and now takes up precious space in the corner, where it taunts me.
A ruthless touch is needed, and a ruthless touch can actually reduce our stress, improve our moods, and give us more energy, reports CNN.
Studies cited by the news outlet regarding spring cleaning suggest that added energy “gives us the boost we need to eat healthy, exercise and get more sleep”, all of which lead to living longer.
Marie Kondo is, of course, a famous proponent of the health benefits of minimalism, and professional organiser Regina Leeds, author of the 2008 New York Times bestseller, One Year to an Organized Life, agrees:
“We create in the physical world the pattern of how we think and experience the world,” Leeds said. Or, put more succinctly, “Your crap and your clutter is what’s going on inside of you.”
Clearing out “our crap” raises our self-esteem and shifts energy, Leeds explained. We open ourselves up to change and are in a better position to reach our potential.
The fact that we have the need for professional organisers tells us a lot about the price of property these days (London, anyone?), but registered psychologists and medical professionals agree to a large extent.
Craig Sawchuk, a Mayo Clinic psychologist and co-chair of the Division of Integrated Behavioral Health, speaks about the ‘clutter continuum’:
…on one end, you have people who try to get rid of things with some regularity, during, say, spring cleaning. Next, Sawchuk said, you’ve got the collectors who accumulate a growing amount of certain items: clothes, mugs, snow globes from around the world.
The pack rat might fill a storage space or overwhelm an attic. And the hoarder, on the extreme far end, sits in a functionally impaired and often unsafe living space…
We become more relaxed because our environment is clearer, he said. We process information differently because visually there’s “less noise to your brain.”
And when we recycle items by donating them to people who need and will use them, that sort of altruism “psychologically can have a really, really good impact on us.”
You’re a lovely person, inside and out, and I’m sure you don’t need nudging in terms of donating items you don’t need, but places like Nazareth House and the Salvation Army are always happy to take your second-hand clothing, furniture, kitchenware and the likes.
For things that you can’t bear to part with, but could do without taking up space around the house, take a look at affordable, tailored self-storage options.
Leeds, the professional organiser we heard from earlier, also talks about how a decluttered lifestyle helps us be our “best selves”.
I bet she uses #bestlife far too often on Instagram:
“We can calm the inside by bringing order to the outer,” Leeds said.
“The average person lives in an environment that sabotages his or her best efforts at every turn,” she continued. “You can accomplish more, quicker and with ease, if your environment literally nurtures and supports you.”
There’s zero chance I would have Leeds as a dinner guest at my place, but she raises some good points.
Now really is the time to finally get rid of all those things you’ve kept for no good reason. Donate and declutter – do it.
If you are looking for storage options, Stor-Age is offering 2OV readers 50% off their first month’s rent, so take a look at their location list and find an option near you.
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