As you saw from my 4-week-challenge I was meditating daily but due to my London house sharing lifestyle this invariably became a bedroom activity. As you can imagine asking my housemates to turn off their YouTube videos, stop cooking, talking or even moving in order to remain completely silent whilst I sat crossed legged listening to the sound of waterfalls in the living area for 10-20 minutes was hardly fair or practical.
This meant that my bedroom became my place of peace, tranquility and Zen. For anyone that knows me, or has ever seen my bedroom, these are the last words that would be associated with it. Instead visualise the after effects of a natural disaster or burglary and you’re on the right lines. My bedroom will also usually contain a suitcase packed full of my floor accessories that have been thrown into it five minutes before you arrive. I like to think of it more as organised chaos, as in If I’m trying to find something I usually know which ‘pile’ it will be in, but if I’m being honest it really causes a mental block for me.
My morning routine is usually extended by at least 10-15 minutes through frantic panic of trying to find something important which, inevitably, makes me late and if you only knew the amount of times I have tripped, fallen or stood on something causing an injury – its ridiculous!
It’s not always this bad but, if not tidied regularly and maintained, it becomes this way with the amount of ‘stuff’ I have in such a small space.
I had previously noticed that I was a lot less productive when my room was a mess. I was less likely to get up when my alarm sounded, to do a work-out before work or even to make as much effort in my appearance. I would often promise myself that when I came home that day I would do a ‘big sort out’, however, the enormity of the task at hand would just leave me to procrastinate about doing it all evening, but actually not do any of it.
It sounds mad really but it was only when I started meditating that it dawned on me how much my space was affecting me.
As I sat in the space I had created for myself on the floor I would sit and listen to my guided meditation but I just couldn’t relax. I would become irritated, fidgety and felt more claustrophobic than calm so I knew at that point that something had to change. There was no way that I could get the benefits of meditation in the midst of all this clutter.
Through some research I found that my own predictions of association between clutter and less productivity were indeed proven but there was more. Even the items that you surround yourself with, not just the amount of them, can have a negative or positive effect on you. Think about it… that gift that your ex boyfriend bought you sat on the side in plain view every day is hardly going to make you beam with a smile. Instead it invokes memories that will make you reminisce about the past.
Studies have shown that people who sleep in a tidy and clean room go to sleep quicker and have a less disturbed night than those who try to rest in a messy environment. A clean un-cluttered environment helps you become more creative, reduces stress levels and enables you to become more organised. I’m sure this is something that we all need.
In order to take on the massive task of de-cluttering and generally re-organising your home or environment I suggest you try your best to make it fun. Recently my friend Cerys and I helped our friend Neel do exactly this with his flat. It was an epic task clearing out over 30 bin bags of crap but it was all done with good friends, laughter and Prosecco which always helps.
Set a day or two aside, put on your favorite music, audiobook or get some friends round to help. Try and make it less of a task and more of a fun adventure. Hopefully it will be, some of the things you will find will probably blow your mind! Personally I found 76 pens, 3 staplers, 8 broken hangers, receipts from 2015, nail varnishes that had turned to cement, a letter from my childhood pen pal, half used creams that looked more like scientific experiments, two copies of Jillian Michaels 30 day shed and a CD collection that could rival any Top Of The Pops throw back!! There was more but you get the jist. If you don’t have 76 hands, then you don’t need 76 pens and I have no desire to hear my home work out in surround sound!!
Your space is going to look worse before it looks better but as you go around sorting through different areas give them a clean as you empty them, when do you ever think to clean the base of your sock draw? It probably needs it!! Sort out piles of unwanted things for the bin, recycling, charity shop or even eBay if your very savvy. Take out the unwanted emotional baggage that you keep in your space as this will, unknowingly, be taking its toll. Also move stuff around!! Change the drawers and cupboards you usually keep things in to shake up your routine and buy yourself some storage solutions and little new house/room accessories to make it look fabulous!
I cannot explain the sense of accomplishment and the weight off your shoulders you feel when your space is clutter free and organised. I know that it has had a huge positive effect on me.
My promise to myself is to maintain it! Making my bed in the morning and taking a few minutes daily to tidy little bits up.
Let me know if this works for you, I would love to hear your stories!!
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