First, let’s define clutter because some of us have a limited understanding of what clutter really is. Clutter is not just mess, disorder, an untidy state or a lot of disorganized stuff. Clutter also means confusion, indecision, dysfunctional living and inefficiency. So this simply means, the fact that your place is not untidy doesn’t mean you don’t have clutter. The question is, does your space allow you function maximally and efficiently? If your answer is No or Maybe, then you should seriously consider de-cluttering and organizing your space.
If you have been living with clutter, don’t be afraid to step out of that zone and/or don’t give up on your situation. Clutter state is a negative situation and negative situations should push us towards reaching for the positive ones. What’s really important is turning our negatives to positives because we can truly appreciate light, only if we have encountered darkness.
Clutter is usually addressed from two angles; clutter in the space (physical clutter) and clutter in the mind (mental clutter). Focusing on physical clutter, the following areas of our lives are adversely affected by clutter:
Firstly, clutter can cause dirt, dust and an unpleasant smell in a living space which will certainly reduce the quality of a person’s health. Secondly, a poorly organized space can affect our physical well-being by cramping us in and leaving us without ample room for comfort and relaxation, thereby causing fatigue. Thirdly, a cluttered space can cause confusion and chaos that leads to stress, anxiety and a mental breakdown. I once had a client who testified about how her energy level was boosted and how she could breathe better after the clutter in her space was removed. Clutter may be affecting your health in ways you may not realize. Until you make that decision and take the bold step of decluttering your space, you may never reckon how much benefit you will enjoy in a clutter-free space.
If your home and work space is disorganized, your finances will most likely be. When, as a result of a cluttered space, you can’t keep track of bills, take stock of supplies or plan your spending etc., your finances might be on a downward spiral. I have been in that place where I kept purchasing personal, household or cooking supplies I already had because I didn’t have a place for everything and I lacked order and control. If you are living with clutter, you will have to be dealing with a lot of material waste and that equals financial loss.
Clutter can be harmful to our relationships, but the tricky thing is, we are regularly unaware or plain negligent of the damage a lifestyle of clutter causes. In a clutter-free space, there is clarity. When there is clarity, we can easily see and be seen, hear and be heard, understand and be understood, remember and be remembered. The absence of clutter can create an atmosphere that allows for respect and ease of expression and connection in our relationships.
Have you ever had the feeling of disappointment in yourself or have you had someone else express their disappointment in you just because you couldn’t handle your responsibilities right? Honestly, I know the feeling. It’s difficult to foster your relationships if you are repeatedly feeling disappointed in yourself or have the people you care about feeling that way towards you. I once met a very hardworking mum who would usually forget to add one or more essentials to her kids lunch pack for school just because there was so much going on in her kitchen and clutter was getting in the way of her carrying out her responsibility as a mother. Clutter in the work place can also hinder you from efficiently carrying out your duties which may lead to loss of respect from an employer/colleagues or worse still, a job loss.
Clutter doesn’t and has never looked good on anyone. Disorganization is very unpleasant and can be a put-off. Yes, I do agree that we should not always focus and be bothered about the impression others have of us but when it comes to how organized our spaces are, I would beg to differ. When people have a good impression of how we live, we not only earn their respect, we also inspire them to improve their lifestyle. If you are one of those people who only get to organize their space because they are expecting guests, you need to commence a constant maintenance of a healthy outlook in your space and most importantly, you must realize that you are doing it for you.
Just imagine the ability to strike a balance in these core areas of life by simply putting away all the clutter which can cause confusion and chaos and embracing clarity and control with the attendant effect of making our environment more habitable and our lives, better enjoyable. Stay organised and live clutter-free.
Your Organizing/Productivity Buddy