Does Clutter Impact your Life?
With our long Nebraska winters, people are indoors much more which gives the chance to spend time in their homes. Things that we can ignore in the summer might start to nudge us to be taken care of in the winter. The clutter that has accumulated over the Christmas season, or the year, or maybe even years, may be calling to be cleared out. Let it go; release it. Or is the clutter comfortable and preferred over a clean open space? Do you have no energy to tackle the clutter? Has the clutter accumulated because of the way you are feeling?
Our space reflects who we are and where we are so if we have lots of clutter, it may mean more than an overabundance of Christmas gifts or having no time to clean. Clutter insulates us from the outside, from relationships, from having people in our lives and it allows us to build a wall of “stuff” between us and the world. It gives us something to hide behind. It can shield us from our pain. Accumulating clutter can fall into medicating our feelings as the chaotic environment prevents us from being with ourselves. Having a clear and quiet mind when we have clutter is very difficult. Clutter can distract us from ourselves.
Our environment feels and looks chaotic when it is full of clutter. It is an energy drain to come home to clutter. It reminds us of all tasks we haven’t gotten to and impacts our ability to relax and enjoy our home (and maybe our life). It is a time drain as we lose things because we can’t find them in the midst of the clutter. It is a self-esteem drain as we feel bad about ourselves and our inadequacies in this area. It becomes a secret that we don’t want to share with others so we shut ourselves off from others. It prevents people from dropping into our home as we are ashamed and embarrassed about it. We can’t be open to relationships in our lives because we would “just die” if someone showed up unexpectedly.
Our home represents us; it mirrors to us what is going on inside ourselves. Take some time to assess your space and look at what might be reflective of you that is showing up in your home. Often when we are making changes inside ourselves, this will carry over to our environment. We may begin clearing the old clothing out of the closet as we have cleared something of the past out of our psyche. We may unload the junk out of the attic as we have addressed the issue that was hanging over our heads. We may find ourselves cleaning the old forgotten memories out of the basement after we have also addressed or resolved something of the past. It may also be that when we physically begin to do the clearing, we find things moving or changing inside ourselves because movement breeds more movement. Or we may be unable to motivate ourselves to clean up the clutter because inside us, we are down and just do not feel as if we can take care of ourselves or our home.
Clutter stagnates energy. This stagnant energy impacts our own well-being. Cluttered space breeds dark moods and doesn’t allow us to breathe or have movement and expansion. The clutter may represent our feelings of being stagnant but then as clutter accumulates, it becomes part of the problem, causing more stagnant energy to be in our space. Clearing space clears the energy and can certainly impact our mood and our perspective of life. If you are feeling down, try clearing some space. Tackle a small area and pay attention to how you feel after you have unloaded some junk, put some things away, and thrown away papers. The very act of doing this may be what you need to help you feel better. But it would also mean that you have to put yourself as a priority and clean your space so you can feel better yourself.
Changing the outside environment in our life can change us inside. Movement in the home can help us begin to feel better inside ourselves. As we allow the release of the clutter, it allows for healing as our home becomes less chaotic and more “peace-filled” and gives us a cleansing of the mind and spirit at the same time. It allows us to have room, time, and energy to enjoy the things that are most important to our well-being.Tags: clutter impacts your life, our home represents what is going on inside us, our home symbolizes much more than a house, release of clutter impacts us
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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