“Outer order creates inner calm”- Gretchen Rubin

Is it an act of self-care when you eliminate clutter?   A lot of people seem to think so. There have been a slew of books lately that all correlate tidier homes with happier more fulfilling lives.

I personally can relate to this idea.  I find whenever I’m feeling frustrated by life, my apartment almost always reflects those frustrations in the form of cluttered chaos. However, once I start clearing away the clutter I can almost feel clarity re-establishing itself in my brain.  I’ve found the simple act of decluttering makes room for ideas, creativity and solutions to things that had confounded me previously.

I recognize that when you have children sometimes cleaning the house of clutter seems like an endless task.  But if you could make one area of your home or apartment clutter free, what would that feel like to you?

I try to keep the area where I write this blog, clear of clutter for a couple of reasons. First, I am very easily distracted.  If I see other things around me that I need to attend to my focus will be anywhere but in the writing.  Second, I enjoy writing and look at writing this blog as an act of self care.  So if clutter is getting in the way of allowing me to focus on what I like doing, then the clutter is not serving me.

Gretchin Rubin author of The Happiness Project  writes that “Outer order contributes to inner calm.”  She developed the “one-minute rule.”  It just takes one minute to do a couple of things in your home that will make life easier later on.  Instead of dropping your coat on the couch, not putting items back in the refrigerator, not cleaning that one dish you just used, she recommends you just do it. It only takes one minute and it keeps your house tidier for longer. For those of you who are naturally neat this may seem like a no-brainer, but for me, I’ve often operated under the mantra “I’ll do it later.”  Meanwhile my apartment starts accumulating clutter and my “inner calm” becomes anything but calm.

In Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up she writes, “Although not large, the space I live in is graced with only those things that speak to my heart.  My lifestyle brings me joy.” I love that!  So whether you have roommates, a house with many kids, or a tiny apartment, what would it look like if you carved out a space for yourself that gave you joy and was free of clutter?

If removing clutter feels like an insurmountable task, start small.  For instance, make your bed every day.  Perhaps having one area of your bedroom neat may be the baby step you need to start to create order.  It also may make space in your brain for other things.

Take care of YOU.

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