- Personal Development
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With our increased dependence on creature comforts in a society that seems to place a greater emphasis on material wealth than inner peace, clutter has become a problem in the lives of many. Clutter can become a distraction which creates stress and inner turmoil, that is not always easily recognized. It is something that does not always need to be clearly visible, as is the case with the obvious hoarders you see on television shows, in order to have There are so many things that lead to the accumulation of clutter, not the least of which is the Malcom Forbes attitude of "He who dies with the most toys wins," that is prevalent in the world in which we live. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is something that has been engrained in our collective mind from well before the phrase was made widely popular by cartoonist Arthur R. "Pop" Momand, in his 1913 comic strip.
Never could this mindset be more visible than in the reality television/social media existence that is currently upon us. As tempting as it can be to keep up with and/or surpass the status of our neighbors, the amount of clutter people live with is not only a direct result of this mindset. There are plenty of people out there, with a world of material wealth, who live in an incredibly organized and wide open environment. There are others who do not have much at all in the way of financial abundance, yet they are engulfed in piles of excess, with almost not even enough room to breathe. Procrastination is one of the leading causes of clutter in the household.
The attitude of “I just don’t have the time to deal with this right now” and “I’ll get to it when I have time later” leads to things being shoved in boxes and added to piles far too often. In addition to boxes piled up high, things such as unopened mail, collections of stacked clothing (dirty and clean), garbage not properly disposed of »and many other items are chiefly caused by procrastination and most commonly the cause of clutter. It has been proven in a multitude of studies that the less physical clutter that surrounds you, the less clutter that you feel within.
One such study was performed by a group of researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute. The results of this examination of the human mind, which was directly related to uncluttered and organized living, were published in the January 2011 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. Titled, “Interactions of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in human visual cortex,” the researchers opined that when your surroundings are filled with clutter it creates a chaotic atmosphere which limits one’s ability to concentrate and focus. It was proven in their experiment that it »becomes much more difficult to process information when surrounded by clutter as opposed to being in a neat, organized environment. Therefore, it can be theorized that the smaller the amount of items that you possess, handle and are accountable for, the less you need to stress about them.
Although it is a simple answer to the question of how to at least somewhat reduce your levels of stress, when it comes time to let go of things you forgot you had or have not seen in years, it can feel like a difficult proposition. This is especially the case with those who have been labeled as hoarders. Regardless of whether you are swimming in clutter or you are organized for the most part, it is important for you to reduce as much of the clutter in your life as possible. One of the easier ways to begin to break free from the cage of clutter is to start small, so that you do not immediately feel overwhelmed. Pick a dresser or a pile of boxes and go through one drawer or box at a time, putting the contents into a pile and deciding on an individual basis if each item still serves a purpose in your life. Be honest about it. If you have not used and/or thought about that possession in a long time, it is probably time to let it go. This process may be time consuming, but it is certainly therapeutic and a great way to keep things simple.
By all means, if you see an entire box filled with stuff that you immediately realize you do not need, throw it out. Getting rid of things in bulk will »certainly speed up the process, which is extremely beneficial in the task at hand, but you should not make yourself feel pressured to go about it with such voracity. Do it at your own pace. Take breaks when you need to get away from it. It is not a race, but it is important that you make it to the finish line, because when you do, it will be well worth the journey. When getting rid of a lot of things, you can turn it into a rewarding experience in ways beyond simply giving yourself room to breathe. If you no longer have use for something, but you know that it can be useful to something else, consider donating it to a worthy cause.
There are plenty of people in need and organizations that accept donations in many forms. Second-hand clothing is always in demand among the less fortunate. Items such as books, movies, furniture, canned food, kitchen utensils are accepted by numerous charities and can improve the lives of those who receive them. The transformation of your living environment through the removal of excess baggage is obviously much easier for some people than it is for others. It may seem oversimplified to some to just go through your stuff and figure out what it essential and what is not, but there is an abundance of help out there to be had. There are various resources just a click away on the search engine of your choice. There are also several specialists available to assist you in what may appear to be an arduous assignment. The guidance is accessible if you need it and the freedom to focus on the more meaningful things in life is within reach.