Feeling permanently stressed? Time to de-clutter!
Do you feel stressed every morning trying to find something to wear amongst the mountains of clothes you have accumulated in your wardrobe?
Do you get lost in all those papers, bills, notes and books in your office?
Do you feel claustrophobic in your own home / workspace?
Do you feel suffocated at home even when you are trying to relax?
Have you ever thought that perhaps your environment is causing all that stress?
Because, as one of the most repeated principles of Feng Shui goes:
Order outside = order inside
Chaos outside = chaos inside.
And by “inside”, I mean both your physical environment and your mind.
A chaotic space translates into a chaotic mind.
An organized and clean space translates into an organized and serene mind.
As easy as that!
So, before looking for solutions against stress in the internet, I recommend that you put order in your environment first.
You’ll see how soon you star noticing changes!
This seemingly very simple principle is the foundation of one of the books with more impact in recent years: “The magic of Order” by Marie Kondo.
In her little turquoise book, Marie tells us how to feel happier through order in our homes/work spaces.
I personally believe that the level of happiness will vary according to each person, but what seems to be certain is that this sense of order and organization can translate into much more efficient and productive processes in our lives.
And, for me, being productive and efficient, represents more time with my family, and more time dedicating myself to what I’m passionate about.
And that, consequently, makes me feel much happier.
So, I think it’s fair to say that Marie Kondo’s advice can help you “de-stress” your environment as well as your mind.
Which of Marie’s suggestions can you apply to your day to day life to help you reduce your stress levels?
1- Eliminate before organizing
Marie suggests eliminating everything unnecessary in your life.
And she suggests you do it following a very specific process which, might surprise you a little…
“Touch the object before deciding whether you need to get rid of it,” Marie tells us.
Touching it, according to Marie, it’s is very important to get the appropriate response.
Then ask yourself: Does this make me happy or makes my life easier?
It doesn’t? Recycle it, give it away, find another home for it…
It does? Keep it.
What if you make a mistake and get rid of something you might need in the future?
What I’ about to say might also surprise you: you can always buy it again.
Is Marie not contradicting herself by saying that?
Perhaps, but think of the person you will be buying a new pair of jeans from.
He or she makes a living because you – and thousands of others – buy from them.
The economy works because we buy things.
And, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
At least, not always!
2- Respect your possessions
This may even seem more outlandish to you but Marie suggests that during that process of eliminating your possessions, in addition to touching them, take into account the “feelings” of those objects.
Do you think they feel happy cramped in a corner of your closet? Lost in your drawers? Do they feel that they are not fulfilling their mission?
Although it may seem strange, this is a contemplative practice that will help you value everything around you, and see it from a totally new point of view.
You’ll discover how, suddenly, you’ll notice how your possessions feel very unhappy “living” in that state!
3- Sort by categories
Marie Kondo proposes to “tackle” objects by categories, rather than by rooms. If you take care of the books in your room, for example, you’ll get to your office and you’ll have to deal with all those that scattered around there all over again.
Marie suggests managing the category “books” and not stopping until you have it under control.
Start with the simplest categories like clothes, books, papers, and finally sentimental memories.
4- Nostalgia is not your friend
Surely, as you empty your closets and open all those boxes, you’ll come across objects with nostalgic value for you: letters, old photographs, etc.
And there, Marie says, you have a problem: because, you start reading a letter and you’ll want to read them all. And who knows what emotions will awaken in you?
Maybe they’ll have such impact on your emotions that you’ll forget about your “purging” goals altogether.
To prevent falling down that rabbit hole, Marie insists you focus only on categorizing.
Don’t allow yourself to indulge on nostalgic moments.
There’ll be plenty of time for that when everything is organized!
5- Keep your objects by categories
When you’re down to the “necessary” items and have eliminated those objects that no longer have place in your life, you need to decide where to keep them.
Try to save each category in the same space or as close as possible.
And when you put your clothes away, remember one of Marie’s most important principles: fold, don’t hang up.
Not only that: fold them vertically, so you can easily identify your garments at first glance.
You can see Marie in action and learn how to organize in this video:
6- Re-fall in love with your possessions and your new state of de-clutter
Surprisingly, you’ll see how everything changes for you after this process of organization.
Now, you have the certainty that everything around you has a value to you.
And according to Marie, those objects also feel much more at ease ☺
So, re-fall in love with your belongings …
With that beautifully organized wardrobe …
With those neat drawers …
With that clean office …
And when you need to use those objects, simply put them back in their place.
This way, you’re always going to maintain things in order.
In your environment, and in your mind.
And if after tackling the chaos in your environment you still feel stressed, get in touch.
It’ll be a pleasure to help you rediscover the path to your happiness.
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