Our homes are often overlooked when we talk about wellbeing, as we usually focus on the person and not their surroundings. However, there is increasing evidence that our homes help create a ‘sense of self’ and therefore if our physical space is calm, organised and peaceful – guess what – we feel that way inside too!
Studies show that seeing clutter can cause our bodies to release Cortisol (associated with the fight or flight response) so you can imagine what living in a cluttered home is doing to your mood when you are looking at it regularly, and during lockdown that has probably meant looking at it for most the day…. every day. Clutter is a constant reminder of unfinished jobs and work still to be done.
There is a wealth of research explaining our relationship with our things, and how clutter affects our lives and especially our wellbeing. Research Papers Archive – Room to Think
It can feel rather overwhelming to think about organising the whole house, but don’t worry – you don’t have to tackle everything at once. If you can imagine the process of sorting, discarding and organising as a self care task in itself, then small tasks make more sense and you can enjoy the actual process as well as the results. Taking the time to work on your external space is just as important as the time you take to work on other elements of your wellbeing.
The benefits of editing and organising your wardrobe for instance, can lead to a sense of calm as you dress every morning, increased confidence in your choices, style and appearance – with the added benefit of more thoughtful purchases in the future and consideration for the environment, avoiding fast fashion or multiple ‘mistaken’ purchases that never get worn.
Shifting our focus from a consumer mindset can open doors to many more self care opportunities as we begin to embrace our surroundings, noticing and savouring our interactions with nature and the world around us.
Many other attempts at self care may fail or feel too difficult to even attempt if we have a cluttered space. It is very hard to be mindful or carry out a yoga session or even have a relaxing bath if there is not enough space, or we are too disorganised and stressed to focus.
My work as a Professional Organiser and Social Worker spans from the extreme experience of hoarded homes through to stressed families needing new systems and routines, blended families or bereaved relatives. I work on the premise that every person I work with has their own reasons for having clutter, and their own reasons for wanting to change their surroundings.
Everyone has a certain point at which they can relax and enjoy their space, it’s different for everyone and it doesn’t have to be a journey to minimalism. This can feel rather extreme to many people, but to others it feels like the ultimate goal to a completely mindful and stress-free life.
Whatever your situation, beliefs, experiences or hopes for the future – these can be achieved, and lead to increased wellbeing and opportunities for love, career success, friendship, and travel Whatever your aspirations are – clutter may be holding you back. You may feel inspired to tackle the clutter on your own, but if you feel you need some support and accountability then 1:1 support is available in house or as a coaching style session over zoom.