How to Make Decluttering Your Home a Holistic Process

Holistic

The definition of Holistic is the belief that the parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole.

It has been well-studied that there is a connection between physical and mental clutter. Many of us, including me, find it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand if everything surrounding us is in a state of chaos. 

I am always amazed some people can listen to music playing and podcasts while at work. For the most part, I need to work in complete silence. I would not be able to think with the noise in the room.

Mind and Body

There is little doubt clutter in our homes and minds is interconnected. I tend to be an organized clean freak. This works well for me, given what I just described.

I would be willing to bet that some people work better with loud music blaring. Students often study this way.

It is not until my mind is quiet that I can see the new opportunities that often present themselves.

Negativity

Long ago, in what seemed like a different life, my mind felt like a gerbil cage with a continuous loop of negative thoughts going round and round night and day.

And my spaces have always been organized and clutter-free! That was an exhausting way to live!

When I made the connection between a cluttered head and messy cluttered spaces was I able to help others change their lives.

‘Why are you saving this stuff?’

If you are reading this article my guess is you would like to make a clutter-free and organized home. I encourage you to stop and ask yourself the following question. ‘Why are you saving this stuff?’

Sometimes people are loathe to discard items because they think they may never be able to afford to replace them. First of all, if you want to discard something why are you even thinking of a future replacement?

Scarcity Mentality

This is known as a scarcity mentality. Maybe you grew up feeling you never got what you wanted, perhaps there was not a lot of money in your household.

There is a rule called the 20/20 rule which states if it costs less than 20 dollars and you are not using it get rid of it. Also if it takes less than 20 minutes to replace discard this.

80/20

The 80/20 rule is based on the Pareto principle. The rule states that 80% of us only regularly use 20% of our possessions. This leaves a lot of physical stuff hanging around taking up space which is often viewed as valuable real estate.

How physical clutter can affect our mind

To answer this we can start by noticing how physical clutter affects our mental state. For example, when your physical environment is cluttered and disorganized, do you feel stressed, and anxious?

If so this mental clutter can further perpetuate the physical clutter, creating a vicious cycle. I feel at odds when I walk into a large department store like Macy’s because there is so much stuff. I interpret this visual explosion as noise and chaos.

It makes me feel defeated because there are too many choices. I know many people love to spend the shopping, for me this feels like unenjoyable work. Online shopping is the best thing since sliced bread for people like me if the website has a great filtering system!

Address both mind and body

To break this cycle, we can approach decluttering holistically by addressing both physical and mental clutter. This means decluttering not just our physical possessions, but also our thoughts and mental habits.

One by one we will approach our physical clutter, our mental clutter, and even our digital clutter. If you have managed to escape the digital clutter trap you are two-thirds there!

To begin the holistic practice of decluttering consider the following:

Physical Clutter

Physical possessions are the piles of stuff cluttering our homes. A lot of us suffer from what is known as color blindness where we have been living with the same things for so long we do not even notice them anymore.

Mental Mental

Mental clutter includes decluttering our thoughts, reducing negative self-talk, letting go of limiting beliefs, and creating a more positive and peaceful mental state.

I have seen firsthand working with others how entwined physical and mental clutter is. It is my suggestion always to explore the mental clutter. Mental clutter almost always includes not knowing what you want.

This is a very deep topic and I am not a medical professional by any stretch. What I do have experience teaching is journaling and the magical outcomes that come from this stream-of-consciousness writing

Journaling has many benefits such as a calming effect. If you are all worked up about a situation writing it out is a good alternative to repeatedly ruminate about it. We tend to think circularly when reliving a disturbing exchange or situation.

Writing seems to take away some of the power of the disturbance. The best part about writing these things out is there is an opportunity to ask yourself an important question after you have exhausted all the details.

Ask yourself and write the answer to the following question- What was my part in this situation? Answer the question in a rigorously honest manner.

Digital

Our digital lives can also become cluttered, with too many files and apps on our devices, overflowing inboxes, and constant notifications. Decluttering our digital lives can help reduce mental clutter and create a more focused mindset.

Going paperless is a great way to start decluttering your digital life.

Fresh Start

Sometimes the desire to declutter isn’t about physical clutter at all.

Many folks who have a desire to declutter may unconsciously wish for a fresh start. This is true in my life. I get bored easily. I can always tell when something new is going to appear in my life because I start going through physical objects looking for things to discard, or organize.

By approaching decluttering as a holistic process, we can create a more balanced and fulfilling daily life.

author pic

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed and always a few laughs!

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