Everyone is talking about the environment, from plastic to climate change.
This made me stop and think about my environment, the area I live and work and the impact it had on me.
I was lucky, one of my friends Suzanne Roynon is an interior therapist or The Clutter Free Coach and she has helped me transform not only my physical environment, but also my mental and emotional one too.
So why not join me in The Space Hoppers with Liz where we discussing "decluttering", the why and the impact on my life and maybe on yours too!
I met my friend Suzanne about 5 years ago, she's now a an interior therapist or more widely known as the Clutter Free coach, but at the time I was working in the NHS and she was working for a charity. Over the past 5 years I've seen her transform her business, give up a full time job and start to transform people's lives all through clearing out your clutter. I have to say that everything I've learnt about decluttering I've learnt from her! So here is what she taught me…
There's a massive psychological effect with having mounds of clutter in your life whether is physical, mental or emotional and there is something so energising and peaceful about letting things go.
So what are the effects
Stress, having mounds of stuff makes me stressful. At the time I was so stressed with work, it never occurred to me that a messy wardrobe, piles of stuff actually increased my stress, but it did. The other effect it had on me was that I was always eating junk food, I couldn't see past the chaos and my eating habits were chaotic as well, many cookies, chocolate and crisps.
Sadness and depression, whilst I wasn't depressed, I didn't realise how much my energy was being sucked out of me, just by having stuff around me. I couldn't move and the energy in my life couldn't move.
Concentration, I couldn't concentrate on anything at home, my mind was always jumping around - I should sort that pile of clutter, I should tidy that floor, I should…… I had no focus on anything and to me surprisingly I never got anything done as I couldn't see past the clutter!
So why do I have so much clutter?
The fact is I can't resist a bargain 2for1, sale, 20% off I see those labels and I'm there, often buying what I don't need, don't want won't use, but it's a bargain right!
I'm emotionally attached to something - I wore this fleece when we got our first dog, he loved it. But it was 35 years ago… do you wear it? Love it?
Also the other one, it was my mum's. She actually never wore it, but it was hers.
The unfinished art project, one day I'm going to be a creative artist and I will need….. I've started it and I'll finish it, just don't know when and highly unlikely!
The big one…. One day I'll fit into it! And the other one, the thing is I might put the weight back on, so I need a wardrobe for then!
The truth is I'm (was) an emotional hoarder, I kept things because it reminded me of the past or I had an unknown fear of the future (I might get fat again!)
The effect on my life of decluttering
I'm less stressed and surprisingly I can lots of things to wear in my clean and tidy wardrobe. No more rummaging for that jumper.
This has resulted in I'm more calm and together when I start work. The other surprising effect is that I'm so much calmer, I missed the bus, so what, they'll be another one, great I can grab a coffee, stuck in traffic, oh well, it happens. I'm so much calmer, at times I feel almost zen like!
My health has improved, my bedroom is tidy and feels spacious and surprisingly I sleep so much better, which in turns means I'm so less tired and more energised. I'm less irritated with myself and therefore with others which is so much better for my mental health.
I have more time, I never realised how much time I spent looking for things, now everything has it's placed. Once used, it goes back to where it came from. Ingenious, why didn't I know this before!
Doing chores is not so "chore-some" as before. I can actually hoover the floor easier because there's not stuff on it that I have to either pick up or hoover around!
I have my concentration back and I can focus, I'm now working from home so it's imperative that I can concentrate and focus on my work. Those boxes of files are now in a filing cabinet, properly sorted so I can find what I need, no more of that frustration trying to find something.
I was able to keep 1 creative project - and guess what, I've finished it! It was terrible, but I sent it off to the charity store, someone, somewhere has a red beaded bag which they will love! I've now invested in 1 colouring book and 1 set of pens, colouring is now my new hobby for my creative outlet and it has a home that it's returned to when I've finished!
I found love, Suzanne told me that if I create a space in my wardrobe, then I create a space in my life for a man to come fill. And in he came, I'm not quite ready to let him into my wardrobe (I've got loads of space to fill!), but he's definitely in my life.
Decluttering is definitely the way to go, it worked for me but it's like everything in my life, you have to keep doing it. A friend once told me that 30 days before the new year she clears and cleans out her whole house, drawers, cupboards, rooms, every space has be cleared and cleaned before the clock chimes midnight to announce the new year. Tradition says that it rids unwanted burdens and is bad luck for the New Year. Whatever you think, it's a great tradition and one that I'm wholeheartedly embracing.
In The Space Hoppers with Liz http://bit.ly/2pwLsPh we're exploring decluttering, be inspired to join us.
About the Author Elizabeth Pickering is a Resilience coach, who helps people find success, focus and balance in their life. I take them from feeling overworked, overwhelmed, stuck and stressed to feeling energised, empowered and falling in love with life again.Working with sole traders, business owners and entrepreneurs, I keep them on track towards their goals, giving them energy, focus, motivation and the freedom to enjoy their life.