Category: Home Clutter

With the end of another school year, spring moving summer, and the final push to be productive before the kids are home all day, the load can leave us drained of energy. All of it can feel pretty stressful.

It’s during these times of change when we have to take care of ourselves so the transition doesn’t wear us out.

Here are a few ways I like to reduce stress and find my calm.

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As we get ready to shower mom with love and appreciation on this upcoming Mother’s Day, the idea of parenthood comes into question. How did your parents do as parents?

Hmm, good question. I’ve wrestled with a few complaints about mom and dad over the years:

  • They always have to be right. They don’t even listen to my side of the story; it’s only their way or no way. Don’t they understand they don’t know everything?
  • They want me to do everything their way. They won’t let me be my own person and learn my own lessons. Don’t they understand that I’m living my life, not theirs?
  • I’ll never measure up. Everything I do is never enough. Instead of congratulations, I get skepticism. Don’t they understand that it doesn’t have to look like they think it should?
  • It’s ok for you to do it but if I do the exact same thing, I get a lecture. Why is it wrong for me and not for you? Don’t they understand that nobody respects a hypocrite?
  • If I’m content being single, it must mean I’m unhappy and something must be wrong with me. God forbid, I get married later than 20 years old. Don’t they understand that some people choose not to rush into marriage?
  • They don’t even know what I do for a living. I’ve never had to repeat myself so often about what I do, for it to go in one ear and out the other. It’s like unless it promises a pension, I don’t have a real job. Don’t they understand this isn’t the 1950s?

You said it, Will; parents just don’t understand.

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On the last step of the Code, you now have all steps down as a lifestyle, right? Ok, maybe not quite; it takes practice. But with discipline, The Declutter Code becomes a way of life, a new language you speak. And with that comes a life of peace and freedom. How good does that sound?

(Before you go on, make sure you read and practice Step 9 for the best results.)

Step 10: Sleep

Rest. Reset. Restart. Sleep, it’s that weapon we all have to improve our mental functioning, our stamina and our muscular strength. It sustains the body’s proper functioning, alertness and survivalism. The mind relaxes. The nervous system relaxes. The postural muscles rest. The eyes rest.

During sleep, the body repairs bones and tissues, rejuvenates cells and organs. Sleep also boosts the immune system and aids digestion.

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We’re near the end of our declutter journey! This next step has everything to do with mental space as it does environmental. It’s a huge step because this is when we clean up the mess.

Since we’ve done the work to see through the clutter, now we can easily decide what stays and what goes. (You’re ready for this step if you read and practiced Step 8 first!)

Step 9: Sort

To sort is to categorize and arrange, and to clear away what doesn’t belong. While the act of sorting may seem largely an environmental task, sorting itself is a mental function. Sorting means evaluating necessary from unnecessary.

Sorting looks like sorting our way through negative and positive moods. Good and bad memories. Productive and unproductive thoughts. Once sorted, that which doesn’t belong or have a place in our lives anymore can get removed.

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Ready to get lean? To minimize the stuff that keeps you stuck? To return to the clarity, peace and freedom you were born with?

Then you’re ready for Step 7 of The Declutter Code. (But first, have you read and practiced Step 6 yet?)

Step 7: Simplify

To simplify is to remove the clutter that complicates and stains our lives. When we simplify our lives, and chip away at clutter, we return to peace.

Simplicity is when life comes into balance and things relate more harmoniously. Life is easy. The minute we shift our thoughts to believe that, life rises to meet our faith. We start to see life get more manageable and we get more flexible—everything gets less chaotic.

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We’re on Step 4 and we’ve done some very introspective work so far. (Before you go on, be sure you’ve read and practiced Step 3 so you don’t miss out on the juicy look inside yourself.)

We’ve drilled in deep. Now, in this step, we’re ready to make some penetrating, inside-out changes.

Step 4: Space

Space is the distance between two things. In this case, it refers to the space between sense and thought, thought and story, story and behavior. Increasing the space from thought to behavior naturally delays our reactivity as if to make time to think of not reacting at all.

We use the space to lower our voices, to come off the ledge, to subdue our tempers. We use the space to tell different stories, to choose a different thought.

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When does stuff become clutter? When does what you own become more of a burden than a blessing? When does the disarray deserved to be disposed?

You can’t stop thinking about it. You’re stressed. You’re disorganized. Yet, you keep buying, stockpiling, hoarding…

Clearly, it’s not just the stuff that’s bothering you.

The stuff you see is only part of the mess. There’s stuff underneath the stuff.

Clutter is crafty and contagious. It pervades first our minds, then our bodies, hearts and homes. It seeps into our calendars, offices, careers and bank accounts.

Your mind is the first to get cluttered before you ever see the repercussions in your living space.

Can you catch it before it gets out of hand? Before it becomes debilitating?

Let’s find out how to tell when stuff becomes clutter.

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