Going clutter free: a health trend that will save your life

In all the organizing jobs I have done over the past 17 years, there has never been one where clutter isn’t present.  And there has never been one where removing that clutter hasn’t changed the space – or the client – for the better.

I know that aiming to be clutter free has super powers beyond what people might realize.  And I actually hesitated to title this article “the new health trend” because it almost sounds like this idea of going clutter free is a new way to be healthy.

The truth is the idea of it might now be something people are catching onto. But going clutter free has always had major health benefits.

In fact, it will save your life!

And every other person knows this – at least intellectually. But deciding to actually make it happen can be a more difficult feat.  It is not because people don’t know that it could change their life. It’s more likely that the difficulty comes because of the sheer amount of stuff we have in our spaces.

We have so much stuff for three reasons:

1. We have let in more over the past many years and not let things out.

2. These days we have more and more opportunities to get more “stuff”.  Amazon Prime offering one day shipping – free! – is but one example.

3. We don’t take the time to question what we really need; so we keep more than we do need, and that almost always results in too much. And it often results in clutter.

Clutter is defined as confused or disordered collections.

But I don’t think that hits the head for people really understanding what it is. And it is important to know exactly what clutter is so you can identify it, and address it.

I define clutter as all the stuff you have, that doesn’t have a home, that is in the wrong spot.  {Sometimes that home is the trash. Sometimes it is in a different room, or at your friend Sally’s house.}  What you own should have a logical home. And things should be contained (if possible) so that you can keep your space calm. And keep you feeling sane.

Piling papers on the countertop is neither a logical home nor a contained specific space. Dirty laundry anywhere but in a laundry basket or a washer is not logical. It’s not specific. When neither of those is at play you “see” too much out in the open. You feel the affects of it. And that visual clutter is what makes life feel so heavy, and stressful.

Clutter is also the stuff you have that is in a home – perhaps even the correct spot – but it has overwhelmed that home.  Drawers that are stuffed, closets that are bulging are indicators that there is just too.much.stuff. 

And it becomes clutter because with too much stuff comes the inability to know what you have, and then therefore use what you have. And let’s face it, if you don’t use what you have, it makes it harder to see the purpose in owning it in the first place. When there is just too much stuff things you do use get lost, and aren’t used. The cycle all contributes to an overall feeling of stress, dread, suffocation!

Too much excess causes overwhelm! It affects how we feel in our space and what we do in our life.

Too much clutter prevents us from living a life we love.

Too much of anything can hold you down. It can stifle your life and how you want to live it. Going clutter free opens you up – wide. It allows you to not only see what you own, appreciate it and use it. But it lightens the space.

And that is where the rubber meets the road. Lightness in your space changes the space. And perhaps more importantly, it changes your perception of what can be done in the space.

Lightness is both physical and mental and both have health benefits.

The physical lightness means you can literally move in your space more freely. You can find a clean shirt, a bill you know needs paying. You can cook healthy meals and gather together at a table to eat those meals. That makes you feel good.

The physical lightness lends to mental lightness. Mental lightness is how you feel when you walk into your space and can see the countertops, and the floor.  It’s how you feel when you can find what you need, when you need it.  It also allows you to approach your day and the tasks in it more deliberately. You can see, literally and figuratively, your space and your life more clearly. And with that, you have the freedom to do more and be more.

Clutter free is a health tool!

It allows you to conceive of wellness and health in a more unobstructed way. And that is key. Because so many of our health issues are avoidable. And they are driven from a lack of clarity and an ill perception of time. Too much clutter skews your perception of time, which in turn can affect your ability to make positive health changes.

Going clutter free gets you out from under all of the heavy and negative, and opens you us to lightness – mentally, physically, and spiritually.

I am not one for following trends. But going clutter is definitely one I support wholeheartedly.

I have no doubt it will save your life.

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