With fall just around the corner, it is hard not to think about the beautiful fall colors, apple orchards, pumpkins and of course…raking. I know it is hard to believe, but those leaves will be falling before we know it. While I never look forward to winter, there is something to be said for cleaning up the yard and preparing for the upcoming winter months. Cleaning just seems to help reassure us that we will be ready when that first snow flies.
Fall is also a good time to get the inside of our homes in order too, and some people are more than ready to do a little more house work, whether it is doing some extra dusting, putting those summer items and clothes away, or just cleaning up some clutter around the house.
Speaking of clutter…
Did you know that excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information? In fact, according to the article, How Clutter Affects Your Brain and What You Can Do About It,” Neuroscientists at Princeton University found just that, when they looked at people’s task performance in an organized versus disorganized environment. The results of the study showed that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.”¹ Dorothy “The Organizer” Breininger, seen on A&E’s Hoarders show, The Today Show, Dr. Phil, etc., in an interview with Reid Tracy of Hayhouse Publishing, said that “If you’ve got pockets of physical clutter in your space and you have been ignoring it for a while—clutter is keeping you on the ‘other’ side of the line of success. Clutter acts as a ‘fence’ and the clutter literally keeps you corralled and can immobilize you permanently.”²
I don’t know about you, but I have always been more of neat freak than a messy person, or hoarder, but I have to admit that over the last couple years, I have accumulated a little more clutter. Last week, however, I decided it was time to do a little fall cleaning and started boxing up some books in my office that I know I will never read, or look at again.
I was surprised how “freeing” it felt to box up those books and drop them off at the Goodwill and am looking forward to more of those good vibes. My husband has been working on remodeling a home, which we will be moving into either later this year, or next spring, so I have quite a bit more decluttering to do in our current home and boxes to fill.
How about you? There are many ways to declutter your life, but it is best to start to small. Maybe work on one room at a time, or start by cleaning up your computer desktop or e-mail.
Following are a few tips from “How Clutter Affects Your Brain and What You Can Do About It” you might find useful:
4 Ways To Master Clutter
- Apply Constraints: Limit how may people you follow on Twitter, etc., how many books you buy, etc.
- Use Small Storage Spaces: Try cutting your closet down by only a certain number of hangers for clothes you wear. Use a smaller bag when you travel, etc.
- Conduct a Monthly Review of Your Closet: Review your closet monthly for items you haven’t wore. Make a pact to rid your closet of those never or rarely used.
- Remove All Files From Your Desktop Daily: At the end of each day, remove every file from your desktop. Do the same for e-mails, creating a folder for the ones you actually need to keep.
You will be amazed how much better you feel when get organized, so why not free yourself? Maybe you will be ready to move on to bigger and better things—like a project you’ve been putting off, writing that book, etc.
Thanks for reading!
¹Cho, Michael. How Clutter Affects Your Brain and What You Can Do About It. Hacker website. http://lifehacker.com/how-clutter-affects-your-brain-and-what-you-can-do-abo-662647035/all
²Tracy, Reid. Empowering Your Life—One Moment At A Time. Hay House April 2, 2014 eNews article.